Taking notes with Surface Pro

So I have my storage under control; Next up for me is to be able to take this thing on the road and take notes with it.  I do have a Wacom Bamboo hooked up to my Windows 8 desktop so am a bit familiar with the pen input in Windows.  The pen included with Surface Pro uses Wacom technology (I have read, but believe it). It is more fluid than any (ink) pen I have ever used.

Let’s say we left our touch cover at home, or don’t have one for that matter and use the Surface Pro as a Tablet. I’m in a meeting and want to take notes that I can edit later (non image type scribble).

  • Holding the Surface like a book slide your right thumb inward (left) to open the Charms menu
  • Tap Settings


  • Tap Keyboard


  • Tap Touch keyboard and Handwriting panel.  This opens the on-screen keyboard.


If the application that you want to take notes in is not pinned to the start menu; find it.

Remember this: If you just start typing on the Start screen the Search screen opens.  This is very handy. This screen will get you anywhere in a flash. Below I just started typing Note… and Notepad showed up.


Whether or not you tap a pinned app or found one as above, more times than not the app will open in desktop mode. If the application does switch to desktop mode the on-screen keyboard will disappear. So we open the on-screen keyboard again, this time we will set it to handwriting mode:

  • As above open the on-screen keyboard (Charms menu: Settings > Keyboard > Touch keyboard and Handwriting panel)
  • On the bottom right of the keyboard tap the keyboard icon
  • Tap on the Pen icon to open the handwriting Panel


Scribble away between the lines.  If you make a mistake or the panel doesn’t catch a word properly; strike through the word to remove it. Once the panel is the way you want it…tap enter to place the text into your document.  I scribbled in script and the panel understood what I wrote, the recognition works really well.



3 thoughts on “Taking notes with Surface Pro

    1. I have tried it briefly wit OneNote, I wish I was better in OneNote as it is great to create lists and sharing them across all my devices via SkyDrive. I can say it is really easy to switch between text and drawing in OneNote. So we can doodle rough sketches right on the notebook pages. I put Office 2010 on this one so I am missing the cool radial menu that OneNote 2013 (included with Surface RT) has.

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