Surface Pen does not select cell on touch in Office 2016

With the last update of Office, my Surface Pen now only goes into Draw mode within an Excel or Word document. I've tried to look at all settings and can't see a place to change this back to what it was. It's nice to be able to select draw mode, but I can't seem to turn it off, and/or not have draw be the default. 

I want to be able to use the pen to touch in a cell (in Excel) and have it just select the cell for editing/input like it used to do. With every touch it is just drawing a line or dot.

In Word, the same thing happens. I used to be able to just touch the screen with my pen to show the cursor, just like a mouse click, and now it only draws.

Basically, I see it's the same problem in both Word and Excel. I just want the old functionality back and be able to use the draw function only when I select it. 

Can anyone help me? This is really driving me crazy.


UPDATED: 3/15/2016

Thank you again for all your feedback and patience as we work on the fixes for the ink mode feature. Good news! Our engineering team is now rolling out the changes to enable the pen to function like it did before to Office Insiders and should soon be available to all.


For more information, please see latest post from Dan Parish on 3/15 in this thread: After the latest Office update PowerPoint get locked in ink mode


Lastly, If you want to see features and fixes like this earlier and help us make Office better by giving us feedback, consider joining the Insider Program.



Michelle V.


Hi everyone,

We appreciate your comments and engagement on the MS Community. We've been actively monitoring these threads and working to incorporate your feedback into our product updates. Please see the latest response from Dan Parish on this main thread: After the latest Office update PowerPoint get locked in ink mode, which I also copied and pasted down below.


Michelle V

Office Team


Copied from After the latest Office update PowerPoint get locked in ink mode:

I wanted to first thank all of you for your feedback both here, and on our UserVoice site.  We’ve heard you loud and clear, and as a result we are actively working on two changes:

  1. For people that want to use the pen as a precise pointer temporarily, we will introduce the ability to do that via a button on the Draw tab.  This will keep the new default of having the pen ink on the document canvas, but give the ability to use the pen to do selection when needed.
  2. For people that want or need to use the pen like a mouse by default, we will also add a new preference to the Options dialog that will allow you to restore the previous behavior.  If you want to ink, that will be easier than before because you’ll be able to just tap a pen on the Draw tab and start inking, but you will be able to set your default behavior to be that the pen selects, just like it was before the update.

We are actively working on making these changes so that we can get them out to you as soon as possible.  Note that you may see #2 (the preference in the Options dialog) appear first, because we are prioritizing getting that change to you based on your feedback.

I will keep this post updated with the latest status, or you can follow along at one (or all) of the three relevant UserVoice topics: Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

In addition, if you’d like to get these changes even before they are officially released to everyone, please consider joining our Office Insiders program.  It’s a great way to preview the upcoming changes and help provide us with feedback early.

Thanks again,


18 people found this reply helpful


Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated August 23, 2020 Views 8,558 Applies to: