Using Surface Pen

Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3 .

Applies to

Surface 3, Surface Pro 3.

Operating system:

It’s designed for effortless writing and drawing, plus one-click access to OneNote so your great ideas are easy to capture and easy to find.


Surface Pen with two side buttons is designed to work with Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3, so you can capture every idea quickly and easily. You can also use it with Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book but not with earlier Surface models. If you have Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2, see Using the Pro Pen.

Surface Pen with two side buttons features

Surface Pen with two side buttons 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.

  • Right-click button

    In many apps, this button acts like the right-click button on a mouse. Hold the button down as you tap the screen. In some apps, the right-click button may behave differently.

  • 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.

a drawing of a Surface Pen with two side buttons, with the Top button, Right-click button, Erase button, and Tip marked with numbers 1 through 4, respectively

1 Top button
2 Right-click button
3 Eraser button
4 Tip
Tip
If you want to adjust your pen’s pressure sensitivity, install the Surface app.

Surface Pen with two side buttons setup

Before you use your Surface Pen:

  • Install the AAAA battery.
  • Pair the pen with your Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 4, or Surface Book.

Install the AAAA battery

The AAAA battery powers writing, right-clicking, and erasing. If you have Surface Pro 3, you’ll find the battery under the Surface Pro 3 booklet the box Surface Pro 3 came in. If you bought Surface Pen with two side buttons separately, you’ll find the battery in the Surface Pen box.

Note
Surface Pen with two side buttons is available as a separate accessory for Surface 3.

Here’s how to install the battery:

A drawing of the Surface Pen with two side buttons, with major parts numbered 1 through five to correspond to the text key below the image

1 Top button
2 AAAA battery
3 Right-click button
4 Eraser button
5 Tip
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.
Note
The AAAA battery powers writing, right-clicking, and erasing. It doesn’t power a Bluetooth connection, and it isn’t used for opening OneNote or taking screenshots.

Pair Surface Pen with two side buttons to your Surface

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 you’re interrupted before your pen is paired, you can pair your pen manually later.

If you have a Surface 3, you won’t see the option to pair Surface Pen when you set up your Surface, so you’ll need to pair your pen manually.

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo and select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth.
Step 2:

Press and hold the top button of the pen for about seven seconds, until the light in the middle of the pen clip starts to flash.

A drawing of the Surface Pen with two side buttons, with the pen light marked with number 1 and the Top button marked with number 2
1 Pen light
2 Top button
Step 3:

In the Manage Bluetooth devices list, select Surface Pen, and then select Pair.

Notes
  • Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book come with the Surface Pen with single button on flat edge, but you can also pair a Surface Pen with two side buttons with either of those Surface models.
  • 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 is just a click away

OneNote is a great way to capture, organize, find, and share information. Click the top button on your pen to open OneNote whether your Surface is awake or asleep. For more info, see Using OneNote on Surface.

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

Add screenshots to OneNote

Use your Surface Pen with two side buttons to take a screenshot and copy it to OneNote. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Double-click the top button on your Surface Pen to take a picture of your screen.

OneNote
Step 2:

Select what you want to show in the screenshot by drawing a box around the part you want to keep. When you lift the pen tip, your selection appears on 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.

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

Writing, drawing, and more

Use your Surface Pen in any app that supports inking, like the Windows Ink Workspace, Office apps, or Microsoft Edge. When you bring your Surface Pen with two side buttons close to the touchscreen, a point appears on the screen, and the screen will ignore other input (like your hand or a mouse). Then write or draw on your screen like 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 on the touch keyboard.

Using the touch keyboard and handwriting panel

Step 1: Select Keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
Step 2: On the touch keyboard, select Keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon > Handwriting Close on-screen handwriting icon.
Step 3: Write something on the handwriting panel. Surface automatically converts your words to 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 Surface touch keyboard.

Change pen settings

Change the pen’s shortcuts, pick which hand you write with, and more.

Step 1:

Go to Start Windows logo > Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.

Note
The press and hold shortcut doesn’t work with this pen.

Get new pen tips

If your pen tip wears out, is lost, or breaks, order a new pen tip from Device Support by following these steps:

Tip
Your Surface must be registered, and you must sign in with your Microsoft account.
Step 1: Select Sign In and register your Surface if it is not already registered.
Step 2: Under My Devices, find the Surface device that you're using your pen with, and then select Manage > Replace an accessory.
Step 3: Make sure your device is selected, and then select Continue.
Step 4: After verifying your shipping address, select the Loops and Tips option, and then select Continue.
Step 5: Select the Surface Pen Tip for Ver.2 Pen to purchase a new pen tip, and then select Continue.
Step 6: Complete the remaining steps to finish your order.

Here’s how to change tips:

Step 1: Grasp the tip that’s in the pen and pull the tip straight out.
Step 2: Insert the base of the new tip into the pen opening and push the tip in until it locks into place.

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.


OneNote and Surface Pen are designed to work with Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3, so you can capture every idea quickly and easily. Use Surface Pen in any app that supports inking—Word and PowerPoint, drawing apps, and many others.

Note
You can use Surface Pen with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3 but not with earlier Surface models. If you have Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2, see Using the 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.

  • Right-click button

    In many apps, this button acts like the right-click button on a mouse. Hold the button down as you tap the screen. In some apps, the right-click button may behave differently.

  • 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
Tip
If you want to adjust your pen’s pressure sensitivity, install the Surface app.

Surface Pen setup

Before you use your Surface Pen:

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

Install the AAAA battery

The AAAA battery powers writing, right-clicking and erasing. If you have Surface Pro 3, you’ll find the battery under the Surface Pro 3 booklet the box Surface Pro 3 came in. If you bought Surface Pen separately, you’ll find the battery in the Surface Pen box.

Note
Surface Pen is available as a separate accessory for Surface 3.

Here’s how to install the battery:

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.
Note
The AAAA battery powers only writing, right-clicking and erasing. It doesn’t power a Bluetooth connection, and it isn’t used for opening OneNote or taking screenshots.

Pair Surface Pen to Surface Pro 3 or Surface 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 you’re interrupted before your pen is paired, you can pair your pen manually later.

If you have Surface 3, you won’t see the option to pair Surface Pen when you set up your Surface, so you’ll need to pair your pen manually.

Here’s how to pair Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3 with Surface Pen manually:

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 Settings).
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, tap or click PC and devices, then tap or click Bluetooth.
Step 3:  Make sure that Bluetooth is On.
If Surface Pen appears in the list of discovered devices, tap or click it and then tap or click Remove device.
Step 4:  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 5:  When the pen appears in the list of Bluetooth devices, tap it and select Pair.
Tip
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 is 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.

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

For more info, see Using OneNote on Surface.

Take screenshots into OneNote

Use your 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.

OneNote
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.

Note
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 won’t detect 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 touch keyboard and 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 Keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon, then tap or click Handwriting Close on-screen handwriting icon.
Step 4:  Write something on the handwriting panel. Surface automatically converts your words 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 Surface touch 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.
Step 3:  In Tablet PC Settings, select either Right-handed or Left-handed, tap or click Apply, and tap or click OK.

Get new pen tips

If your pen tip wears out, is lost, or breaks, you can order new pen tips from our Online Service Centre.

Tip
Your Surface must be registered, and you’ll need to sign in with your Microsoft account.

Contact Us

Answer Desk
Answer Techs are available to help.
Talk to a live agent