Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Windows 8.1.


Using the Pro Pen

Learn how to use Pro Pen, the digital pen you use to write and draw on the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 touchscreen.


You can use the Pro Pen to:

  • Draw and take notes in apps.
  • Mark up Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat documents.
  • Get artistic and draw something in Fresh Paint, a drawing app available in the Windows Store.
  • Use the pen like a mouse. Switch seamlessly between touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard.
Pro Pen
Surface Pro 3 comes with its own pen called Surface Pen. Pro Pen and Surface Pen have different features, and aren’t interchangeable. For more info, see Using Surface Pen.

Pro Pen features

Pen tip: Pressure-sensitive tip for drawing. In apps that support pen pressure, applying pressure thickens the line.

Pen button: Gives you quick access to right-click menus. Press and hold the button, touch the screen with the pen tip, then release the pen button. You can also press and hold the pen tip on the screen to bring up the right-click menu.

Eraser: Functions just like a pencil eraser, removing your pen strokes from the touchscreen.

Flicks: Flicks are quick pen strokes that you can use to navigate and perform shortcuts on your Surface. You can customize flicks to do what you want.

Take notes in your own handwriting

Download the free OneNote app in the Windows Store and you can take notes using the Pro pen. Store your notes in the cloud so you have them when and where you need them—on your computer, phone, or the web. For more info, see Using OneNote on Surface.

Tip

Don’t worry about resting your hand on the screen. Palm-blocking technology lets you write comfortably; it ignores pressure from direct contact with your hand.

Use the on-screen keyboard/handwriting panel

You can use the on-screen keyboard for both pen and touch input on your Surface. The keyboard will appear automatically whenever it can be used. If it doesn’t, tap or click the keyboard icon in the lower right corner of the screen. If you don’t see the keyboard icon, you can open the keyboard like this:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 2: Tap or click Keyboard.
Step 3: Tap or click Touch keyboard and handwriting panel.

Use the keyboard icon in the lower right corner of the keyboard to switch between keyboard layouts, to switch between touch and pen input, and to put the keyboard away. For more information, see How to use the on-screen keyboard.

Handwritten note in OneNote app

Convert your handwriting to text

Step 1: Tap or click the keyboard icon in the lower-right corner of the on-screen keyboard, and then tap or click the image that has a pen.
Step 2: Write something on the handwriting panel. Your words are automatically converted to text.
Step 3: 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.

On-screen keyboard handwriting panel

Learn about flicks

Flicks are quick pen strokes you can use to navigate on your Surface. You can practice using flicks and customize flicks to work the way you want.

Pen flicks do things like scroll up, scroll down, move forward, and move back. If you’re not familiar with flicks, you can get to know them by using the flicks training. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter pen, and in the search results, tap or click Pen and Touch.
The Pen and Touch control panel displays.
Step 3: Tap or click the Flicks tab, and then tap or click Practice using flick at the bottom of the window.

Change pen settings

You can change pen settings, such as the double-tap speed, flick functions, and touch actions, in the Pen and Touch control panel. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter pen, and in the search results, tap or click Pen and Touch.
The Pen and Touch control panel displays.
Step 3: Change the settings on the Pen Options, Flicks, and Touch tabs.

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 then tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then 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, then tap or click Apply, and then tap or click OK.

Store the pen

When you are not charging your Surface Pro, you can attach the pen to the charging port.