Surface devices come with the Surface Pen, which is a stylus that you can use to operate Windows in the touch-screen mode. You can use it for handwriting, drawing, or for general work. In this video, we talk about how the Pen works and how to get it set up.
- In this movie, we're going to talk about an input device that's specific to the Microsoft Surface products, the Surface Pen Stylus. You can use the pen at any time, but you'll probably use it most when you're using the Surface as a tablet, with the keyboard disconnected. The pen stylus, which comes with the Surface Book, Surface Pro, and Surface Studio, connects wirelessly using Bluetooth. When you turn the Surface on for the first time, you will be prompted to set up the pen. If the pen is not working for you, and you need to go through the setup again, just stick around until the end of this movie.
In some ways, the pen works like your finger for touch screen controls, but in some ways it works like a mouse. If you've every used a Wacom tablet and stylus, it works very similar to that. On one hand, the stylus works a lot like my finger. I can tap on an object to click it. So if I tap on the Start button, it opens up the Start menu. I can tap on an application to launch it, and I want to quit this application, so I'll hit the X in the top right corner. But it's not exactly the same as using my finger. For example, if I go back to the Start menu using my finger, I can swipe up and down on the list of apps.
And that's not how it works with the pen. If I try to swipe up or down, it's not going to work. And sometimes you'll grab an app and it'll move on that list. To scroll using the pen, you just grab this slider on the side, and move that up or down, just like you would with a mouse. Now, take a look at this. I'm going to hold the tip of the pen very close to the screen. It may be a little hard to see on video, but there's a little white cursor on the screen. Now, I'm not touching the screen, I'm just kind of floating above it. So, I can see a cursor, sort of like a mouse, and it does not register a click until I actually tap on the screen.
So I could do something like select the Recycle Bin just by tapping on it, and I can move it around. I can tap and hold and drag it around and drop it somewhere. I could double-click on it to open it up, and of course I want to close this window, so I'll tap on that X. Let me just move that back up here. Of course you've noticed that there are some buttons on the pen. Let's look at how those work by default. The main button is at the end, where a pencil eraser would be. This button triggers the Windows Ink workspace, but there are a few options, and I'll show you what I mean.
If I click the button once, it opens up Windows Ink workspace. That's this panel over here, and we've got a few shortcuts to some specific applications that are specifically designed to work with a pen stylus. The main focus here are these three applications, Sticky Notes, SketchPad, and Screen Sketch. When Windows 10 was first released, this button would open up OneNote by default, but that changed with a big update to Windows in 2016 called the Anniversary Update. So now if I click this button, it opens up the Windows Ink workspace.
And if I click it again, that workspace goes away. So I want to work in the workspace, so let me click that again, and let me start by looking at the SketchPad. This is where you can draw a sketch, take notes, or just whiteboard some ideas. Now, the default picture is loaded in here. This is what it looks like when you launch it for the first time, but let me hit the little trashcan here in the toolbar to clear that. And my drawing skills are not great, so let me just do a simple happy face here, just to have something on the screen that we can work with.
So it's no coincidence that this button up at the top is where a pencil eraser would be. You can actually flip the pen over and use this to erase brush strokes. I wand you to see if I just go across one brushstroke, it erases that entire stroke. So I can draw and I can erase with the pen. Now if I close this, whatever I wrote or drew will go away, unless I hit the Save button to save it. So if I hit that, it's going to ask me for a location and a name for the file, but I don't want to do that. For now, I'm just going to cancel this, and I will close this without saving that.
Now this button also has a few other actions. If I double-click, it takes me straight to the Screen Sketch application. And this is almost the same as the SketchPad application, except what it does is it takes a screenshot of whatever's on the computer screen, and then you can draw on that. So I could do little circles here, and I could make arrows or notes or whatever, and then I could share this picture with somebody. Okay, so let's close this. I'm not going to save that, and we'll move on. Now, if you hold the button, it opens up the Sticky Notes application, and this gives you a new Sticky Note.
So from here, you can type reminders or notes, or you could just draw or write something freehand. For now, I'm just going to close that by hitting the little trash can on that note. Now, there is another button on the pen stylus. It's here on the side. You'll see this light gray strip? At one end of that is actually a button that you can press down on, and it will click. This works differently depending on which application you're using. For example, in OneNote, you can hold this button and then select objects instead of writing. So that's the core of how the pen works, but you can customize how the pen works with some settings.
So, I want to go into Settings, so I'm going to just go into the regular Settings app, then I'm going to go to Devices, and I'm looking for the item, Pen and Windows Ink. So I'll tap on that. There are a few options you should explore here. You can set whether you use the pen with your right hand or left hand with this menu right here. I use my right hand, so I'll just select that. There's some other things that you can experiment, but what I really want to point out, if we scroll down here, I want to look at this section here called Pen Shortcuts.
You can go here and change what happens when you click, double-click, or hold that button on the pen. So you can go to the action you want to change, so for the option for Click Once, I see two menus. First you choose which application you want to respond. So it's set to operate in the Windows Ink workspace. And then the second menu is the specific command within that action that you want to trigger. So you can see it's set to go to the Home screen on the Windows Ink workspace. So you can go through here, and you can change your preferences for each of those button clicks.
So now, I'd like to talk about getting the pen paired with your Surface device. Like I said, when you first set up the Surface, you should have been prompted to go through the setup for the pen. If you skip that process, of if you lost your pen and replaced it with a new one, then you'll need to go through that pairing process again. To do that, we're going to go into Settings. So, let's just reset. I'm going to go into Settings, into Devices, then to the section labeled Bluetooth. You should see your Surface pen on this list, but what if it's not on the list? Just for demonstration, I'm going to remove mine.
So I'm going to tap where it says Surface Pen, it's currently connected, I'll hit Remove Device. Confirm that, and in a moment it's gone from that list. So now this is what it will look like if you do not have your pen paired with your Surface. So to get it paired, I'll need to switch the pen into Discoverable mode. To do that, I'm going to hold the button up at the top, and I'm going to need to hold that for about six or seven seconds, until I see this white light on the side of the pen light up. And now I can see the pen is on that Bluetooth Discoverable list, so all I need to do is tap on it, hit Pair, and I have to give it a minute to go through the pairing process.
After a moment of setup, it should be on this list marked as paired and ready to go. If the pairing process does not work the first time, just try it again. Sometimes it takes a few tries. Finally, it's important to know that the pen does require battery power. If the pen stops working, it might be time to replace the battery. So here's how you'll do that. Notice the pen has a light gray side and a dark gray side up at the top. These two sections twist apart, and it's not like a fully-threaded thing, it's just one little twist, so I'll grab the top, give it one twist, and then those two parts will come apart from each other.
And inside, you'll find a single quadruple A battery. This battery is a little uncommon, but it is a standard 1.5 volt battery, like a double A or a triple A. You may be able to find replacements at electronic stores, and you can definitely order them on Amazon. So you'll see there's a little paper insert here, so you'll just put your new battery there, slide it in, make sure you get the paper insert in place, you give that a little bit of a twist, and then I'll put them back together, twist it back in place, and we should be all set.
Once you replace the battery, you may have to go through that pairing process again, but probably not. It should start working normally again with a fresh battery. So now, you should have the basics of setting up and working with the pen stylus.
Nick Brazzi then steps through how to best become productive with the Surface in Tablet mode, exploring the basic touch controls in Windows 10 and how to adjust important settings like notifications, quick actions, and more. Viewers also learn how to use touch to control apps (including Office), multitask, use the onscreen keyboard, work with tiles, and more.
Viewers then learn how to get the most out of the Surface accessories, including how to use the powerful Surface pen with OneNote. Finally, the course explores important customization and security settings, including how to use Windows Hello for fingerprint or face recognition for fast login.
- Touring the device
- Connecting a keyboard, mouse, and external display
- Using touch controls in Windows 10
- Shutting down and restarting
- Multitasking in Windows 10
- Pinning apps to the Start menu
- Using the Pen stylus
- Setting a PIN code for fast login
- Adding storage with a microSD card
Skill Level Beginner
What was added to this course on 01/20/2017?
New videos were added about the Surface pen and the Surface dial.