How do I turn on tablet PC input panel in Windows 8?

I've been using tablet PCs since Windows XP tablet PC edition.  I just upgrade my Lenovo X61T tablet PC to Windows 8 (clean install) and I can't for the life of me figure out how to turn on the tablet PC input panel for use in the Desktop. 


If you aren't familiar with I'm looking for, see these directions from Windows 7.  The tablet PC input panel flies in from the right or left when you move your pen near the panel.  It will also give you an input panel icon when you click on a field, right below the field.  I could move my mouse over the field without clicking on it, using the input panel and move my pen over the enter button without clicking it.  It's fast and efficient.


So far in Windows 8 the only thing I've found in the Desktop is to right click on the taskbar and turn on the "Touch Keyboard".  On my tablet it isn't contextual, takes up almost half the screen and doesn't go away after I enter data with the pen. 


In the Control Panel there's an option inside Tablet PC Settings to "Configure your pen and touch displays".  You click on "Setup" and then it prompts you to click on the screen with your pen.  I've done that but nothing changes, I can't figure out what it does.  There's no help in Windows 8 for it.


I've opened a case with Microsoft to get help but so far the three experts I've spoke with haven't been able to figure it out.  I've also upgraded the Lenovo drivers on my tablet to the latest versions that support Windows 8.


Any help is appreciated.


Thanks, Daniel



Hi Daniel


In Windows 8, the Tablet PC Input Panel is no longer available. The Touch Keyboard replaces this component and the behavior for this component has changed, substantially. The executable for this component is still tabtip.exe.

Here are some links with more information.


Check back with Lenovo often, most manufacturers are still in the process of releasing software and firmware updates for their touch devices.


Lenovo Support - Drivers & Software (US):

You can also use the Lenovo User support forums to dialog with other users who are using the same tablet model.


Lenovo Community - Lenovo Community:


Here is the main Microsoft Windows 8 Support and How To websites.


How to use the touch keyboard:


Support - Microsoft Windows Help:


How-to - Microsoft Windows:


Here is a link to a search on these forums that may help.

tabtip - Microsoft Community:


Another tip:

In Windows 8, Swipe from the right side to display the Charms Bar.


Select Settings at the bottom of the menu.


Select Change PC Setttings.


Select General.


In the Touch Keyboard section, 'Make the standard keyboard layout available'


Drag the Slider to ON.


Exit and start the Touch Keyboard again.


Select the Layout Icon and you should see the extra option for the full keyboard layout there.


Let us know if you have more questions.



MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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Question Info

Last updated May 24, 2020 Views 32,810 Applies to: