Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating System:

How to use the Surface touch keyboard

Surface has an on-screen touch keyboard that appears when you need it.


Note
This article describes the touch keyboard. There’s also an on-screen keyboard, which is an Ease of Access tool. For more info, see Ease of Access features.

Display the touch keyboard

When you want to type using the touch keyboard, fold back your Surface Typing Cover or remove it. Next, tap a text field or other area where you can type. The keyboard appears automatically.

You can also open the touch keyboard manually:

  • In the taskbar, select keyboard Icon for on-screen keyboard.
Note
The touch keyboard doesn’t appear automatically if you’re using a desktop app. Instead, you need to select keyboard Icon for on-screen keyboard in the taskbar.

Split keyboard and handwriting options

The basic touch keyboard lets you type text easily. You can also use these keyboard options:

  • The split keyboard Icon for split-screen typing makes it easy to type with your thumbs while you hold your Surface in two hands. It also has a numeric keypad in the center of the screen when you’re in landscape mode.
  • The handwriting Icon for on-screen handwriting option lets you write with a Surface pen, a capacitive stylus, or your finger.

To switch between keyboard options, select keyboard Icon for on-screen keyboard in the lower-right corner of the touch keyboard and select the option you want to use.

Icons for changing the on-screen keyboard

Touch keyboard tips

To
Do this
Use text suggestions
Swipe left or right across the spacebar to select a word and press the spacebar to select the suggestion you want.
Use keyboard shortcuts that start with the CTRL key, like CTRL+C or CTRL+V
Press CTRL and select the letter key.
Turn Caps Lock on or off
Double-press either Up Arrow (Shift) key.
Type a period
Double-press the spacebar.
Show the numeric keypad from the standard keyboard
Select the &123 button.
Quickly type a number from the standard keyboard
Press and hold a key in the top row and slide to the number.
Type a character with a diacritical mark, like è
Press and hold the letter the mark applies to and slide to the character you want.
Type special characters like ® or ©
Select the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and select the !? emoji in the bottom row. (For the symbols you use most, select the heart icon.)
Find emoticons or other fun symbols
Select the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and select an emoji in the bottom row. (Each emoji will display a different selection of symbols. For the symbols you use most, select the heart emoji.)

Change the touch keyboard settings

You can change typing settings in PC settings. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Typing.
Step 2: Select any switch to turn the settings you want to change to On or Off.
Note
The Play key sounds as I type setting under Touch keyboard applies to both the touch keyboard and the Surface Touch Cover.

Hide the keyboard

To hide the touch keyboard:

  • Select the Keyboard key in the lower-right corner of the touch keyboard and select hide keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon.
  • If you're using a built-in app or an app you installed from the Windows Store, select an area where text can’t be typed.
  • If you're in a desktop app, select the X in the frame of the keyboard.

How to use the Surface touch keyboard

Surface has an on-screen touch keyboard that appears when you need it.


Note
This article describes the touch keyboard. There’s also an on-screen keyboard, which is an Ease of Access tool. For more info, see Use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) to type.

Display the touch keyboard

When you want to type using the touch keyboard, fold back your Surface Typing Cover or remove it. Next, tap in a text field or other area where you can type. The keyboard appears automatically.

You can also open the touch keyboard manually:

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 click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Keyboard.
If you have more than one language or keyboard layout set up on your Surface, you may see an abbreviation of the keyboard currently in use instead of the word Keyboard.
Step 3: Tap or click Touch keyboard and handwriting panel.
Note
The touch keyboard doesn’t appear automatically if you’re using a desktop app. Instead, you need to tap or click keyboard Icon for on-screen keyboard in the taskbar.

Split keyboard and handwriting options

The basic touch keyboard lets you type text easily. You can also use these touch keyboard options:

  • The split keyboard Icon for split-screen typing makes it easy to type with your thumbs while you hold your Surface in two hands. It also has a numeric keypad in the center of the screen when you’re in landscape mode.
  • The handwriting Icon for on-screen handwriting option lets you write with a Surface pen, a capacitive stylus, or just your finger.

To switch between keyboard options, tap the key in the lower right corner of the touch keyboard, and tap the icon for the keyboard you want to use.

Icons for changing the on-screen keyboard

Touch keyboard tips

To
Do this
Use text suggestions
Swipe left or right across the spacebar to select a word and tap the spacebar to select the suggestion you want.
Use keyboard shortcuts that start with the CTRL key, like CTRL+C or CTRL+V
Tap CTRL and tap the letter key.
Turn Caps Lock on or off
Double-tap either Up Arrow (Shift) key.
Type a period
Double-tap the spacebar.
Show the numeric keypad from the standard keyboard
Tap the &123 button.
Quickly type a number from the standard keyboard
Tap and hold a key in the top row, then slide to the number.
Type a character with a diacritical mark, like è
Tap and hold the letter the mark applies to, then slide to the character you want.
Type special characters like ® or ©
Tap the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and tap the !? icon in the bottom row. (For the symbols you use most, tap the heart icon.)
Find emoticons or other fun symbols
Tap the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and tap the icon in the bottom row. (For the symbols you use most, tap the heart icon.)

Change the touch keyboard settings

You can change typing settings in PC settings. 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 click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings > PC and devices.
Step 3: Tap or click Typing, and tap or click to turn the settings you want to change to On or Off.
Note
The Play key sounds as I type setting under Touch keyboard applies to both the touch keyboard and the Surface Touch Cover.

Hide the keyboard

To hide the touch keyboard:

  • Tap the Keyboard key in the lower-right corner and tap hide keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon.
  • If you're in a built-in app or an app you installed from the Windows Store, tap an area where text can’t be typed.
  • If you're in a desktop app, tap the X in the frame of the keyboard.

How to use the Surface touch keyboard

Surface has an on-screen touch keyboard that appears when you need it.


Note
This article describes the touch keyboard. There’s also an on-screen keyboard, which is an Ease of Access tool. For more info, see Use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) to type.

Display the touch keyboard

When you want to type using the touch keyboard, fold back the Surface Typing Cover or remove it. Next, tap in a text field or other area where you can type. The keyboard appears automatically.

You can also open the touch keyboard manually:

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 click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Keyboard.
If you have more than one language or keyboard layout set up on your Surface, you may see an abbreviation of the keyboard currently in use instead of the word Keyboard.
Step 3: Tap or click Touch keyboard and handwriting panel.
Note
The touch keyboard doesn’t appear automatically if you’re using a desktop app. Instead, you need to tap or click keyboard Icon for on-screen keyboard in the taskbar.

Split keyboard and handwriting options

The basic touch keyboard lets you type text easily. You can also use these touch keyboard options:

  • The split keyboard Icon for split-screen typing makes it easy to type with your thumbs while you hold your Surface in two hands. It also has a numeric keypad in the center of the screen when you’re in landscape mode.
  • The handwriting Icon for on-screen handwriting option lets you write with a Surface pen, a capacitive stylus, or just your finger.

To switch between keyboard options, tap the key in the lower right corner of the touch keyboard and tap the icon for the keyboard you want to use.

Icons for changing the on-screen keyboard

Touch keyboard tips

To
Do this
Use text suggestions
Swipe left or right across the spacebar to select a word, and tap the spacebar to select the suggestion you want.
Use keyboard shortcuts that start with the CTRL key, like CTRL+C or CTRL+V
Tap CTRL and tap the letter key.
Turn Caps Lock on or off
Double-tap either Up Arrow (Shift) key.
Type a period
Double-tap the spacebar.
Show the numeric keypad from the standard keyboard
Tap the &123 button.
Quickly type a number from the standard keyboard
Tap and hold a key in the top row, then slide to the number.
Type a character with a diacritical mark, like è
Tap and hold the letter the mark applies to, then slide to the character you want.
Type special characters like ® or ©
Tap the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and tap the !? icon in the bottom row. (For the symbols you use most, tap the heart icon.)
Find emoticons or other fun symbols
Tap the smiley face Key for symbols and special characters and tap the icon in the bottom row. (For the symbols you use most, tap the heart icon.)

Change the touch keyboard settings

You can change typing settings in PC settings. 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 click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings > PC and devices.
Step 3: Tap or click Typing and tap or click to turn the settings you want to change to On or Off.
Note
The Play key sounds as I type setting under Touch keyboard applies to both the touch keyboard and the Surface Touch Cover.

Hide the keyboard

To hide the touch keyboard:

  • Tap the Keyboard key in the lower-right corner, and tap hide keyboard Close on-screen keyboard icon.
  • If you're in a built-in app or an app you installed from the Windows Store, tap an area where text can’t be typed.
  • If you're in a desktop app, tap the X in the frame of the keyboard.