Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


The Surface touchscreen

Whether you’re using your Surface at work, at school, or at home while relaxing on the couch, the multi-touch screen provides crisp wide-angle viewing and support for Windows 8 gestures.


The basics

Some gestures, like tapping a link in a webpage, are a lot like the gestures you use on a smart phone. Other gestures let you do more – like right-click, switch apps, or open the Charms menu. Touch: tap, swipe, and beyond tells you how.

For entering text, there are several on-screen keyboard layouts to choose from, including one that converts your handwriting to text. For more info, see How to use the on-screen keyboard.

Rotate or lock screen orientation

When you rotate Surface, the screen content rotates to the new orientation. For example, you might use landscape orientation for viewing webpages and portrait orientation when jotting down notes.

Image of Surface screen in landscape orientation
Image of Surface screen in portait orientation

Lock the screen orientation

If you don’t want the screen to automatically rotate, you can lock the orientation. Here’s how:

Step 1: Rotate Surface to the orientation you want.
Step 2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
Step 3: Tap or click Screen.
Step 4: Tap or click the screen rotation icon.
Note
When you have a Surface Typing Cover attached to Surface, you may not be able to change the screen rotation setting. If the setting is grayed-out, either detach the Cover or fold it back.
A lock appears on the screen icon when rotation is locked.

Adjust screen brightness

By default, Surface automatically adjusts screen brightness for the light conditions. You can change this or set the brightness to whatever you’d like. Here’s how:

Turn off automatic screen brightness

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 3: Tap or click PC and devices, and then tap or click Power and sleep.
Step 4: Set Adjust my screen brightness automatically to Off.

Adjust screen brightness

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Screen, and then adjust the brightness up or down.
Note

The brighter the screen, the more power Surface uses. For info on making the battery last, see:

Choose when the screen dims and turns off

If you don’t use Surface for a few minutes, the screen turns off and locks. For info about Surface sleep states and unlocking Surface, see:

Here’s how to change when the screen dims or turns off:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 3: Tap or click PC and devices, and then tap or click Power and sleep.
Step 4: Under Sleep, choose when you’d like Surface to go to sleep (on battery and when plugged in).

Change other screen settings

You can use PC Settings to adjust other display settings, such as screen resolution and size of apps. 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 upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 3: Tap or click PC and devices.
Step 4: Tap or click Display, and then tap or click the setting you want to change.

Use a pen or stylus with the touchscreen

Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 include Pro Pen, a digital pen that you can use to draw, sketch and handwrite notes. For more info, see Using Pro Pen.

Surface Pro 3 includes Surface Pen, a Bluetooth enabled pen for writing, drawing, and painting. Surface Pen opens OneNote with a single click, even while the screen is locked. For more info, see Using Surface Pen.

You can use a capacitive stylus (sold separately) with Surface RT and Surface 2. Capacitive means a pen that substitutes for your finger on a touchscreen. Neither Surface Pen nor Pro Pen can be used with Surface RT or Surface 2.

Clean and protect the touchscreen

Fingerprints, scratches, dust, chemicals, and ultraviolet light can affect the performance of your Surface screen. For more info, see Clean and care for Surface.



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