Ever since the first Samsung Galaxy Note launched back in 2011, mobile professionals have been using the S Pen to write, annotate and highlight their way through the workday.
Samsung’s S Pen allows a user to get more done on their phone, making the device, not just a screen for content consumption, but also for creating and doing.
Designed to feel like a real pen (complete with a subtle pencil-on-paper sound as you write), the S Pen is great for note-taking, drawing and navigating your phone. But, with the next-level power of the Galaxy Note10 and Note10+, there is a lot more you can do.
In fact, the latest edition even acts as a remote for controlling your camera with gestures and flipping through presentation slides.
Whether you are new to the Galaxy Note series or a long-time user, achieve a new level of productivity with the S Pen using these 10 smart tricks.
1. Just Start Writing
Notetaking with the S Pen is as simple as writing in a notebook. With Screen-off Memo, you can quickly and discreetly jot notes without unlocking your Galaxy Note10, wherever and whenever the moment strikes.
To use Screen-off Memo, pop out the S Pen when the phone is locked and just start writing. Easily add additional pages as you go by clicking the down arrow. When you’re done, hit Save and everything will be stored in Samsung Notes. From there, you can share and export (see tip number four below).
With Screen-off Memo, if the solution to a tricky problem just hits you and you’re in a meeting or on the train, you can still capture it without having to fumble around for a notepad and pen. Don’t miss a moment — take out your S Pen and just start writing.
2. Easy Markups On-the-Go
Annotating documents and adding notes in the margin is easy. With Screen Write, you can add your notes to anything you are viewing on your Note10.
Take out the S Pen or tap the pen icon on the right side of the screen to open the Air Command menu. In this menu, tap Screen Write. This will immediately take a screen capture of the content you were reviewing and open the S Pen annotation tools. You can now add notes with the S Pen, crop the image and share your illustrated thoughts via email or your preferred messaging app.
If it’s a multipage document, use Scroll Capture to do it all at once. Tap the Scroll Capture tab with your S Pen and hold it to capture additional pages. Then hit Done and continue with your annotation on the multipage screen capture.
3. Write on Calendar
Coordinating schedules has never been easier with Write on Calendar. This smart shortcut will open your calendar to the current month and let you add notes and share in an instant.
Need to share your availabilities for a meeting and circle some preferred dates? Take out your S Pen, tap the pen icon to open the Air Command menu, and select Write on Calendar. Your calendar will open instantly with a handy set of annotation tools. Circle and block out dates, add notes and then hit Save.
Write on Calendar can also be accessed directly by hitting the pen icon at the top right in your Calendar app. This allows you to quickly sync your schedules so you can get back to the day’s events.
4. Convert Your Handwriting
On-screen keyboard got you feeling all thumbs? Use your S Pen to write naturally, then instantly convert your handwriting to text, ready to paste into an email or convert into a Microsoft Word document.
To use this feature, simply take out your S Pen and launch the Samsung Notes app. Take your handwritten notes (there’s a whole slew of options here including pen type, line thickness, and color). When you’re done, hit Save and then tap the handwriting-to-text icon on the bottom menu. Your handwriting will be converted to text (with a quite remarkable accuracy), and you can then choose to copy that text into an email or message.
You also have several other options for exporting from Samsung Notes. After saving your notes, just tap the share icon at the top right, and choose which file type you’d like to export it as. The Microsoft Word export option is new on the Galaxy Note10, which has Office Mobile pre-loaded. Select that and you’ll instantly get a Microsoft Word document that contains both the converted text and the original handwritten notes. It’s extremely useful if you included a sketch or diagram that you want to keep on file.
5. Smart Select
Zero in on exactly what you want to share with the Smart Select feature, which allows you to “lasso” anything you can see on your screen and export it as an image. First, open the document that has the snippet you want and tap Smart Select in the Air Command menu. From there, you can select or lasso the exact content you need and quickly save or share it. You can even extract text from the selected content, quickly sharing and repurposing it as you see fit.
Whether you’re a busy executive sending an illustration from a recent report to a colleague, or a retail associate clipping an item from a product catalog for a manager to review, Smart Select gives you an easy way to share exactly the right content, on the spot.
6. Video Editing
The S Pen makes editing videos on your phone quick and easy. After you’ve captured content on the Note10’s next-level camera system, tap the pen icon to access the powerful native editing tools.
With the precision of the S Pen, you can quickly trim a video clip, add filters, touch up faces and add music. The S Pen really comes in handy if you want to add captions or handwritten annotations on a video or photo. For captions, tap the CC icon, select the text style and color and then add your copy. For handwritten annotations, tap the painter’s palette icon and start writing or drawing.
In the business context, video annotations are a great way to communicate complex visual information to a colleague. Whether you are a field tech highlighting issues with a piece of machinery or a construction foreman seeking clarification from the architect, it lets you layer information on video and gets everyone on the same page.
Traveling abroad for business? Hover your S Pen over a word or phrase for an instant translation, then tap the sound icon to hear it pronounced. Communicate more easily and efficiently while on the go, nearly anywhere in the world.
You can even translate text in a photo, thanks to optical character recognition (OCR). To get started, open the document, website or photo of the text you want to translate. Pop-out the S Pen and tap Translate in the Air Command menu.
At the top of the screen, you can set the languages you want to translate from and to. Then simply hover the S Pen over the words, and tap the sound icon to hear the pronunciation. To toggle between translating a single word and an entire sentence, tap the text icon at the left of the Translate overlay.
S Pen as Remote Control
These last few tips leverage the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities and motion sensor built into the Galaxy Note10’s S Pen. Rather than using the S Pen as a pen, it becomes a remote control, responding when you press the button on the side and execute simple gestures.
To explore this functionality, go to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen > Air Actions. Here you can view and customize what will happen when you press the S Pen button. We’ll cover just a few of the ways you can use the S Pen as a remote control in our final three tips.
8. Control Your Presentation
Leave an impression in your next meeting by using the Note10 to present and the S Pen to advance slides in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can keep your presentation moving smoothly from up to 30 feet away thanks to the S Pen’s BLE connectivity.
To present from your phone, you can either launch Samsung DeX using an HDMI adaptor, or you can use Smart View to wirelessly mirror your screen to a Wi-Fi-capable display. DeX, Samsung’s platform for transforming your smartphone into a desktop experience, will give you a more complete presentation experience.
Once Samsung DeX launches on the presentation screen, pull down the notification menu on your Note10 and opt to use your phone as a touchpad. Now you can use your finger or pen to navigate on the presentation screen and open the PowerPoint slides. Tap the icon to go into presentation mode and start your pitch. You’re free to move around the room as you present: Click once on the S Pen button to advance slides, and twice quickly to skip back.
9. Take a Photo or Video
Want to take a group photo at the end of a successful off-site retreat, or during a break at your next conference? Wish you could remotely snap that commemorative picture from atop a tripod without accidentally disturbing the camera? Simply set up your Note10 to capture the shot, take out the S Pen and get into position. From there, just click the S Pen button to take a photo.
Need a different angle or a close-up? The new motion sensor in the S Pen gives you more control of the camera with simple gestures. Swish the pen upward to switch between cameras, and circle the pen to zoom in or out. You can start recording a video using the S Pen as well and make use of those gesture controls to ensure you get the right shot.
10. Remote Control Music and Media
But there’s more! You can use the S Pen remote control to play and pause music and media as well. First, set up your Note10 to begin playing the music or video clip of your choice, whether it’s in Samsung’s native Gallery app, or another streaming service like Youtube, Netflix or Spotify. You can now stop or start the track or video as desired with a click of the S Pen button.
If your company is having a reception before an evening event and you want to control the music or a video presentation from the floor, you can discreetly make that happen from afar with your S Pen — all without missing a beat.