Applies to

Surface Pro 3.

Using Surface Pen

Surface Pen is designed for effortless writing and drawing, plus one-click access to OneNote so your great ideas are easy to capture and easy to find.

Your Surface Pen, Surface Pro 3 and OneNote are integrated, so you can capture every idea and every bit of information easily. You can also use the Surface Pen in any app that supports ink—Word and PowerPoint, drawing apps and many others.

Surface Pen is designed specifically for Surface Pro 3, and doesn’t work with earlier Surface models. If you have Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2, see Using Pro Pen.

Surface Pen features

Surface Pen has three buttons and a tip.
  • Top button
    Click the top button to open OneNote. Double-click to capture a screenshot. Bluetooth® technology links the top button of your Surface Pen to your Surface Pro 3.
  • Right-click button
    Acts like the right-click button on a mouse. In apps like OneNote, click this button once to bring up a menu to choose pen colour, thickness and other options. Or, click and hold to select text.
  • Eraser button
    Hold down the eraser button and move the tip over the area you want to erase.
  • Tip
    The fine tip, along with Palm Block technology and multi-point sensitivity in your Surface lets you write and draw naturally.
buttons and tip on pen
If you want to adjust your pen’s pressure sensitivity, install the Surface Hub app.

Surface Pen setup

Before you use your Surface Pen, you’ll need to:

  • Install the AAAA battery.
  • Pair the pen to Surface Pro 3.

Install the AAAA battery

The AAAA battery powers writing and the right-click and eraser buttons on your Surface Pen. You’ll find the battery under the Surface Pro 3 booklet in your Surface Pro 3 box. Here’s how to install it:

Surface Pen AAAA battery
Step 1:  Unscrew the top of the pen from the bottom.
Step 2:  Insert the battery, wrapped in the label from the top of the pen, with the positive (+) end of the battery pointing toward the writing tip.
Step 3:  Screw the top back on.
The AAAA battery only powers writing, right-click and erasing. It doesn’t power a Bluetooth connection, and isn’t used for opening OneNote or taking screenshots.

Pair Surface Pen to Surface Pro 3

When you set up your Surface Pro 3 for the first time, you’ll get instructions on the screen to pair your Surface Pen.

If you skip that step or if you’re interrupted before the pen is paired, you can pair your pen manually later. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and click Search.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, tap or click PC and devices, then tap or click Bluetooth. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on.
If Surface Pen appears in the list of discovered devices, tap or click it and then tap or click Remove device.
Step 3:  Hold down the top button of the pen for about seven seconds, until the light in the middle of the pen clip starts to flash.
Surface Pen light and top button
Step 4:  When the pen appears in the list of Bluetooth devices, tap it, and tap Pair.
If your pen shows as Not connected in your Bluetooth list, you might not have all the latest updates installed. See Troubleshoot Surface Pen for more info.

OneNote just a click away

OneNote is a great way to capture, organise, find and share information. Click the top button on your pen while Surface is asleep, and you can jot a note or sketch immediately, without unlocking the screen. When you’re using your Surface, click the top button to open OneNote.

When Surface is locked, you can only use the top button and the eraser button. The right-click button won’t work until after you unlock Surface by signing in.

For more info, see Using OneNote on Surface.

Take screenshots into OneNote

Use the Surface Pen to take a screenshot and copy it to OneNote. Here’s how:

Step 1: 

Display what you want to copy.
It can be a webpage, a photo, or anything else you see on your screen.

Step 2: 

Double-click the top button on your Surface Pen.

Step 3: 

Select what you want to capture in the screenshot by dragging the tip of the pen from one corner of the element on your screen to the opposite corner. When you lift the pen tip, your selection appears in a new page in OneNote.

Now you can mark up the screenshot with the pen, move it to any of your OneNote notebooks or share it with others.

If double-clicking the top button on your pen doesn’t take a screenshot, see Troubleshoot Surface Pen.

Writing, drawing and more

When you bring Surface Pen close to the touchscreen, a point appears on the screen and the screen ignores other input such as your hand resting on the screen. You can relax and write or draw as you would with a regular pen and paper.

Even if your app doesn’t support inking, you can use your Surface Pen to enter text by using the handwriting panel in the on-screen keyboard.

Using the on-screen keyboard/handwriting panel

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings.
Step 2:  Tap or click Keyboard.
Step 3:  Tap or click Touch keyboard and handwriting panel, tap or click the keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon icon, then tap or click the handwriting onscreen-kb-write.png icon.
Step 4:  Write something on the handwriting panel. Your words are automatically converted to text.
Step 5:  Tap or click Insert to insert your text.

The handwriting panel adapts to your writing over time, becoming more accurate the more you use it. For more info, see How to use the on-screen keyboard.

Set left or right handedness

You can change where menus appear on the screen by indicating which hand you write with. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Search.
Step 2:  In the search box, enter hand, and in the search results, tap or click Specify which hand you write with.
The Tablet PC Settings control panel displays.
Step 3:  Tap or click to select either Right-handed or Left-handed, tap or click Apply, then tap or click OK.