Auxiliary tools you can use with Sketchbook

Jump to Mobile or Windows 10


Looking at auxiliary tools to use with Sketchbook? To get the best experience with Sketchbook on either desktop or mobile, we recommend using it with an input device. Try Sketchbook with a Wacom tablet, iPad Pro, or using an assortment of styluses. There are many options to choose from. 

Auxiliary devices for Sketchbook Pro Desktop

Exclusively available on Sketchbook Pro Desktop for MacBook Pro users.

For MacBook Pro users, we’ve added quick access icons and sliders to the Touch Bar for undoing/redoing and changing brush/color attributes. See MacBook Pro Touch Bar support‍ for more details.

Wacom

wacom

For Mac or Windows users, Wacom has a variety of drawing tablets, ranging from interactive pen displays, to pen tablets and styluses. It has everything a beginner or professional artist needs. Learn more at Wacom.com

Astropad

Astropad

With Astropad, you get all the features of Sketchbook Pro for desktop on your iPad, iPad Pro, and iPhone. Astropad mirrors your desktop onto your Apple devices. For more information, see Changing your view‍.

Auxiliary devices for Sketchbook for Windows 10

Windows 10

Unlock the drawing power of your Windows tablet with Sketchbook. Specifically designed for both stylus and touch-input, it’s optimized for Windows 10.

Surface Dial

Do you want a new way to interact with Sketchbook? If so, for *Microsoft’s Surface Studio, Surface Book, and Surface Pro 4 users, we are delighted to introduce the Microsoft Surface Dial. If you are familiar with the dial, jump ahead to *Getting set up below.

For those of you who are either curious about the Surface Dial or have just purchased one and haven’t had a chance to check it out, continue reading for an introduction to it. Change the paint color as you draw, without returning to the main interface.

Getting set up

Before you begin using the dial, as a Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Surface Studio users, ensure you’re running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update with Bluetooth 4.0LE. Next, don’t forget to install the batteries. Finally, tap the Bluetooth button on the bottom of the dial to ensure it’s paired with your Surface.

How to start

Microsoft Surface Dial modes - on-screen and off-screen Color options in Sketchbook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial

There are two ways to use the dial: off-screen and on-screen. Whichever mode you choose to work in, you’ll feel the vibration (haptic feedback) as you access the radial menu, select tools, and select tool options for adjusting brushes, colors, even your canvas. Plus, how would you like to undo or redo at the twist of a dial, seeing as each stroke is removed or replaced? It will probably remind you of watching a time-lapse of a drawing being created or undone. With the dial, the Undo/Redo feature is quite something!

Changing tool position for left-handed users

For anyone using the dial who is left-handed, you can open your device Settings, select Pen & Windows Ink, then under Pen where it states Choose which hand you write with, set Left Hand. This will place all the tools on the opposite side of dial, where your hand/arm won’t obscure them.

Settings left-handed

Accessing the radial menu

Radial menu using the Microsoft Surface Dial

The radial menu is a hub containing the Undo, Brush, Color, and Canvas tools.

Tap-hold to access the menu (you’ll feel the dial vibrate as the menu opens).

Selecting a tool

Once the radial menu appears, twist the dial to switch tools. As you twist, a different tool is highlighted.

Radial menu using Colors in the Microsoft Surface Dial Radial menu using Brushes in the Microsoft Surface Dial

To select the highlighted tool, either tap the dial or touch the tool on your screen. The name of the active tool is displayed briefly.

active tool in Sketchbook is displayed briefly.

Cycling through and selecting tool options

Each tool has one or more options or properties that can be changed with the dial. You may have to cycle through them to select a specific one. See below for the specific tool options available.

Tap the dial to jump from one tool option to another. The circular selector appears in the next ring, as the dial is tapped.

tool options using the Surface Dial selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial Cycling through and selecting another tool option

INFORMATION: Sketchbook remembers the last tool option used for the selected tool.

Adjusting tool options

Though the interface looks slightly different depending on whether you are using the disk on- or off-screen, the tool options are the same.

Keep in mind, when the dial is off-screen, your dial needs to be next to your Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or Surface Studio and Bluetooth 4.0LE or higher must be enabled.

Undo/Redo using the Microsoft Surface Dial

Undo – The tool options for this are Undo and Redo. With Undo selected, use the dial to twist to the left to undo and right to redo. As you continue to twist the dial, more steps are undone or redone, kind of like watching a time-lapse movie.

Brush in Sketchbook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screen

Brush – The tool options for this are Size and Opacity. With Brush selected, tap the dial to cycle between brush size and opacity.

Brush opacity with the Microsoft Surface Dial on Sketchbook for Windows 10

When in either tool option, twist the dial to adjust the brush settings (either opacity or size). A visual readout appears at the top of your screen.

Color in Sketchbook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screen

Color – The tool options for this are Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. With Color selected, tap the dial to switch between hue, saturation, and luminance. When in the desired option, twist the dial to adjust it.

Cycling through and selecting tool options using the Surface Dial in Sketchbook Cycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Sketchbook Cycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Sketchbook

Canvas in Sketchbook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screen

Canvas– The tool options for this are Zoom and Angle. With Canvas selected, tap the dial to switch between zooming and angle rotation. When in the desired option, twist the dial to adjust it. A visual readout appears at the top of your screen.

Auxiliary devices for Sketchbook on mobile

There are only two styluses that are compatible with devices running the latest version of Sketchbook for mobile:

This doesn't mean that others won't. It just means that these are the only ones we've tested that definitely do.