Become a Pro With Your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen

10 things to do with that cool stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen does more than help you tap commands on the screen. In fact, the S Pen is now so capable that you'd be forgiven for not knowing all it can do. Here are the uses for the Samsung S Pen we love the most.  

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Using the S Pen Air Command

The S Pen Air Command menu is your control center for using your Samsung stylus pen.

Jerri Ledford 

The S Pen Air Command is your stylus command center. If it's not already enabled on your phone, enable it now. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Air Command icon that appears on the right side of your screen when you remove the S Pen. You'll notice that button won't work with your finger. You must use the S Pen to tap it.
  2. When the Air Command menu opens, tap the gear icon in the bottom left of the screen to open Settings.
  3. Scroll to the Removal section of the menu that appears and use your S Pen or finger to tap When S Pen is removed. 
  4. A new menu appears with three options:
    1. Open Air command.
    2. Create note.
    3. Do nothing. 
  5. Select Open Air command.

The next time you pull out your S Pen, the Air Command menu will automatically open. You can also press and hold the button on the side of the S Pen while hovering the tip of your pen over the screen to open the menu.

This menu is your control center. It may vary by device, but the default enabled apps may include:

  • Create note
  • Smart select
  • Screen write
  • Translate
  • Magnify
  • Glance
  • View all notes
  • Live Message

You can enable additional apps by tapping the + icon on the Air Command menu. Then you can scroll through those apps by drawing a curved line around the Air Command icon.

You can also press and hold the Air Command icon with the tip of your S Pen until it darkens to move it around the screen if you find that its default location on the screen is awkward. 

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Quick Notes With Screen Off Memos

The Screen Off Memo is triggered when you remove the S Pen without activating your device.

Jerri Ledford

One nice feature of using the S Pen is the Screen Off Memo capability. With Screen Off Memo enabled, you don't need to unlock your device to make a quick note.

Simply remove the S Pen from its slot. The Screen Off Memo app launches automatically, and you can begin writing on the screen. When you're finished, press the Home button and your memo is saved to Samsung Notes. 

To enable Screen Off Memo:

  1. Tap the Air Command icon with your S Pen.
  2. Select the Settings icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  3. Toggle on Screen off memo.

You can control some features of the pen with the three icons in the top left corner of the page:

  • Pen: Change the line thickness on the pen tip.
  • Eraser: Select to erase anything on the note you're creating.
  • Push Pin: Tap to pin the note to your Always On Display.
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Sending Fun Live Messages

Live Message is an S Pen feature that lets you make animated GIFs in your messages.

Jerri Ledford 

Live Messages is one of the coolest features enabled by the S Pen. Using this feature, you can draw create cool GIFs to share with your friends. 

To use Live Messages:

  1. Tap the Air Command icon with your S Pen.
  2. Select Live message.
  3. The Live Message window opens where you can create your design.

Three icons on the upper left corner of the app allow you to control some of the features of the message:

  • Pen effects: Choose a regular line, a shiny line, or a glowy line.
  • Pen size: Change the width of your pen line.
  • Color: Choose the color you want to use for the pen ink.

You can also change from a solid color background to a photo by tapping Background. This allows you to select one of several solid colors or to choose an image from your photo gallery. 

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Translate Languages With the Samsung Stylus Pen

Using the S Pen, you can translate words or phrases on the web or in documents.

Jerri Ledford 

When you select the Translate option from the Air Command menu, something magical happens. You can hover your Samsung stylus over a word to translate it from one language to another. This is useful if you're looking at a website or document that's in another language.

You can also use it to translate from your preferred language into a language you're trying to learn (English to Spanish or from Spanish to English, for example).

When you hover your pen over the word to see the translation, you'll also have the option of hearing the word in spoken form. To hear it spoken, just tap the small speaker icon next to the translation. Tapping the translated word will also take you to Google Translate where you can learn more about the word usage.

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The S Pen Makes Surfing the Web Easier

Use the Samsung S Pen in the same ways you would use a mouse on a computer.

Jerri Ledford

When using the S Pen, surfing the web is much easier. Especially when you encounter a web site that doesn't have a mobile version or doesn't render well in the mobile format.

You can always view the desktop version of the site and use your S Pen in place of a cursor.

To highlight a word or phrase, just press the tip of the S Pen to the screen. Then, as you drag the pen, you can copy and paste as you would with a mouse. You can also right-click by pushing the button on the side of the S Pen while you perform an action. 

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The S Pen Doubles as a Magnifier

Use the S Pen Magnify feature to magnify portions of a web page or document for easier viewing.

Jerri Ledford

Sometimes looking at things on a small screen can be difficult. If you want to look closer you have to pinch to expand the page. There's an easier way.

Select Magnify from the Air Command menu to use your S Pen as a magnifier.

When you open it, you'll find controls in the upper right that allow you to increase the magnification. When you're done, just tap the to close the magnifier.

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Other Apps at a Glance

Using Glance with the Samsung S Pen, you can toggle between two windows with ease.

Jerri Ledford

Glance is a neat feature that lets you move back and forth between apps with ease. When you tap Glance in the Air Command menu from an open app, that app becomes a small screen down in the bottom right corner.

When you want to see that app again, hover your pen over the small screen. It increases to full size and will drop back down again when you move your S Pen.

When you're done, just press and hold the icon until the trashcan appears then drag it into the trash. Don't worry, though. Your app is still where it should be; only the preview is gone.

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Write Directly on Screen Shots With Screen Write

Screen Write allows you to use your Samsung S Pen to write directly on screen captures.

Jerri Ledford

Screen Write is one of the most useful apps for capturing images and taking notes. From any app or document on your device, use your S Pen to select Screen Write from the Air Command menu.

A screenshot is automatically snapped of the page you're on. It opens in an editing window so you can write on the image using several options for pens, ink colors, and cropping. When you're done, you can share the image or save it to your device. 

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Smart Select for Creating Animated GIFs

With Smart Select you can use the S Pen to capture parts of an image or even parts of a video.

Jerri Ledford

If you're a fan of animated GIFs, then Smart Select is the capability you'll love the most.

Choose Smart Select from the Air Command menu from any screen to capture a portion of that page as a rectangle, lasso, oval, or animation. Choose the option you want, but animation only works with video.

When you're done, you can save or share your capture, and ending the app is as easy as pressing the X in the upper right corner. 

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Samsung S Pen for More and More and More

Write directly into a document or application with your Samsung S Pen.

Jerri Ledford

There is so much more you can do with the Samsung S Pen. You can write directly into an application by choosing the pen option within the document. And there are dozens of great apps out there that let you get as productive or creative with your S Pen as you like. Everything from journals to coloring books, and much more. 

Have Fun with the Samsung S Pen

The limits of what you can do with the Samsung S Pen are endless. And new apps are introduced everyday to take advantage of the S Pen's capabilities. So let loose, and have a little fun with that stylus pen.

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