What are the best apps to use with a Surface Pen?

The Surface Pen is a mighty tool that lets you get more done on your Surface tablet. To really maximize the Surface Pen's ability, there are some essential apps you should check out. From note-taking to form-filling to coloring, here are the best apps to grab if you love using your Surface Pen.

See at Microsoft Store



Sketchable is a drawing, sketching, and painting app that has been designed with the Surface and its pen in mind. The user interface is constantly being tweaked by the developers to make it easier to use, and any problems are noted and taken into consideration for fixing.

Not only can you use Sketchable for notes or to work on existing images and artwork, you can also use it to create an entirely new work of art thanks to its wide array of tools. If you have even a bit of creativity in you, this app will be hard to put down.

Download Sketchable at Microsoft Store



Microsoft's own note-taking app syncs across all your devices — but it really shines when you add the Surface Pen. Take notes on blank or grid backgrounds, highlight text or draw pictures using various tools, then easily sync with OneDrive to keep your notes with you wherever you go.

OneNote lends itself well to group projects (as do all Microsoft Office apps) thanks to the ability to work together on the same files at the same time.

Download OneNote at Microsoft Store



This amazing PDF reader and editor is completely free, which is frankly surprising considering what you're getting here. Just open a PDF file and you're given free reign over what you can do. Write all over it, highlight the important bits, and save it as a new file. This is especially useful for quickly filling out those annoying forms that you usually have to type information into.

Toss in a dark mode for easy reading, a printing function that works straight from the app, and multiplatform support so you can use it on your Windows phone, and you have one of the top PDF apps out there to use with your Surface Pen.

Download Xodo at Microsoft Store

Bamboo Paper

Bamboo paper

The first time you touch your Surface Pen to the screen with Bamboo Paper open, you'll wonder just how they made it seem so much like real paper. Take notes using the six writing tools, add pictures to your pages and write over them, and share your ideas with others using Bamboo Paper on other platforms.

Choose from lined paper for notes, blank paper for drawings, or grid paper for math and notes — this is a great multipurpose app with a superior virtual ink experience.

Download Bamboo Paper at Microsoft Store



Nebo is a note-taking app that was designed specifically for Windows 10 and the Surface Pen, and this is evident as soon as you start using it. Mathematicians will love the ability to create interactive equations and diagrams, and you neat-freaks out there can set clear titles, well-spaced paragraphs, and bullet lists to keep everything nice and tidy.

For easy access to all your notes no matter where you are, Nebo documents can be opened and viewed in your favorite internet browser, your email app, or Microsoft Word.

Download Nebo at Microsoft Store

Zen: Coloring book for adults


If you just scoffed at the idea of coloring books for adults, please give this a try before scoffing continues. The free version of the app has a relatively large selection of images to transform, and if you decide to pony up for the full version, you'll have an almost limitless selection of coloring options.

Powerful coloring tools and all the colors in the rainbow, combined with the Surface Pen's accuracy, will have you relaxed in no time. Seriously — give it a try.

Download Zen at Microsoft Store



Snip is an incredibly useful tool that takes full advantage of your Surface Pen to easily share ideas. The execution is simple: drag a box around the part of a screen you want to capture, write all over the snipped screenshot, then send it to someone else as an image, a URL, or a video containing the entire drawing process.

Snip is still a Microsoft Garage project, but that doesn't mean it isn't already a powerful tool. Try it today and see just how easy it is to get your point across.

See Snip at Microsoft Garage

Surface Pen tip kit

Tip Kit

If you aren't satisfied with the tip that comes on the Surface Pen, you can always pick up the tip kit that gives you four extra drawing options. Feel like you're using a #2 pencil, a ballpoint pen, or a marker with these easily interchangeable options.

See at Microsoft Store

Your favorite Surface Pen app

Do you have an app that you just can't live without when it comes to using your Surface Pen? Let us know in the comments section!