After the latest Office update PowerPoint get locked in ink mode

nooshinak asked on

after my recent office update, PowerPoint is locked in ink mode and I can't use my pen to do anything but to draw. It's so annoying I can't even select anything with my surface pen in order to re-size the text or change text color. and when I use my finger it only moves the cursor, it won't let me select. what should I do?

[Original Title: power point ink]

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Dan Parish (MSFT) replied on

We have started to roll out the change that also adds the Select button to the Draw tab (#1 in my original email below), so if you want to continue to use your pen to ink by default you can do that, and now use that button to use the pen for selection temporarily.  Of course if you want to use the pen to select by default, the preference we added in the Options dialog and detailed below allows you to do that.

UPDATE 3/15:

I wanted to let everyone know that in the update to Office that started rolling out to Insiders today, you will find a new preference in the Options dialog to allow you to make the pen select instead of ink by default.  Enabling this preference will make the pen function exactly like it did before, plus you can use the options on the Draw tab if you do decide you want to ink.  If you are an Office Insider (which anyone can join), you should get this update within the next day or so.  If you are not an Office Insider, it may take another week or two to reach you.

This is a per-app preference, so you can enable selection by default in Excel for instance while leaving ink as the default in Word and PowerPoint, or you can switch all three.  To access this preference select File > Options, and then in the Options dialog select Advanced and check ‘Use pen to select and interact with content by default’ in the new Pen section.

We’ll be releasing the second piece (#1 below), which is the ability to toggle on pen selection via the Draw tab for those that only want to use the pen to select occasionally, with the next monthly update.

Thanks again to all of you for your feedback, and we hope this change addresses your concerns.


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,


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