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Surface Pen
best surface pen alternative
The Best "How to" guide in the known universe (and beyond)

Use this List to navigate these Awesome quick tutorials

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 the Surface App by clicking “Win” and type Surface App – if it is not installed, please install

Click the Pen Icon and click the pencil icon (centered between the pen and erase icons)

if using the Surface Pen adjust the pressure from 7 down to 3 (or to your liking)

test the stylus in the drawing box

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Single tap the pen tip to place the cursor

Double tap the pen tip to select a single word

Triple tap the pen tip to select a block of text (like “select all”)

To select only specific text, press and hold the right click side button on the pen and drag over the text you want to select. 

Release – you should have immediate access to the right click menu and the “copy” command! 

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The eraser on the Surface Pen can be used to erase ink in a number of programs. But did you know it also works to subtract 3D material in Zbrush and Blender? Turn the pen around and use the butt of the pen to subtract material to your hearts content. If you have a 2 button pen, you can use the eraser button on the side of the pen to do the same thing!

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To turn off the annoying right click circle of doom (Hold for right click) navigate to the “Control Panel”. This can be done by pressing the Win key, then start typing “control panel”.  Click “Hardware and Sound”, “Pen and Touch”, and then select “press and hold”. Choose “settings” and disable hold for right click. Apply 

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Open OneNote UWP (the store app, not the desktop 2016 version) and select a pencil in the draw mode. Make sure the pencil thickness is at least 2 or higher. try drawing with the pen tilted. Is the line thicker? Congratulations! Your pen has tilt!

Adding more content to the site soon! Stay tuned and come back again soon.

Surface Pen Course Coming

Keep coming back

We will continue to add new content here to make this the top guide on the internet for how to use your stylus and tablet. We are glad you are here! Feel free to check out our current tools for artists and note takers – the Artist Pad and Pen Tools. 

Advanced Pen Software to Unlock New Features

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install and welcome guide

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At the moment the Surface Pro 7, Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro X are not fully compatible with the Pen Tool

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How do the Surface Pen and alternatives function differently? What are the limitations and benefits

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The buttons don’t have the same properties. Some features don’t work on both buttons. What are the differences? 

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Use the side button to click location that doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut attached to it. You can even toggle between two locations like a pencil and eraser

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Do a quick screen grab with the side button and have the next side button press send the “paste” command. Really useful for fast mock ups or note taking

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Pick colors the fastest way with the hover color picker. You can pick colors while the pen is hovering

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Automatically switch what the pen does based off what program is running. You can also auto switch the Tablet Pro Artist Pad or Tablet Pro mode based off active program






Z, K, F, V, M, A


Ctrl + Z, Shift + A, Alt + Space


Sliders, Navigation, Brush Resize


Touch Keyboard, Touch Numpad


The included presets for Zbrush and Blender provide a template using the drag frame, or drag location frames. This is the best way to nagivate in 3D currently. The Pen Tool is designed to help with navigation in 3D programs as well and coupled with a 2 button stylus is a solid, very usable solution (where the eraser button works to sub material) and alt can be mapped to the right click button on the side of the stylus. Please watch these videos if you have questions about 3D navigation. ZbrushBlender

For Tablet Pro to work with a program in the most familiar way (like a keyboard) the program must use Microsoft’s newer touch api. The newer touch api has been around for a number of years now, and many of the newer programs have adopted it. Krita, Sai V2, Clip Studio, and Leonardo are a few examples. Some Programs like Zbrush and Photoshop that have been around for 20+ years are still using the older api. This means to navigate in those programs you will need to use toggles or drag frames. The recommended option example is a “blank button, + alt +1 sec”. Tap the button then quickly start using the pen within 1 second. This works well for color picking and quick navigational movements in 3D. However, ideally, if your program doesn’t support SPT (simultaneous pen and touch), use of the Pen Tool is recommended. Assign the modifier to the side button (rbutton). The included presets in Tablet Pro have this behavior pre setup. Navigation on a drag frame is done with just touch while the pen is hovering and the touch movement performs the action. For more information on this please watch our SPT (simultaneous pen and touch) video on YouTube. 

The purchase for Tablet Pro desktop is done using the Layout Editor in the Microsoft Store. The purchase includes a license for up to 10 machines using the same Microsoft account and can be used concurrently.

During the Covid pandemic, shipping times have lengthened. While they have sped up dramatically, there is occasionally a longer delay while the package is being shipped overseas. This is typical at this time. The package will show NY or LA as the last location. If the delay becomes too long, please contact support and I will refund the cost of the purchase until it arrives and you can repurchase it at that time. Our delivery success rate is very high, but there can be delays. Thank you for your patience during this time. 

I provide a full replacement guarantee for the stylus from the date it is delivered for 90 days and often longer. I will ship out a new stylus, expedited if there is a problem, and you will not be charged extra. 

Currently the Pen Tool does not have full compatibility with the Surface Pro 7, Pro X, or Book 3. We are working on this with Microsoft and hope to have a solution in the next month. Currently, eraser remapping, Tablet Pro preset switching, and the keyboard shortcuts for Hex color picker, Location picker, and Window identifier all work with these devices. Please place the Pen Tool into compatibility mode by selecting the toggle “power button deactivates only the pen functionalities”

The R520 (Renaisser Raphael 520 stylus) is a Windows Ink / Ntrig / Surface Pen alternative stylus. This means that it will work on ALL devices that support the Surface Pen. Please keep in mind that wacom based devices will not work with this stylus. Please check with your manufacturer of your device to see if the Surface Pen will work on it. We do NOT recommend the R520 stylus on devices that don’t support Microsoft’s 2.0 Pen Protocol that includes support for tilt data. That means that devices like the Surface Pro 3 may not work well with the R520 stylus. 

Satisfaction GUaranteed

We guarantee every purchase with an unconditional money back guarantee and licensed usage on up to 10 devices*

*devices must share the same Microsoft account

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Justice Frangipane

Tablet Pro Team

Improving our Creative Journey

I’ll be introducing new tools and software to help improve digital ink, art and note taking for creative people. If you want to be a part of that journey with me, please add your email now.