Edit your document with natural gestures

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office. It's available on Windows touch devices and devices that work with digital pens such as Microsoft Surface running Windows 10 TH2 or higher operating system.

Your finger or a digital pen gives you freedom from a keypad when you're working on a touch device. In addition to drawing, writing and highlighting, Ink Editor lets you use natural gestures like circling to select and crossing out to delete.

Ink Editor Animation

Note:  Pictures in this article are from Word 2016, but Ink Editor is now also available in Word Mobile.

Edit with natural gestures

  1. Choose Draw tab on the ribbon and select Ink Editor.

    If you don't have a digital pen enabled device and have a touch device instead, choose Draw with Touch and then select Ink Editor.

    Ink Editor
  2. Select the ink style you want from the Pens group.

    Shows the Draw Tab in Word 2016 with Pens section highlighted.

    To see more ink options, select the More Shows the "More" icon icon in the Pens group. There, you can select from a wide variety of ink styles, and you can add certain styles to your favorites so they'll always be at the top.

  3. Do any of the following to edit your document using natural gestures:

    Circle to select text   

    Draw a circle around the text you want to select. You can select words, sentences or paragraphs. Once the text is selected, it brings up the formatting toolbar. On the formatting toolbar you can instantly change the color, font, style or highlight the selected text.

    Format Tool bar

    Cross out to delete text   

    Draw a line thorough the text using a pen or touch to delete a word or phrase in a sentence. You can delete a group of sentences or an entire section by drawing a slanting line, vertical line or up/down squiggles across the section. The text between the beginning and the end of the line action is deleted.


    After the text is deleted, a drop down menu appears on screen with ink options. If you did not intend to delete the text choose Undo . Choose Leave as Ink if you want to have the cross outs in your document.

    Apply highlighting   

    Choose a highlighter pen from the Pens group and draw across text to highlight the text. To remove the highlight draw across the text again.

Note: If you wish to keep a record of your ink edits, you should turn on Track Changes in Simple Markup mode on the Review tab before you start reviewing your document using Ink Editor.

See Also

Draw and write with ink in Office

Tell us what you think about Ink Editor and suggest improvements

Submit suggestions for new actions or gestures you’d like to see in Ink Editor at https://word.uservoice.com/forums/304924-word-for-windows-desktop-application

Expand your skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.