How to use the Surface Pen


How to use your Surface Pen

You have the Surface Slim Pen 2

Get to know Surface Slim Pen 2

  1. Pen tip
  2. Right-click and select button
  3. LED light
  4. Eraser and top button


Here's how to adjust your tactile signals for your pen on Windows:

  1. Select Start Settings Bluetooth & devices Pen & Windows Ink Tactile signals, then make sure this setting is turned on.
  2. In Tactile signals, you can adjust when you'll feel these signals and adjust the intensity of these signals.


Write and draw


Use your Surface Pen in any app that supports inking


Try these apps with your pen

Ready to write your ideas, take notes, and be more productive with ink? Get started with these apps. 

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard is a freeform digital canvas where you can put your ideas, content, and notes in one place.

Get Microsoft Whiteboard


OneNote is your digital notebook for capturing and organizing everything across your devices. Write down your to-do lists, keep track of your notes, and draw your ideas. 

Get OneNote


Office lets you create your best work in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. Use your pen to annotate documents, navigate through presentations, and draw diagrams.

Get Office

Microsoft To Do

To Do helps you manage, prioritize, and complete the most important things you need to achieve every day, powered by Microsoft 365 Integration.

Get Microsoft To Do


Start inking with your pen 

Rest your hand on the screen, like you would on a piece of paper, then start writing. Your Surface is designed to ignore your hand and other inputs while you write. Use the pointer that appears under your pen tip to guide you while you ink.

To erase, turn your pen over and rub the end of your pen over your writing or drawing.

Enter text with your pen

If you want to write instead of typing on a keyboard, you can use the touch keyboard that appears on the screen. To learn how to use it, go to Get to know the touch keyboard.


To open the touch keyboard

In most cases, you can tap where you want to enter text and the touch keyboard will open automatically. If it doesn't, you can turn it on yourself. Here's how: 

  1. Select Start Settings >Personalization Taskbar Taskbar corner icons, then make sure Touch keyboard is turned on.
  2. Tap the icon when you want to enter text with the touch keyboard.


Touch keyboard layouts

There are four different layouts you can use when inputting text with the touch keyboard. Select the keyboard settings icon in the upper-left corner of the touch keyboard to view and switch between options.


Select the icons just below the layout options to dock and undock your keyboard. This allows you to keep it in a stationary position or move it to a different place on your screen to best fit your workstyle.



Default keyboard

This layout is optimized for touchscreen typing. It has larger keys and some keys have been removed to make it easier to type.

Split keyboard

This layout splits the keyboard so that one half of it is near the left edge of the screen and the other is on the right. This makes it easier to type when holding a touchscreen PC with two hands. (Not available in all languages)

Small keyboard

This layout is compact keyboard that can be moved anywhere on your screen. (Not available in all languages)

Traditional keyboard

This layout most replicates a standard external keyboard. It has all the functions and includes an expanded selection of keys.

Handwriting panel

Use this to enter text with a pen or your finger.

12-key layout (Japanese only)

A keyboard layout for Japanese characters that places keys in a 3x4 grid.

50-on layout (Japanese only)

A keyboard layout for Japanese characters that places keys in a grid with 5 rows. Makes it easier for Japanese speakers to find a specific Hiragana character.


Navigate and click using your pen

Your pen can be used throughout Windows, similar to how you would use a mouse or keyboard. Here are some actions you can start with. 

If you want to

Do this with your pen

Click or select

Tap on an item.


Press and hold the side button, then tap on the item.

Drag and drop

Place your pen on an item, and hold it there until the circle around the pointer completes. Then move the item to where you want it to go.

Select multiple items 

Press and hold the side button, then drag your pen over the items you want to select.

Note: Some actions vary based on the app or feature of Windows you're using. 




Use the top button of your pen


Use top button shortcuts

Once your pen is paired, you'll be able to use the top button. The top button does different things depending on how you interact with the button. To change these shortcuts, select Start Settings Bluetooth & devices Pen & Windows Ink

If you want to

Do this with your pen

Open Microsoft Whiteboard

Click the top button once.

Open Snip & Sketch

Double-click the top button.

Open Sticky Notes

Press and hold the top button.

Customize your pen


Change pen pressure

Use the Surface app to check your pen pressure settings. To open it, select Start , enter surface, and select it to open the app. If the app doesn't open, get it from the Microsoft Store.

Open the Surface app

Once open, select the Pen tab to adjust the pen pressure.

Check battery level

You can also check your battery level on the Pen tab in the Surface app.

Change pen settings

If you want to change the top button shortcuts, change the hand you write with, or change other pen settings, go to Change pen settings for more info.

  • Select Start Settings Bluetooth & devicesPen & Windows Ink.


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