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Use the Pixelbook Pen with your Pixelbook

Optimized for the Google Assistant, the Pixelbook Pen is more than just a traditional pen. Here we’ll cover what you can do with the Pixelbook Pen, like search what’s on your screen and take notes instantly, even when your screen is locked.

Pixelbook pen graphic

Note: The Pixelbook Pen is sold separately from Pixelbook. Wacom AES styluses can also work with Pixelbook, though they may have limited functionality.

Search what’s on screen with the Google Assistant

With the Google Assistant on Pixelbook Pen, you can quickly find info about what’s on your screen, along with convenient links to suggested next steps. 

Just hold the pen’s Google Assistant button and circle the item you’re interested in, like a photo, a restaurant name, or an event listing. Your Google Assistant will offer up relevant information and actions associated with that item, like the location featured in the photo, the restaurant’s menu and hours, and a link to add the event to your calendar.

Note: To use the Google Assistant with your Pixelbook Pen, you’ll need to have screen context turned on in your Google Assistant settings. Also, you won’t be able to use Pixelbook Pen with the Google Assistant if your browser is in incognito mode.

How to search what’s on your screen

  1. While pressing the Google Assistant button on the Pixelbook Pen, circle the item on screen.
  2. Results will appear in the Google Assistant window.

You can also turn the Google Assistant on for your pen this way:

  1. If this is the first time using your Pixelbook Pen, tap it on your screen to activate.
  2. In the bar along the bottom of your screen, tap Pen Stylus and then Assistant (the pen Stylus  will change to the Google Assistant on your desktop).
  3. Circle the item you want to see results for in the Google Assistant window.
  4. You’ll need to turn off the Google Assistant mode when you’re done. To do this, tap the Google Assistant on your desktop. It will change back to Pen Stylus .
Turn screen context on or off
  1. On your Pixelbook, touch and hold the launcher, press the launch assistant key, or say "Ok Google." 
  2. At the top right, click Explore & Your stuff .
  3. Clickand then More  and then Settings Settings.
  4. Under “Devices,” click Chromebook.
  5. Next to “Use screen context,” tap the toggle switch to turn on and off.

Take notes

Use Google Keep or other compatible note-taking apps to quickly jot down a reminder or take detailed notes, even when your Pixelbook screen is locked. 

Take notes instantly from a locked screen

Jump right in to notetaking without entering a password to unlock your screen. Everything else on your Pixelbook will remain locked and secure. This feature is currently only available with the Google Keep app.

  1. In the top right corner of your locked screen, tap or swipe Note Note icon. This will instantly open your most recent note in the Keep app. 
  2. Use your Pixelbook Pen to take notes in the window that appears. 
  3. If you want full access to your Pixelbook, tap Unlock and enter your password.

Create a new note from a locked screen

You can choose to always create a new note from a locked screen, instead of opening your most recent note. Here’s how:

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus and then SettingsSettings.
  2. Click the toggle next to "Keep latest note on lock screen" to disable.
  3. Going forward, a new note will open when you enter notetaking from a locked screen.  

Each time you create a new note from a locked screen, the previous note you created this way won’t be accessible from the locked screen. 

Turn off notetaking from a locked screen

To disable the ability to take notes from a locked screen:

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen  Stylus and then SettingsSettings.
  2. To disable, click the toggle next to "Take notes from lock screen."

You can also switch to a note-taking app that doesn’t support the locked screen feature.

Take notes from an unlocked screen

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus.
  2. Tap Create note.
  3. In the window that appears, use your pen to take notes.

To change which app you use to take notes:

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus and then SettingsSettings.
  2. In the "Note-taking app" drop-down, choose an app.

Learn how to download other note-taking apps that work with your pen.

Draw or sketch

  1. If you haven’t yet, get the Google Play Store app for your Pixelbook.
  2. Click the Launcher Launch icon and then Up Arrow Up arrow.
  3. Click the app you want to use for drawing, like Keep or Infinite Painter. 
  4. Use the app to draw with your pen.

Learn how to download other drawing apps that work with your pen.

Use the drawing tools in Google Keep

You can change the drawing mode of the Pixelbook Pen from the Google Keep app. Here are the different settings:

  • To draw thin lines, click the Pen Stylus.
  • To draw thick lines, click the Marker marker.
  • To highlight with color, click the Highlighter highlighter.
  • To pick the color or size of a tool, swipe up to see options.
  • To erase a shape, click the Eraser eraser.
  • To select any shape you’ve drawn, click Select select.

Take a screenshot

Take a partial screenshot

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus.
  2. Using your pen, tap Capture region.
  3. Using your pen, touch and hold somewhere on the screen, then drag.
  4. Release to finish the screenshot.

Take a full-page screenshot

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus .
  2. Tap Capture screen.

Use the pen as a laser pointer or magnifying glass

If you’re showing off your artwork or giving a presentation, you can use your pen as a laser pointer. To see something up close, you can use your pen to make part of your screen bigger.

  1. On your desktop, tap Pen Stylus.
  2. Tap Laser pointer mode or Magnifying glass mode.
  3. Touch the pen to the screen and move it around.
  4. Optional: To turn off the laser pointer or magnifying glass, tap Pen Stylus again. 

Change settings & download apps

  1. On  the bottom right of your your desktop, click your account picture.
  2. Click SettingsSettings.
  3. In the "Device" section, click Stylus.
  4. To show or hide the pen icon, turn Show stylus tools in the shelf on or off.
  5. To find & download more apps that work with your pen, click Find more stylus apps.

Changing batteries for your Pixelbook Pen

You’ll see a notification on your screen when your Pixelbook Pen’s AAAA battery is low. Here’s how to replace it:

  1. Twist one side of the pen to open it and remove the old battery.
  2. Insert a AAAA battery with the “+” side down and screw the top back on the pen.
     

Ali is a Pixelbook expert and the author of this page. Leave her feedback below about this page.

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