Windows Ink: How to use Sketch pad

Sketch pad is a new feature available in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, part of the new Windows Ink Workspace feature-set. It allows tablet users to doodle, take notes and more directly on their tablets in a dedicated inking environment, equipped with virtual rulers, pen-types and more. Here's how to use it.

How to open Sketch pad

  1. Tap the Pen icon on the taskbar to open the Ink Workspace.

  1. Tap the "Sketch pad" feature when Ink Workspace is open. It will be the second block in the list. You'll be greeted with a white canvas.

How to change pen type

  1. Navigate to top right of screen where pen bar is.
  2. Select either of the first three icons located on left of the bar. These icons look like different variations of a pen.

Screen sketch pens

The first three icons are different kinds of pen-types. You have the option of the following:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Highlighter

How to change color and size of selected pen

  1. Tap the icon of the pen you have selected.
  2. Choose color from dropdown menu.

Pen colours

  1. Slide "size" slider to the left to decrease the size of the pen ink and to the right to increase.

How to use the eraser

  1. Navigate to the pen bar at the top right of the screen.
  2. Select the eraser icon. This icon looks like an eraser erasing a line.

Pen eraser

  1. Drag the pen tip of your sketch to erase that potion.Tapping the eraser icon a second time will erase all ink on the screen.

How to use the virtual ruler

The Sketch pad features a new virtual ruler that makes drawing straight lines super easy on a touch screen. Here's how to use it.

  1. Navigate to the pen bar at the top right of the screen
  2. Select the ruler icon. This looks like a diagonal ruler.

Screen sketch ruler

  1. Use two fingers or mouse scroll wheel to rotate and position the ruler.
  2. Select your pen.
  3. Draw a line down side of ruler. The line will automatically snap to the ruler.

How to switch between pen input and touch input

  1. Navigate to the pen bar at the top right of the screen.

Pen bar

  1. Select **input switch button* to switch between pen and touch input. It looks like a hand pointing up.

How to undo and redo Ink strokes

  1. Navigate to the pen bar at the top right of the screen.

Pen undo and redo

  1. Select the undo button to undo the last action. It looks like an arrow icon looping back to the left.
  2. Select the redo button to undo the last undo. It looks like an arrow icon looping to the right.

How to crop your sketch

  1. Navigate to the pen bar.
  2. Select the crop button, which looks like two right angles overlapping each other with a line going diagonally through them.

Pen bar crop tool

  1. Position the crop area by dragging the white circles at each corner to resize the highlighted area.

Cropping tool

  1. Select the check button at the top right of the screen to apply the crop.Select the cancel button to cancel the cropping. The pen bar will return to its full toolset.

How to delete, save, copy and share your sketch

  1. Navigate to the pen bar
    • To save, tap the save button. This icon looks like a floppy disk.
    • To delete, tap the trash button. This icon looks like a trashcan.
    • To copy, tap the copy button. It looks like two rectangles (i.e. copying paper)
    • To share, tap the share button. This icon is a circle with three smaller circles on it.

Save and delete

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Would be even better if you could reopen saved sketches
  • Yes. Also, would be great if it actually worked the way described in this article. It never opens to a new blank page. It only opens the last sketch you were working on. If you want to start a new sketch you have to delete the old one. Very dumb.
  • I was able to save to Screenshots (the default), reopen and continue drawing on the Surface Pro 4. 
  • INK needs a lot of work! You cant edit an old drawing. you can only do one drawing at a time. A good idea for use with a SURFACE, but its so limiting its unusable.
  • Love the sketchpad. I have just begun to use it on devices even without a pen. Really hope Windows Ink Workspace makes its way to mobile. Such an awesome feature.
  • Yes, big question: When on mobile? Totally like it to doodle on homepages, pictures etc. Would also be fun in skype!
  • WE NEED THIS ON MOBILE !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I wish they added the ink features to OneNote. It is a much more flexible program. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Having the ink features just in OneNote only benefits OneNote. Having it available as an OS tool makes it available for use anywhere. In fact, now that it's there, any app can offer inking capabilities, as recently demonstrated in the Maps app... the distance measuring tool is *awesome*, by the way. That said, I'm sure that now that the API is in there, the Office apps will be implementing enhanced integration soon enough. You may want to jump into the Office Insider program too so you can provide feedback on this.
  • Jessicator is an awesome screen name!
  • Wow, thanks for pointing that out. I didn't know we could measure distance !! And inking in maps is nice ! :)
  • Sorry to be that guy, but could you share that desktop background? ^^
  • Yeah. I want it too
  • I have it...i can share it with you
  • If you could upload it to OneDrive/Google Drive/Dropbox/whatever and post a link here that would be great!
  • Great, thanks a lot! :)
  • link doesnt work for me. can you share it again please?
  • I just want an option to change a background color. eg. from white background to black one. Other than that I love to use sketchpad.
  • I need some way to use text, too.
  • I need that desktop background. I really like it
  • I wish it could close like a regular app and we can switch between sketch-pad and other apps. 
  • Thanks!
  • What is the background in the image above? I want it. :D Thanks!
  • Read above posts. There is a link.
  • Could one make a kiosk mode and use Ink appx as the single app kiosk?