How to configure Surface Pen for left-handed use

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Are you left handed? They say you’re probably a genius, but the righties don’t understand the pain us lefties face when using scissors, can openers, ergonomic mice, keyboard numpads, or writing in pretty much any left-to-right language. So this Surface Tip is dedicated to you.

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Random Surface Tip! – Buttons, Pens, and Ports

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Did you know…

1) The Windows Logo on the front of the Surface is a button. Many assume its just a logo.

Windows Button

2) The Surface Pen can be docked to the Surface Power Connector. It attaches magnetically just like the power cord.

Pen Connector

3) The Surface Pro power brick houses a USB port that can be used to charge other devices like your phone or iPod. Keep in mind that this USB port is not linked to the Surface, so you can’t use it to plug in your external hard drive for example.

Power Brick USB

How to use Pen Gestures and Flicks on the Surface Pro

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Random Surface Pro Tip! - Pen Gestures/Flicks

How to use pen gestures for easy navigation!

You might  have noticed that you cannot scroll with the pen on the Surface, here is how you can change that.

1) Go to Control Panel
2) Search for Pen and Touch
3) Under the ‘Flicks’ tab, select ‘Practice using flicks’

I recommend changing the sensitivity to Relaxed so it can better recognize a flick. Or change it to what’s more comfortable to you.

Note: Flicks don’t seem to work in Internet Explorer, but they do in Chrome.

Random Surface Pro Tip! – More Battery Life

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Random Surface Tip! - More Battery Life

How to increase your battery life!

1) Switch to Power Saver Mode – Tap the battery icon on the Taskbar and select ‘Power saver’. If the option is not there, click ‘More power options’

2) Reduce your display brightness – Surface automatically adjusts screen brightness based on the ambient lighting of your environment, but you can always make adjustments yourself. Hit ‘Windows Button + C’ on the keyboard, then Settings, then Screen, then use the slider to adjust brightness. (You can also control Screen Rotation here.)

Fix Blurry Apps on the Surface Pro 2

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The Surface Pro 2, just like the original Pro, features a full 1080p 10.6″ display. That’s a lot of pixels squeezed into a very small area. Normally, this would result in everything you see on the screen being sharper, but also smaller considering the screen size.

What Microsoft did to avoid this was increase the DPI scaling in Windows to 150% in order to make things a little more finger friendly. Unfortunately, the negative side effect is that many of the desktop apps out there today, are not designed to take advantage of Windows’s DPI scaling, so text and images in those apps look annoyingly fuzzy.

Here’s how to fix that.

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Under the Properties of the app (right-click app icon > Properties), then under the Compatibility tab, make sure to check the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” checkbox. Quit and re-launch the app. Things should look a little smaller but a lot clearer.

Check out these before and after shots, the difference is pretty clear. Click image for larger version.

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NOTE: Some apps actually take advantage of the Windows DPI settings, so I recommend you only use this with incompatible apps as it could make these apps too small to use with your fingers. Good thing Microsoft provides a stylus in the box!