Frequently Asked Questions

If this does not answer your question please contact support below

Is Mental Canvas Draw different on Microsoft Windows versus iOS?

The software is almost identical between platforms with the exception of the "publish to web" feature which is currently only available on Windows. Because the file type is the same between platforms, you can always create a file on one device and keep editing it on another. The biggest difference is in the memory capacity of your device. Windows devices usually have more RAM than iPads, and this can be a limiting factor if you intend to create complex and highly detailed scenes.

What Windows hardware do you recommend?

Any pen & multi-touch tablet running Windows 10 will work. There are several options including the surface lineup (i.e. the Surface Pro and Surface Studio), the Dell XPS 2-in1, HP Spectre x360 or Lenovo Yoga 9i. We recommend that your machine has at least 8GB of RAM.

What kind of iPad do I need?

We recommend the latest iPad Pros (3rd and 4th generation) because they can handle larger file sizes. An Apple Pencil is required to be able to draw.

The following devices are compatible: iPad Pro (all except 1st gen), iPad (7th gen or later), iPad Air (3rd gen or later), iPad Mini (5th gen).  However, we do not recommend the iPad Air, the Mini or older iPad models due to low RAM.

Do I need an Apple Pencil?

Yes, an Apple Pencil is required to be able to draw.

This is because the system uses a combination of pen and touch input to differentiate between drawing and navigating. The Apple Pencil has an “active” input that is recognized for drawing and other styluses are “passive” so they simulate the touch of a finger.

Can I use a Wacom drawing tablet?

The software was designed for pen & touch interaction directly with the screen so we don’t recommend a Wacom drawing tablet without a screen. That said, you can give it a try. Here are the “express keys” to use with a Wacom tablet: 
Pan: Ctrl + pen gesture 
Zoom: Alt + pen gesture
Twist: Shift + pen gesture

Is Mental Canvas on Android?

No, Mental Canvas Draw is not on Android. It's something we're considering for the future but it will take time to develop.

Can I use Mental Canvas Draw without a pen?

The software was designed for pen and touch interaction. You would be able to open the file and look around, but you could not draw.

Can I use my finger to draw?

You cannot use your finger to draw. The combination of pen and touch is a crucial part of the user experience. While you cannot draw without the pen, you can still explore other scenes in the app if you’d like!

Can I use my mouse to draw?

Mental Canvas requires a touch screen and pen to be able to draw. The software uses pen and touch input to distinguish between drawing and navigation respectively. Therefore, a mouse will not work because it is only used as the navigation input, not the drawing.

Can I use Mental Canvas Draw on Windows without a touch screen?

You would be able to open files with limited capabilities such as viewing and exporting, but you would not be able to create new content.

Do I need the Microsoft Surface Dial?

No, you do not need the dial. It is a great accessory for Mental Canvas Draw, but it is not necessary for use.

Is Mental Canvas available on a Mac?

It is only available on iPads and Windows devices at the moment, but we expect to release a Mac version at some point in the future. It'll be driven by a pen-and-touch device such as an iPad or Cintiq. 


Are the files the same between iOS and Windows?

Yes! You can create files on one device and send them to another and keep working.

Is there a file size limit?

There is no file size limit, you are only limited by the memory of your device. Windows devices usually have more memory than ipads, which can be a limiting factor if you intend to create complex and highly detailed scenes. Take a look at the recommended hardware section to learn more.

Where can I find my Mental Canvas files on my iPad?

Your .mcs files live in the Files App. Look for the “On My iPad” Location and you will see a Mental Canvas folder denoted by our logo. We recommend creating a different folder in your Files App where you can save your .mcs files, because once you delete the app, this Mental Canvas folder will also get deleted. Or else, back up your files somewhere else and save often.

How do I Open a New Scene on my iPad?

You can open up a new blank project by clicking the menu icon on the upper left hand corner, clicking "Scenes", and then pressing "Create a Scene". You'll be able to open up a blank template or any of the other templates we have available to work on your new scene.

I want to delete and reinstall Mental Canvas from my iPad. Where will my files go?

It's important to have copies of the .mcs files in a location outside of the File App’s Mental Canvas folder before uninstalling the app because your Mental Canvas folder will be deleted along with the app. We highly recommend that you copy and back up any .mcs files in the Mental Canvas folder via the Files App to another location. Then, delete the app and reinstall it from the App Store. 

Does Mental Canvas autosave my files?

Mental Canvas does not autosave files. Please save frequently and keep backups of important files.

Does Mental Canvas keep a backup of my files?

No, the files are local to your device. Mental Canvas does not store the files elsewhere. We recommend saving frequently and keeping backups of important files. For example, if you’re using the iPad, you can save files in iCloud so they're in the cloud rather than local to your device.

Import & Export

Can I import images?

Yes, you can import images (jpeg and png) into your scene and edit those images just as you would with drawings. You can also bring in a layers stack from photoshop. Take a look at the in-app tutorial and help videos to learn more about working with images.

Can I import video?

Not yet, but something we’re looking into in the future!

Can I import 3d models?

This is currently not available but we are planning to add it in the future. That said, some users import screenshots of models and sketch over them.

What are the options for video export?

You can export your animated flythroughs as mp4 videos. You can choose the aspect ratio and the resolution/quality.

Can I export as a 3d model?

This is not yet available, but it’s in consideration for a future update.

Can I add audio?

Currently there is no way to add audio. Some users choose to add audio to their videos in post-production. We are looking into audio possibilities in the future such as spatial sound in the web player.

Web Player

What is “publish to web”?

Publishing to web enables you to share your scenes online through our interactive web player. Anyone with the link, on any device, can open your scene! Viewers can play through your bookmark path or interactively explore the scene.

Why can’t I publish to web?

Publish to web is currently only available in our Pro and Enterprise plans on Windows devices. We will be adding web export to iOS imminently.

Can I edit a web scene after it’s published?

Yes - just tap “publish to web” again and it will save over the current version with the new updates.

Can I publish multiple web scenes?

Right now, Pro and Enterprise plans have a single web link tied to each seat. Please contact us if you would like more publish to web scenes.

Can I add the web player to my website?

Yes! The easiest way to add the interactive web player to your website is with an iframe. See below for more detail:

The web publisher in mental canvas publishes an interactive full-page scene with a custom url. You can add the scene to your webpage with an iframe, which acts as a window displaying the original full-page scene, like this.

An iframe is a html code block that you can add to a webpage that will create this link.  Depending on how you’re building your website, you should be able to insert an iframe with a simple code block.  Contact us via support if you need assistance with this.

How can I share my web scenes?

Anyone can access your published scene if you send them the link! It is accessible and interactive on any device including phones, tablets and computers (up-to-date browser is recommended for optimal experience).

Purchasing & Availability

How does license management work?

If you have an Enterprise plan, you will have a license management dashboard that enables you to assign and re-assign seats as needed.

I have an Enterprise plan, how do I change seats?

Login to your dashboard to assign and reassign seats:

I’m not able to download from the Microsoft store, can I download Mental Canvas directly?

Yes, our Pro and Enterprise plans includes the ability to download the software directly if you’re not able to use the store.

How do I purchase a subscription?

You can purchase a subscription here

How do I cancel my subscription?

Please contact us directly at to request cancellation of your subscription

I just purchased a pro plan, will the app update automatically?

Once you purchase a subscription, the app should update the next time you open it. To confirm, tap on the yellow Mental Canvas icon on the main menu. You should see the name of your purchased plan there, indicating that it's been updated. If you see that you’re still on the "free plan" in this menu, log out and log in again with the same email address you used when purchasing. You should now see the updated plan name when you log in again.


I’m not seeing my email verification code

Here is a list of checks to ensure you receive the code:

1) note that the code can sometimes take a few minutes to receive
2) check your spam folder as it can sometimes go there
3) check that you're sending the code to the same email address as your account if you have a Pro license
4) check that your device has internet access because this can inhibit the code from sending
5) make sure you're pressing "send code" after entering the email address
6) confirm you've spelled the email address correctly
7) check that your inbox is not full

If you have reviewed all of these steps and you're still not receiving the code, please contact support and we will look into it further.

Why can’t I get past the main screen with the release notes?

Please try these three recommended steps:

(1) make sure you have enough free storage on your device to launch the app,
(2) make sure your device is up to date: we recommend running an update on your device if you haven’t already,
(3) ensure that your device is connected to wifi upon launching the app.

Why can't I draw?

The software uses a combination of pen and touch input to differentiate between drawing and navigating. Therefore, a pen is necessary for use. A mouse will not work as a pen replacement, because the mouse is used for navigation not drawing.

If you're on an external drawing tablet, please check that "Windows Ink" is enabled in the tablet properties. Contact us at support if you're having any issues.

Where's the eraser on Windows?

On most windows devices, the eraser is part of the stylus (either a button on the side or on the other end of the stylus like a pencil). Though, there are some exceptions: if your stylus does not have an eraser, you can press your keyboard "E" to switch to eraser mode and "E" again to go back to drawing.

How do I report a bug?

If you encounter any bugs on the iPad, please contact support. On Windows devices, you can report a bug by selecting “Report an Issue” in the main menu.

Why can't I draw with my stylus?

Mental Canvas was designed for pen and touch interaction, and you would not be able to draw in the system without an "active pen." You might be using a "passive stylus" that simulates the touch of a finger, but it doesn't actually have the same pen input of being an "active pen" that would allow you to draw.

Contact Support

If you encounter any issues, please reach out and we will get back to you as soon as possible