Scratch 3 can be used on touchscreen devices such as iPads, Android tablets, and Windows tablets and touchscreen computers.
Dragging blocks to write code works very well with a touchscreen interface and is likely to be easier for younger coders who don’t have good mouse or trackpad skills yet. It’s also a great next step for children who have started with ScratchJr, an even simpler coding environment for children aged 5–7.
Note: Some Code Club and Raspberry Pi projects use features of Scratch 3 that are not yet available on touchscreens.
The MIT team are continuing to update Scratch 3, so keep an eye out for new functionality.
There’s no Scratch 3 app, so just open a web browser (such as Safari or Chrome), go to the scratch.mit.edu website, and click ‘Create’. If you’re using a tablet, you need to have an internet connection to create Scratch 3 projects.
It’s not yet possible to load and save projects locally on a tablet, so learners will need Scratch accounts.
What doesn’t work on a touchscreen device (yet)
It’s not yet possible to save and load projects locally, so learners need to be logged in to an account.
The ‘key pressed’ blocks aren’t available yet (unless you attach a physical keyboard).
You may come across bugs on some devices. The Scratch team are continuing to improve tablet support.
We recommend that learners log in to Scratch accounts when using a tablet. It’s not yet possible to save projects locally, and sometimes, errors can mean that progress is lost.
To access the right-click menu on a touchscreen, tap and hold until the menu appears.
The ‘key pressed’ blocks are not yet available on a tablet (unless you connect an external keyboard.)
You can enter data into ‘ask’ input boxes using the on-screen keyboard. If you want to use full-screen mode, switch the tablet to portrait mode so the keyboard doesn’t block the stage.
On a tablet, it’s often easier to type variable, list and event names starting with a capital letter, and it will still work. For example, it’s fine to type ‘Score’ instead of ‘score’.
Scratch 3 is not designed to edit projects on phones, but it can be used on small tablets such as the iPad Mini.
Some blocks allow you to choose a colour by tapping on a colour in the block then choosing a colour from the stage.
In Scratch 3, you can only select colours from the stage in the code editor. To use the colour dropper:
- Tap on the colour in a block to open the colour picker
- Drag from the eyedropper to the stage
- Hover over the colour you want to select with the lens
- Tap to choose the colour
On some devices, you may need to tap another section in the palette to close the colour picker.
Touchscreen vs keyboard input
If you are using Scratch 3 on a tablet, you won’t be able to use the ‘key pressed’ blocks yet, but there are often better ways to provide input.
Instead of using ‘when key pressed’ blocks, you can add sprites that act as input controls when clicked.
If you just want a single input, you can use the ‘when stage clicked’ block instead of ‘when space key pressed’.
You can also check the position of the mouse (cursor) to detect taps on different parts of the stage.
Code Club projects
Scratch Module 1
Scratch Module 1 projects can all be completed on a tablet.
The Boat Race and Paint Box projects both use the colour picker, so check the tips for using it on a tablet.
The Rock Band, Boat Race, and Paint Box projects use the ‘when key pressed’ block in challenges. The challenges can be omitted or adapted for a tablet.
In the Paint Box project, it is useful to stop the project (by clicking the stop icon) when positioning sprites.
Scratch Module 2
Scratch Module 2 uses a lot of ‘key pressed’ blocks. Learners would need support to adapt these projects to use touch input.
Memory and Brain Game can be completed on a tablet
Dodgeball, Catch the Dots, Clone Wars, and Create Your Own World use keyboard input, so learners would need an external keyboard, or the projects would need to be adapted for alternative input
Scratch Module 3
Some projects in this module do use ‘key pressed’ blocks, but learners working at this level should have the skills to adapt the projects for touchscreen input.
CATS!, Guess the Flag, and Line Up can be completed on a tablet
Flower Generator uses ‘when key pressed’ blocks, but for learners working at this level, these could be replaced with sprites
Flappy Parrot uses a ‘when space key pressed’ block, but this can be replaced by broadcasting an event when the stage is clicked
Binary Hero uses keyboard input, but this can be replaced by using sprites as input controls