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Advanced Instructions for Surface Handwriting Keyboard


New Member
Hi all,

I was wondering if someone can please point me in the right direction. I have been searching for the last week trying to find detailed information on the use of the Surface Handwriting keyboard and I'm only going around in circles:

I have found plenty of online tips as to it's very basic use (how to train to recognise your own handwriting in settings, and what the space and enter buttons do, or how to use emoji's which really is mostly self evident anyway) - but I have struggled to find more indepth information.

For instance - by almost accident I discovered that you can remove a word that you write by crossing it out from right to left. (I tried this as I'm from the old PALM OS days and it worked!).

Yet I haven't come across a single youtube video or website in my searches that even mentioned this as a feature. If it wasn't for my palm os experience - I wouldn't have even known this was available!

I can't help but think that there must be other more advanced options for correcting or using the handwriting keyboard if I've discovered this by accident, such as a gesture for a carriage return, tabs, etc - but either my google fu is week, or there's too many 'basic information' websites out there for me to find something that's helpful. (Find the signal among the noise so to speak)

Does anyone know of any good links, video's or resources that have in depth information as to the majority of functions / gestures that are available for the Surface Handwriting Keyboard?

Thanks in advance!



Super Moderator
Staff member
Hey, @adz,

It seems you would be the man for the job.

How about putting together a list of tips you have compiled. Put them in your own words, and add your own observations. We will post it here in the forum ias a "HowTo" tutorial, and users can add to it with their posts.

The staff here are all volunteers, using our various experiences in numerous computer platforms and environments to support Surface enthusiasts. How about contributing an item certain to be popular to the community? :)


New Member
Hi Sharpuser,

I'd love to write up a compilation of more advanced stuff - if I had the information - but I don't know where to find out more information about the advanced features / functions / gestures to learn first? I've been looking for a solid week so far - and haven't even found a single entry about the backspace gesture that I fluked let alone other options.

Hence my post. :)




New Member
Hi Sharpuser,

Thanks again for your reply, but I think you've misunderstood my initial request. I've already figured out how to backspace (be it accidentally). :)

I'm wanting to know where Microsoft publishes information about these gestures? Or if anyone else has? I'm guessing that there's more gesture besides these ones.

ie: Are there pen gestures for:
- Carriage return?
- Word seperation? (Add in a space between two letters)?
- Insert a Tab space?

I can't seem to find any information on any of this anywhere.

Thanks & Regards



Super Moderator
Staff member
I posted this note using the handwriting panel:

- Carriage return is at the bottom right of the panel.
- L e t t e r s e p a r a t i o n was accomplished by tapping the ellipsis (...) and choosing the shape just to the right of the emoticon smile.
- Tab is done by tapping the ellipsis (...) then &123 then Tab.


Staff member
The list of advanced gestures are in the legacy control panel under Pen and Touch - Flicks

You can customize this flicks as well



You can find video demo's of the windows keyboard handwriting panel in the native "Windows Tips" app. The videos in the app are in the section windows>handwriting gestures. I believe a line down and left, signifying "enter" is coming to the handwriting panel. I know that for the fall creators update, the keyboard recently got an update that improved the editing of handwritten words in the panel. I can't vind the article in question. When I do I'll post it.

It's amazing that there are not more YouTube videos demoing the gestures. Even searching the web was disappointing. Quite shocked really. But collaboration helps;)
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New Member
Thank you all for your help. From what it seems, there are limited gestures available with the pen in the handwriting panel, which appear to be limited to only:

Delete: (Cross out the letter or word by drawing a line from right to left which was the one I discovered)

Join: (Create an arc between two words)

Split: Draw a single large line from top to bottom of the panel between two letters

Fix a letter: Draw over the top of the existing letter again.

(These 4 were sourced from the Windows Tips apps - Thanks Wevenhuis).

It's nice to know I'm not the only one disappointed by the web search results. The tips above are limited in nature, but I now know 3 more than I was originally aware of.

I'm glad to hear that they are considering a carriage return in the future release. (as I find having to click the tick, and then the carriage return interrupts the flow of handwriting compared to what I used to be able to do on my Palm pilot).

Thanks again all for taking the time to respond.
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