7 mins read

10 Best Surface Pen Apps for Windows

Surface Pen is a handy tool that lets you do cool things on your Surface PC. You can use it as a mouse and keyboard. By default, your stylus will act as a mouse.

As one of Microsoft’s latest features, the Surface Pen adds a layer of productivity that you don’t have on a traditional desktop or laptop.

Who benefits from using surface pens?

  • Architects, designers and other creative industries use it for drawing and sketching.
  • Builders and engineers used to walk around with a pen or pencil behind their ear.
  • Office professionals, salespeople, entrepreneurs.
  • Basically everyone.

There are several features built into the tool, including:

  • Signing of documents.
  • Take notes.
  • Fill out forms.
  • Write on PowerPoint slides.

However, there is much more you can do with it. To add functionality to your stylus, third-party developers have created innovative applications.

To make the most of what your Surface Pen can do for you, check out the following free Surface Pen apps:

  • Plumbago
  • Autodesk SketchBook
  • Bamboo Paper
  • Paint 3D
  • CollaBoard
  • Fresh Paint
  • Index Cards
  • Journalist
  • Xodus
  • Zen


Plumbago is a surface digital notebook pen app that lets you use creative calligraphy styles, add annotated images, and organize your notebook.

With Plumbago, you can:

  • Use elegant color palettes, useful papers and realistic inks.
  • Enhance your designs with calligraphy.
  • Easily navigate through all the pages of your notebook.
  • Adjust the smoothness level of your writing.
  • Highlight, annotate and track image files.
  • Save a page as an image.
  • Create notebooks in portrait orientation.
  • Save your notebook as a PDF file to import into other apps, archive, or share with others.
  • Sync your laptops across devices and save them to the cloud.

Autodesk SketchBook

Autodesk SketchBook is a sketching and sketching application with a large selection of tools, surfaces, and brushes that anyone can use.

Creatives use sketching to develop an idea. With Autodesk SketchBook, you can use powerful tools to turn a concept into a fully finished illustration.

Designed for designers and graphic artists, Autodesk Sketchbook is a professional-grade drawing program. Graphics professionals will have greater control over their art projects.

Bamboo Paper

Turn your device into a paper notebook with Bambú Paper. Draw, sketch and take notes anywhere, anytime with this app.

Some of the additional benefits of bamboo paper are:

  • Express your creativity to define any color and create a custom color palette from 36 color samples.
  • Place more notes on one page and write or draw a thin line with the zoom function.
  • Add photos or images to your page and write on it.
  • Express yourself naturally with the tilt function that detects the angle of the pen.

paint 3d

Bring your ideas to life and unleash your creativity with the Paint 3d Surface Pen app. Produce and build 3D objects with your pencil instead of flat 2D illustrations.

Even if you’re not a designer or artist, you can have fun trying out some features like:

  • Draw a 3D doodle drawing.
  • Using Magic Select to create cutouts of your favorite photos.
  • Select lighting options, filters, and realistic textures like soft grass and hardwood for your creation.


CollaBoard is a digital whiteboard application where users can transform the way they work by bringing real-time functionality to any Windows device.

Some of the functions you can perform with CollaBoard are:

  • Hold virtual meetings.
  • Organization of teamwork and digital workshops.
  • Coordinate projects with remote people anywhere, anytime on any Windows 10 device.
  • Use of models such as Design Thinking, Mind Mapping and Business Model Canvas.

Fresh Paint

If you want to explore the drawing features in Windows 10, Fresh Paint is a Surface Pen app that will guide you through the process.

Turn your photos into stunning paintings, create original works of art, or use an activity pack to get started quickly. Create anything with Fresh Paint features, including:

  • Paint or draw with pen, watercolor, pencil, oil or pastel.
  • Use your camera or import photos and images to paint.
  • Instantly dry your paint on the canvas by clicking the fan button.
  • Easily fix mistakes with the Undo button or Eraser tool.

Index Cards

Get organized with double-sided index cards. Create an unlimited number of cards that can be marked with your pen.

There is a zoom feature that allows you to include a lot of information on each map.

Take ink notes and organize them into stacks as you would regular index cards. If you want advanced business features like group folders, random maps, or improved navigation, you can try the update for a 14-day free trial.

The upgrade has a one-time lifetime cost of $19.99.


Chronicle your writing experiences with Journalist. Use a free-form canvas with multiple paper options, rulers, and two-dimensional shapes for digital journaling.

Take advantage of some of the solid features, such as:

  • Drag and drop files onto journal pages.
  • Copy, cut and paste elements onto your pages.
  • Export your magazine in different formats such as HTML pages, videos or images.
  • Create vertical or horizontal parallax scrolling pages.
  • Use the isometric drawing tool to create 3D drawings.
  • Share many different content formats from other apps, including .png, .mp4, HTML, and .gif.


Edit, view and annotate PDF files in Xodo’s PDF Reader. Easily fill out forms, highlight anything, write to any PDF file and save it as a new file.

Some of the other features of Xodo include:

  • Cut out the pages.
  • Bookmark pages for future use.
  • Read PDF files in dark environments with the night mode feature.
  • Adjust the view to thumbnails, one or two pages, or continuous scrolling.
  • Search for text, zoom to high levels, and rotate pages.


Escape the real world, leave your worries behind and relax with zen: a digital coloring book for adults.

  • Create beautiful works of art without having to buy art supplies.
  • Choose from custom colors, different designs, textures and mix options.
  • Print, save and share your work on social media.

Zen is a free Surface Pen app, but you can purchase additional books if you want access to more projects.

Try using some of the apps suggested above. Which ones are best for you will depend on your specific needs. From filling out forms to taking notes, using apps will get the most out of your Surface Pen.

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