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Microsoft Surface Pen is a must to have for all Microsoft Surface owners. Here are some of the best apps to get the most out of your pen.

The Surface Pen is an incredible stylus for the Surface range of laptops and tablets. To really maximize the Surface Pen's ability, there are some essential apps you should check out. Here we list some of the best applications for the surface pen that you can use to get the most from your Microsoft stylus and Surface Laptop / Book.

Windows Ink Workspace

Windows Ink Workspace

Windows Ink Workspace

Windows Ink Workspace is built into the latest Windows 10 builds. It gives you three applications - Sticky Notes, Sketchpad and Screen sketch. Sticky Notes are a handy way to quickly jot down something that you want to remember without the need to grab a physical sticky note. The sketchpad for those who like to draw or want a blank canvas to get creative or to scratch out a few thoughts. Screen Sketch lets you grab a screenshot, with the added ability to mark things up.

 Windows Ink Workspace

Plumbago

Plumbago, a Microsoft Garage Project

Plumbago, a Microsoft Garage Project

Plumbago reimagines the notebook! Plumbago is a digital notebook with handwriting smoothing, realistic ink, and paper, and more. Plumbago also allows you to create cool calligraphy styles, organise your notebook, add pictures and annotate them and more!

 Plumbago

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

Photo editing and graphic design are two skills where having a pen can really make a difference. It gives you a more precise method for making edits or providing a more personalized experience. The Creative Cloud is the golden pinnacle of the Adobe suite, offering PhotoShop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and other pieces of professional software for creatives.

 Adobe Creative Cloud

Zen: Coloring Book for Adults

Zen: Coloring book for adults

Zen: Coloring book for adults

If you just scoffed at the idea of colouring books for adults, please give this a try before the 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 colouring options.

 Zen: Coloring Book for Adults

StaffPad

StaffPad

StaffPad

Musicians out there, take notice: StaffPad is an app designed for Surface that makes it incredibly easy to annotate music. As you handwrite your music, it's automatically and precisely converted into an engraved score. Once you finish writing, let StaffPad play back your creation with its full orchestra of instruments.

 StaffPad

Collaboard

CollaBoard

CollaBoard

CollaBoard is a digital whiteboard that brings real-time capabilities to your large touchscreen and on any Windows 10 device to digitally transform your way of working.

With CollaBoard you can work on the same project with remote people at the same time anywhere, anytime and on any Windows 10 device, hold virtual meetings (including Skype for Business) and organize creative and digital workshops

 Collaboard

Fresh Paint

Fresh Paint

Fresh Paint

Microsoft’s Fresh Paint is a rather easy-to-use application for someone who wants to explore the drawing capabilities in Windows 10. The app will even hold your hand through the process, giving you a half-finished canvas and close-ups of the final version. Fresh Paint will also pull from Bing’s considerable image bank or give you a blank slate if you want to indulge in some free-form art.

 Fresh Paint

Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook

When it comes to apps that are purpose-built for graphic artists and designers, you can count on Autodesk. Sketchbook is a professional-level drawing program that’s ideal for graphics pros or anyone who needs more power than a simple tool like Fresh Paint offers. The app also works with the Surface Dial, giving you greater control over your artistic endeavors.

 Autodesk Sketchbook

Drawboard PDF

Drawboard PDF

Drawboard PDF

Drawboard PDF is a useful application that makes it easy to annotate, highlight, and add other writing to your files. It’s smart enough that you can simultaneously navigate with your finger on one hand and add some ink with the Surface Pen in your other hand. I’ve made it the default PDF viewer on my Surface, and you’re likely to appreciate it as well.

 Drawboard PDF

NY Times Crossword

NY Times Crossword

NY Times Crossword

Filling out a crossword pe on your laptop may lack the nostalgia of putting pen to newspaper. Nonetheless, the NY Times Crossword app for Windows is still a satisfying activity that should give your mind a daily workout. You get to try the daily puzzle and archive for seven days, but thereafter you’ll need a subscription to get full access to continual puzzles and the archive without advertisements.

 NY Times Crossword

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