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Auxiliary tools you can use with SketchBook

Looking at auxiliary tools to use with SketchBook? To get the best experience with SketchBook on either desktop or mobile, we recommend using it with an input device. Try SketchBook with a Wacom tablet, iPad Pro, or using an assortment of styluses. There are many options to choose from. For a list of supported pens for SketchBook for Mobile, see SketchBook for Mobile: Which pens works with which devices?

Auxiliary devices for SketchBook for Desktop

Exclusively available on SketchBook for Desktop for MacBook Pro users
For MacBook Pro users
, we’ve added quick access icons and sliders to the Touch Bar for undoing/redoing and changing brush/color attributes. See MacBook Pro Touch Bar support for more details.

Wacom

For Mac or Windows users, Wacom has a variety of drawing tablets, ranging from interactive pen displays, to pen tablets and styluses. It has everything a beginner or professional artist needs.
Learn more

Astropad

With Astropad, you get all the features of SketchBook desktop on your iPad, iPad Pro, and iPhone. Astropad mirrors your desktop onto your Apple devices.
Learn more

Auxiliary devices for SketchBook for Windows 10

Unlock the drawing power of your Windows tablet with SketchBook. Specifically designed for both stylus and touch-input, it’s optimized for Windows 10.
Learn more

Surface Dial

Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 with the Microsoft Surface Dial
Do you want a new way to interact with SketchBook? If so, for Microsoft’s Surface Studio, Surface Book, and Surface Pro 4 users, we are delighted to introduce the Microsoft Surface Dial. If you are familiar with the dial, jump ahead to How to start.

For those of you who are either curious about the Surface Dial or have just purchased one and haven’t had a chance to check it out, continue reading for an introduction to it. Change the paint color as you draw, without returning to the main interface.

Getting set up

Before you begin using the dial, as a Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Surface Studio users, ensure you’re running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update with Bluetooth 4.0LE. Next, don’t forget to install the batteries. Finally, tap the Bluetooth button on the bottom of the dial to ensure it’s paired with your Surface.

How to start

Microsoft Surface Dial modes - on-screen and off-screenColor options in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface DialThere are two ways to use the dial: off-screen and on-screen. Whichever mode you choose to work in, you’ll feel the vibration (haptic feedback) as you access the radial menu, select tools, and select tool options for adjusting brushes, colors, even your canvas. Plus, how would you like to undo or redo at the twist of a dial, seeing as each stroke is removed or replaced? It will probably remind you of watching a time-lapse of a drawing being created or undone. With the dial, the Undo/Redo feature is quite something!

Changing tool position for left-handed users

For anyone using the dial who is left-handed, I suggest you open your device Settings, select Pen & Windows Ink, then under Pen where it states Choose which hand you write with, set Left Hand. This will place all the tools on the opposite side of dial, where your hand/arm won’t obscure them.

Settings from a Surface device running Windows 10 used to change the Surface Dial display for left-handed users of Autodesk SketchBook

Accessing the radial menu

Radial menu using the Microsoft Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10
The radial menu is a hub containing the UndoBrushColor, and Canvas tools.

Tap-hold to access the menu (you’ll feel the dial vibrate as the menu opens).

Selecting a tool

Once the radial menu appears, twist the dial to switch tools. As you twist, a different tool is highlighted.

Radial menu using the Microsoft Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10Radial menu using the Microsoft Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10

To select the highlighted tool, either tap the dial or touch the tool on your screen. The name of the active tool is displayed briefly.

The name of the active tool in Autodesk SketchBook is displayed briefly.

Cycling through and selecting tool options

Each tool has one or more options or properties that can be changed with the dial. You may have to cycle through them to select a specific one. See below for the specific tool options available.

Tap the dial to jump from one tool option to another. The circular selector appears in the next ring, as the dial is tapped.

Cycling through and selecting tool options using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBookCycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBookCycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBook

SketchBook remembers the last tool option used for the selected tool.

Adjusting tool options

Though the interface looks slightly different depending on whether you are using the disk on- or off-screen, the tool options are the same.

Keep in mind, when the dial is off-screen, your dial needs to be next to your Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or Surface Studio and Bluetooth 4.0LE must be enabled.

Undo/Redo in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screenUndo – The tool options for this are Undo and Redo. With Undo selected, use the dial to twist to the left to undo and right to redo. As you continue to twist the dial, more steps are undone or redone, kind of like watching a time-lapse movie.

Brush in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screenBrush – The tool options for this are Size and Opacity. With Brush selected, tap the dial to cycle between brush size and opacity.

Brush opacity with the Microsoft Surface Dial on Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10

When in either tool option, twist the dial to adjust the brush settings (either opacity or size). A visual readout appears at the top of your screen.

Color in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screenColor – The tool options for this are Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. With Color selected, tap the dial to switch between hue, saturation, and luminance. When in the desired option, twist the dial to adjust it.

Cycling through and selecting tool options using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBookCycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBookCycling through and selecting another tool option using the Surface Dial in Autodesk SketchBook

Canvas in Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10 using the Microsoft Surface Dial off-screenCanvas – The tool options for this are Zoom and Angle. With Canvas selected, tap the dial to switch between zooming and angle rotation. When in the desired option, twist the dial to adjust it. A visual readout appears at the top of your screen.

Canvas screen readouts with the Microsoft Surface Dial with Autodesk SketchBook for Windows 10

Auxiliary devices for SketchBook for Mobile

There are an assortment of styluses that are compatible with the wide range of available devices. Here are a few that work with iOS and Android devices. Learn more

iOS

Android

Want to sign-up for a 15 day FREE trial of SketchBook for Desktop?
Click here for more info.

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Updated on October 5, 2017

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