Q. How can I use my tablet PC to sign or write on documents?

I have a tablet PC or I've checked a tablet PC out of the library - how can I get started using the inking capabilities?


There are several ways to use a tablet pen to write on documents.  This answer will cover using Microsoft Word (2007 and up) and Adobe PDF documents.

Inking in Microsoft Word:

  • Open the document and click on the "Review" tab.
  • Click "Start Inking"
  • An "ink tools" toolbar should appear allowing you to choose the color and style of your ink.  Make sure the "Pen" option on the toolbar is depressed.

Inking on a PDF document:

  • Open the PDF and click File-->Print
  • Select "Send to One Note" from the printer selection drop-down
  • Your document should re-open in OneNote
  • The screen should recognize the use of your tablet pen, and you can start inking.  If not, select your options on the "draw" menu.
  • When finished, re-save your document as a PDF.

Converting ink to text using the Tablet PC Input Panel:

  • The Input Panel is, by default, located on your Windows toolbar.
  • Once open, locate three buttons on the left side of the panel.  Make sure the first button, "Writing Pad" is depressed.
  • Open up the program you would like to transfer text into (Microsoft Word, Power,Point, a web input box, etc.)  Place your cursor in the place you want the text to appear. 
  • Use your pen to start writing on the writing pad.  Your text will appear below your handwriting. 
  • When ready to transfer the text, select the "Input" button and your text will be transferred to the place where your cursor is located.

Converting ink to text in Microsoft OneNote:

Microsoft OneNote has a feature that can convert tablet handwriting to typeface:

  • Open Microsoft OneNote
  • Go to the "Draw" toolbar and select the ink you would like to use
  • After writing with the tablet pen, select "convert ink to text" from the Draw menu
  • OneNote will convert all handwriting to text boxes, which can be dragged and moved


  • When in Microsoft Office (for example, PowerPoint), you can activate your tablet pen by using your pen to hover over the left hand corner of your tablet screen.  In PowerPoint, you must be in "presentation" mode to ink, or use the Tablet Input Panel.  A small tool bar will appear; select the pen options and adjust the ink color with that toolbar.
  • To erase your writing in most applications, flip the tablet pen around and use the "eraser" side to erase your text.  In Microsoft Word, choose "eraser" from the "pens" menu that appears when you start inking.
  • For further options, go to Start-->Control Panel-->Tablet and Pen Settings.
  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 20755
  • Answered By Kristina Brewer

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