How to use your Surface Pen

Applies to: Surface Devices

Here’s how to set it up and use it.

Surface Pen diagrams

Surface Pen with no clip


1 Top button
2 LED light
3 Right-click button
4 Tip


Surface Pen with single button on flat edge


1 Top button
2 LED light
3 Cap
4 Clip
5 Magnet
6 Right-click button
7 Tip


Surface Pen with two side buttons


1 Top button
2 Right-click button
3 Eraser button
4 Tip


Pair Surface Pen with your Surface

Surface Pen uses Bluetooth to pair with your Surface. To make sure it’s discoverable, press and hold the top button on the pen for 5-7 seconds, then let the button go. You’ll see a light on the flat side of the pen when it’s ready.


Try out buttons and features

Once your pen is paired, here are some things to try.

Magnet Use the magnet on the flat side of the pen to attach your Surface Pen to the side of your Surface when you’re done using it.
Top button

The top button does different things depending on how, and how many times, you press the button. See Press the top button for more info.

To erase, flip the pen over and use the top as an eraser.

Right-click button

The end of the raised area on the flat side of the pen works as a right-click button in most apps.

To right click, hold the button down as you tap the screen with the pen. (In some apps, the right-click button might work differently.)


Press the top button

Press to open Windows Ink Workspace

When you press the top button once, Windows Ink Workspace will open. It’s the perfect place to get started with your pen: jot down a reminder in Sticky Notes, draw a picture in Sketchpad, or doodle on a webpage, picture, or app using Screen sketch.

Press and hold to open Sticky Notes

When you press and hold the top button, Sticky Notes will open. Jot down reminders, doodle away, or note your next big idea.

Double-click to open Screen sketch

When you double-click, screen sketch will open. Draw on whatever you're doing on your PC at that moment, or resume a previous screen sketch. All sketchpad tools are here, from Stencils to line width to sharing and exporting.

To change what the top button does when you press it, see Change pen settings.


Write and draw

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 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 inking doesn’t work in your app, you can use your Surface Pen to enter text by using the handwriting panel in the touch keyboard.

  1. Select Keyboard   in the lower-right corner of your Surface screen.

  2. On the touch keyboard, select Keyboard  > Handwriting 

    Icon for on-screen handwriting

  3. Write something in the handwriting panel. Your Surface will convert your words to text automatically.

For more info, see How to use the Surface touch keyboard.


Use Surface Pen with apps

Surface Pen works seamlessly with apps designed for creative tasks like Adobe Photoshop Elements, Sketchable, Drawboard PDF, and Staffpad. For a list of recommended apps that you can use with your Surface pen, go to Apps for Windows Ink.

Try it with Surface Dial

For the full creative experience, use Surface Pen and Surface Dial together. With Surface Pen in one hand and Surface Dial in the other, you’ll have easy access to shortcuts, controls, drawing tools, and more while you sketch.


Customize your Surface Pen

Change pen settings

See how to change the pen’s shortcuts, pick which hand you write with, and more

Adjust pressure sensitivity

Use the Surface app to set the pressure sensitivity to suit your writing style. The Surface app is free from the Microsoft Store. For more info, see Install and use the Surface app.

Change pen tips to get the experience you want

For the Surface Pen with no clip and the Surface Pen with a single long button on a flat edge, you can get a pen tip kit at a Microsoft Store or online . Pen tip kits are different for each pen; make sure you get a kit that matches your Surface Pen model.

For the Surface Pen with two side buttons, you can order tips from Device service and repair. To order pen tips, your Surface needs to be registered, and you have to sign in with your Microsoft account.


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