13 tips for making the most of the S Pen

S Pen

Mobile professionals have been using the S Pen to write, annotate, and highlight their way through the workday ever since the first Samsung Galaxy Note was released in 2011. The advanced stylus lets you do more on your phone, making it great for both content consumption and making and doing things.

The S Pen is great for taking notes, drawing, and navigating your phone. It is designed to feel like a real pen and makes a subtle pencil-on-paper sound as you write. The S Pen can even be used as a remote to control your camera, play media and music, and flip through slides in a presentation.

Samsung has incorporated the S Pen into its flagship line with the release of the Galaxy S23 Ultra in 2023, making it even more responsive and further improving the Samsung Notes application. The S Pen has also been added to several other products in the Samsung range. S Pens are included in tablets like the Galaxy Tab S8 and the rugged Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro, bringing its advantages to a greater number of devices and users than ever before. Its most recent Galaxy Book3 360 and the foldable Galaxy Z Fold4 are both S Pen-compatible.

These 13 smart tricks, some of which may vary depending on the device you are using, can help you achieve a new level of productivity with the S Pen, whether you are a new or seasoned user:

1. Screen-off memos

The S Pen makes note-taking as easy and intuitive as writing in a notebook. You won’t even need to unlock your device to use the Screen-off note-taking feature, which allows you to jot down notes quickly and discreetly whenever the mood strikes. You don’t need to fumble around for a notepad and pen if the solution to a difficult problem just came to you while you’re in a meeting or on the train.

When your device is locked, simply take out the S Pen and begin writing on the screen to use the Screen-off memo. Using the down arrow, you can quickly add pages as you go. Simply hit Save when you are finished, and everything will be saved to Samsung Notes. You can share and export from there.

Take out your S Pen immediately and begin writing.

2. Write for screen

The Screen Write feature makes annotations on documents, charts, and images simple. You are able to add notes to anything that you are viewing on your device.

To access the Air Command menu, either remove the S Pen or tap the floating pen icon on the right side of the screen. Tap Screen Write from the menu. This will immediately open the S Pen annotation tools and take a screen capture of the content you were examining. With the S Pen, you can now crop the image, add notes, and share your illustrated thoughts via email or your favorite messaging app.

You can use Scroll Capture to capture an entire document or webpage at once. To capture additional pages, use your S Pen to tap and hold the Scroll Capture icon (two downward arrows). After that, click “Done” and keep annotating your extended screen capture.

3. Clarify PDFs

You can also import PDFs and annotate them without having to download an additional app with Samsung Notes. In addition, the S Pen’s pen-and-paper feel makes it as natural to add a quick sketch or comment as if you were writing notes on a printed document someone left on your desk.

Throughout the workday, this adaptability comes in handy. Simply select Samsung Notes as the default PDF reader when opening an intriguing new research report, for instance. To enter edit mode, tap the pen icon at the top of Samsung Notes. Adjust the pen type or select a highlighter from the toolbar at the bottom to make your annotations. At the point when you’re finished, tap Save and select the three spots to trade in different document designs, share it or even print it right from your telephone. For more expert advice on how to use Samsung Notes, watch our video.

4. Write on the Calendar

Writing on Calendar makes it easier than ever to share your schedule. This clever shortcut brings up the current month in your calendar, where you can quickly add notes and share them.

Do you need to let us know when you can be available for a meeting? Select Write on Calendar from the Air Command menu by taking out your S Pen and tapping the pen icon. Your schedule will open immediately, with a convenient arrangement of comment devices. Add your notes, circle or block out dates, and click Save.

Pro tip: Tap the Add icon at the bottom of your Air Command Shortcuts menu and drag it over to your Shortcuts bar if you don’t see Write on Calendar or any of the other tools mentioned here.

5. Change the way you write

Are you getting tired of using your thumbs to type on the on-screen keyboard? You can write naturally with your S Pen, then quickly convert your handwriting into text that you can paste into an email or a Microsoft Word document.

This feature applies to a wide range of applications. Tap the S Pen-to-text icon in the toolbar a pen with a small T next to it when using Samsung Notes. After you have finished writing, you can also convert your notes into the text; Select the section of notes you want to convert by tapping the icon with the writing and large T. Because Samsung Notes is smart enough to recognize phone numbers and email addresses, you can simply click to call from handwritten notes.

Separately, with the Samsung keyboard, you can text with handwriting in your email or messaging app. Tap the three dots on the keyboard to select handwriting mode. After that, you can take notes in the notepad area and have them immediately converted.

6. Smart Choice

With the Smart Select feature, which allows you to lasso anything you can see on your screen and export it as an image, you can pinpoint precisely what you want to share. Tap Smart Select in the Air Command menu after opening the content that contains the desired snippet. You can then quickly save or share the content you need by selecting or lassoing it. You can even quickly share and repurpose the selected content by extracting text from it.

7. Editing videos and photos

Using the S Pen, you can quickly and easily edit photos and videos on your phone or tablet. After you’ve caught happy with the camera, tap the pen symbol to get to the local altering instruments.

With the accuracy of the S Pen, you can rapidly manage a video cut, add channels, clean up countenances, and add music. When you want to add handwritten annotations or captions to a photo or video, the S Pen is beneficial. This is a great way to convey complex visual information. Tap the Decorations (smiley face) icon, select the text style and color you want, and then add your copy to add captions.

8. Translate

Are you surfing the internet and coming across something written in a different language? Tap the sound icon to hear the word or phrase pronounced, then hover your S Pen over it for an instant translation. Almost anywhere in the world can use this handy feature to easily and effectively communicate while on the go.

You might decipher text in a photograph, because of optical person acknowledgment (OCR). To get everything rolling, open a record, site, or photograph of the text you need to interpret. Tap Translate (in the Air Command menu) after taking out the S Pen. You can select the languages you want to translate from and to at the top of the screen. To hear how the words sound, tap the sound icon while hovering your S Pen over them. Tap the text icon to the left of the Translate overlay to switch between translating a single word and translating an entire sentence.

9. Magnify

You can zoom in on anything on your screen by hovering over it and using the Magnify feature to do so. Even when you’re on the go, you can see every detail of a picture or drawing. Magnify, when used in conjunction with the Space Zoom camera, enables you to see or capture anything that occurs during work.

S Pen as a control device

The motion sensor and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities of the S Pen are utilized in these last few suggestions.

The S Pen can be used as a remote control when it is not being used as a pen. It responds when you press its side button and make simple gestures with it. Navigate to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen > Air Actions to learn more about this feature. What happens when you press the S Pen button can be seen and changed here. The following are a few examples of how to use the S Pen as a remote control for our final four recommendations:

10. Get your presentation done

Use your phone or tablet to present in Microsoft PowerPoint and your S Pen to advance slides to make an impression at your next meeting. Thanks to the S Pen’s BLE connectivity, you can keep your presentation moving along smoothly from up to 30 feet away.

Pull down the notification menu on your device and select the option to use it as a touchpad once Samsung DeX starts up on the presentation screen. You can now open the PowerPoint slides and navigate the presentation screen with your finger or the S Pen. To begin your pitch and enter presentation mode, tap the icon. During your presentation, you are free to move around the room. To quickly skip back or advance slides, simply press the S Pen button twice.

11. Manage your camera

You can snap an image from on a mount utilizing your S Pen as a remote to try not to upset the camera. Simply position yourself and remove the S Pen from your device before capturing the shot. To take a picture, simply press the S Pen button.

With the S Pen’s motion sensor, you can use simple gestures to control the camera more effectively. To switch between cameras, swish the pen upward and circle it to zoom in or out. The S Pen can also be used to start recording a video, and you can use the gesture controls to make sure you get the right shot.

12. Media and music control with a remote

The S Pen can also play and pause media and music as a remote control.

Set up your phone or tablet to play the music or video you want, whether it’s in Samsung’s Gallery app or another streaming service like Spotify, YouTube, or Netflix. The S Pen button can now be used to pause or resume a track or video.

You can control the music or a video presentation while hosting an event from the floor. You can control the screen from a distance discreetly and without missing a beat with your S Pen.

13. Actions everywhere

You have the option of adding custom gestures to your device in addition to these potent Air Actions. You can use one of these gestures to navigate your phone or tablet or even access specific apps and features when you customize your Anywhere Actions. Simply configure your preferred Air Actions by going to S Pen settings > Air Actions.

Air Actions are now supported by a growing number of business apps. For instance, using the S Pen button, you can mute and unmute your microphone on the Bluejeans videoconferencing platform.

The advanced stylus is designed to accommodate the new way you work—anywhere, anytime—whether you’re using a Galaxy S23 Ultra, the rugged Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro, or another device. You can bring your note-taking into the digital age and experience brand-new levels of productivity by incorporating the S Pen into your workflow.

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