Pen text selection problems in edge (fall creator update)

Issue #14277341 • Unassigned


Ricard J.
Oct 17, 2017
This issue is public.
Found in
  • Microsoft Edge
Found in build #
Reported by 9 people

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Steps to reproduce

Since fall update I can no longer mark text with the pen by just marking the text by just tapping and dragging from where the words starts until the end. Worked very well in previous version.

Other problems are, double tapping to select word, does not always work, especially when inserting text in input form boxes.

Please add this behaviour back. Very hard to edit and copy text using pen as main input.


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    Comments and activity

    • I don’t know if there’s any change in how pointer events are handled. Pre fall creators update pen input worked flawlessly similar to how mouse works when working with text. Now it’s very clunky, to select and edit text using pen as main input. A big step backwards from how it used to be. If this is intended and not a bug, can you please add an option for to have pen behave more like mouse.

      Double click to select word. Tripple click to select paragraph. Tap and drag to mark text. etc. Current pen functionality is broken and not working well.

    • Pre fall creators update edge was my main goto browser just because it handled pen so extremely well and fluently.

      All other browser has very poor/buggy or non-existent pen support.

    • I have the same problem. I was using Insider versions before and this problem occured in one point of updates. Then I moved back to official release out of Insider versions.

      Now when updated to Fall Creators, I can’t mark in Edge and also some other apps that I use every day.

      I reported of this issue during Insider builds but never got an answer from feedback, twitter or anywhere.

      It seems I have to go back to Creators Update as I can’t use this one.

      So it is not only Edge problem, it’s wider.

    • It seems there has been a change that breaks the way some like me has used to use pen:

    • And it seems that I know have to press pen button to mark and select text. This really is annoying change.

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Assigned To to “”

      Changed Title from “Pen problems in edge (fall creator update)” to “Pen text selection problems in edge (fall creator update)”

      Changed Assigned To to “Grisha L.”

      Changed Status to “By design”

    • Please consider adding an option for pen behaviour in settings, as the current “design” makes the pen useless for anything else than drawing and scribbling.

      And please have some dev compare 1703 and 1709 pen behaviour for editing, marking selecting text. New behaviour is not good design at all.

    • I am having the same issue in MS Edge and other e-pub readers.

    • Hello,

      Thank you for providing this information about the issue. This is by design now. There was a recent change in Pen behavior on Windows (including Edge). In order to extend a selection, the user should press the barrel-button.

      Best Wishes,

      The MS Edge Team

    • Hello,

      I am also very very dissapointed by text selection feature with latest update. I would only point out, that this is not just in edge.

      Another thing I would point out and what I send via feedback hub, but it never good enough upvotes, so I doubt that anyone saw it.

      One thing that is making me mad when using the pen (which I use as a primary input tool - I don’t need a mouse anymore)

      The pen itself does not behave as a mouse pointer which leads into serious issues like:
      You are accidentally hitting your touch pad and so you move the pointer. It usually ends up in positions like upper right corner - yes the Cross that closes active window and with another accidental tap on your touch pad you will close your active window… FUN to work with that…

      I would love to see some update where the PEN movement actually moves mouse pointer and basically behaves as a mouse.

      If anyone at MS team needs some more details I can even record some short video. The only place where the pen works as a mouse is clean desktop, but when you get over some app or start screen with tiles it no longer moves the mouse pointer.

      Please, very please have this addressed as it would make my life way easier and will make me love my Surafce Book even more :-)

    • I skipped the info that we should use the barrel button - that is awesome feature. Thank you.
      But it does not fix the main issue only text selection. The issue is… when you use PEN as primary tool you down want to select the text then go to your keyboard and press the shortcut for copy…

      with your new design I can select the text nicely indeed… but when the text is selected and I press the barrel button again… guess what… it deselects the text so I can no longer use copy / paste… this needs to be addressed asap please. It made the PEN much less useful.

      I hope you can find a way how to keep the selection with barrel button - which is really cool, but we need to have a chance to select and copy text with just PEN itself. Thanks a lot for investigating and adjusting this feature :-)

    • I agree with the other comments about pen selection. I am very disappointed with the new behavior. Previously it was trivially easy to get the scroll behavior while holding the pen at the same time as using your finger.

      l use the pen as a primary mouse/touchpad replacement.

      Having to press the barrel button is more work/ less convenient. This post brought to you_ from my Surface Pro 4.

    • It’s so awful to use in the Fall Creators Update. What’s worse is that some devices like the Samsung Galaxy Book don’t have a barrel button that works for selection.

    • Luckily chrome has a setting in about:flags to disable pen scrolling and is now the better option for pen users. Text selection in chrome is superior at the moment. Have to switch browser or revert to 1703 until a fix for this is implemented.

    • this needs to go back to how it was before the creators update asap. I don’t want to use the pen to scroll up and down… that’s what touch is for. I want to use it to select text - without having to press a heavy button…
      Also there are many other apps including MS Word that you cant highlight unless you press the button… that is so cumbersome and counter intuitive. Please revert this back or at least give a setting to change it back…

    • I’ve posted elsewhere about this issue.

      I have been using stylus input only on Windows tablets since 2007. Creators Update Fall has, with the changes in stylus behaviour, been the single biggest misstep MS has aimed at pen users in all that time.

      How did this change get approval?

      I’m grateful to Ricard J for pointing out the option available in Chrome. So now I can switch my default browser from Edge to Chrome. Home run there MS, just what you need, an ex-Edge user.

      Unfortunately this “by design” calamity has broken other programmes I rely on for my work ,such as Serif’s PhotoPlus, so I am now investigating whether I can contemplate a 100% move from Windows to Samsung’s Galaxy Androd tablets. A few year’s ago this would have seemed utterly crazy but with MS giving as much love to their Office suite on Android/iOS as Windows I suspect it might work.

      Q. How bad does a design process need to be so as to drive a loyal 10 year plus user to the competition’s OS.

      A. This bad.

      P.S. And the replacement of the fully featured Qwerty keyboard with a finger friendly cut-down version managed to chalk up yet another spectacular own goal.

    • Changed Status from “By design”

    • Edge Team? Can we please have a setting in about:flags to disable pen scrolling? We don’t need another finger. We already have 10 working. Pen is a precision tool and not a 100$ extra finger.

      Text selection with barrel button? Who came up with that idea? Doesn’t work for pens without barrel botton. And if you have one, how do you right click and open context menu, for copy paste functions etc. without deselection? It doesn’t work.

      Did anyone try this before implementing?

      Reopening issue.

      This needs a fix or be forwarded to another department that handles pen input.

    • My sentiments exactly. I don’t know who was on the decision making team, but it is more than annoying. Simple decisions like these can discourage people from choosing Microsoft products and alienates existing customers. Please do more research before implementing these, or at least add the option to use the previous behavior for input.

    • l agree with all the following comments. Besides, squeezing the button requires way to much force for accurate selection. This will probably cause repetitive motion injuries over time.

      The pen is not a mouse. Mouse buttons are carefully tuned to reduce strain. The pen barrel button feels more akin to the trigger pull on a pistol. Its seems tuned to avoid accidental triggerings.

      I too would like to select in pen behavior. This needs fixing. I realize that I am not tending to shift my work back to mousing. Since the mouse’s behavior in selectable, why are you limiting the pen? It might be good to listen to your customer’s input here.

      This behavior is frustrating.

    • I read Ricard’s post above about Chrome having a flag to disable pen scrolling. For 2 hours I searched for that option, can’t find it anywhere.

      And I still don’t understand why would a bunch of well paid developers make such stupid decisions as that of disabling text selection in favor of page scrolling with a pen. In what mental status should they be to think this is a feature of the new update. This is plain awkward, in line with other signs that MS cannot keep in track with the success of Surface tablets, with the various departments completely disconnected.

      Beside this issue, I just had another horrible experience with MS customer service. They lost a Surface pen I sent and left me without a pen for over a month. More and more hints of MS irresponsible people.

    • D.P . I have some bad news for you. The flag is called. “Direct Manipulation Stylus” but Chrome decided to break that feature, so if you selelct that option, you will disable other features as well, such as:

      • Touch keyboard not firing on input boxes while using pen.
      • Double click with pen is no longer recognized.

      Maybe more stuff as well that I havn’t found yet.

      At this moment there is no browser that supports the pen well in Fall Creators Update (1709)

      • Edge no lunger supports text selection with pen, and is scrolling as default behaviour. Which can break drag and drop functionality in web apps. Barrel button can be used to selct the old way, but clicking the barrel button again will remove selection, and display contect menu with "read out loud".

      I want copy selection not read it out loud. You are forced to have “tap and hold” enabled for pen to copy selection. That’s the only fonctioning way to get the correct contecxt menu when trying to copy. Tap and Hold, which i always turn off, because it can conflict with drawing software when you do fine detail work. You will accidentally tap&hold when drawing too slow.

      Chrome breaks other things. As mentioned above you can turn off scrolling but other features are turned off too.

      Firefox you can select text as usual, and copy text, but they don’t have an option to turn off pen scrolling,so you will scroll and select at the same time.

      The only option at this moment is to revert to 1703. Before fall creators update. I don’t know what kind of retard you have to be to not test these kind of things beforehand, or add an off swich. It seems like someone just requested, "It would be cool if you could scroll with the pen", then someone at the department implemented it and pushed it live without any testing whatsover. Pen scrolling is conflicting with a lot of things in several softwares.

      • Some drawaing programs scroll when you want to draw.
      • Some programs scroll when you want to drag and drop.
      • Some programs scroll when you want to mark text.

      I keep 1709 on my secondary computer to keep track of any progress here, but on my main work computer i was forced to revert, and stop 1709 from installing. I’m fearing one day I will be forced to upgrade, and I hope they came to theis senses and removed or add an off switch for pen scrolling, and allow people to use pen like the old behaviour.

    • This is a huge issue for me as well. I use a browser based tutoring space for my work, and I am unable to draw within it now using ANY browser in this windows update. I have a Wacom penabled windows 10 tablet that I purchased in January specifically for this work, and now it is unusable. I’ve also noticed that in pen and touch settings, there is no distinction between the press and hold to right click for pen, and for touch. i.e. if I enable touch press and hold for right click, the pen also behaves that way! This seems to be an OS wide change.

      Please, as others have mentioned, revert this back to the expected (and useful) behavior, where the pen functions the same as a mouse, and can be used to click and drag, etc. If I wanted to use the pen to scroll, I would set a button to do that! As it is now, I can’t even use the barrel button to click and drag, even if I set the barrel button to function as a left click.

      This has seriously broken the functionality that I use this Windows 10 tablet for, and if that’s what we can expect from “updates” then I will probably not be buying another Windows 10 device with a stylus.

    • @Andrew

      Since there doesn’t seem to be any interest to remove pen scrolling, and the fact that Chrome has jumped on the pen scrolling bandwagon, I’ve checked the other browser alternatives. Chrome has a setting in about:flags to disable pen scrolling but that can break other pen functionality.

      Firefox seem to be the answer for now.

      Pen users who experiences text selection problems, and other pen related problems should try firefox out. It selects text as old behavior and does, and does not scroll on pen input. So no conflicts with other behavior, such as drawing, drag and drop, etc.

      Just make sure you set the flag ‘ui.osk.detect_physical_keyboard’ in ‘about:config’ to disabled. Otherwise you can have problem with firefox not firing the touch keyboard when tapping input fields with the pen.

      Hope that helps.

      I’m tired of switching browsers every other week, because they break pen behavior. At least firefox is the best option for now. And really hope they never implement that idiotic pen scrolling.

    • Yeah, I’ve found chrome works ok for now with that flag, but I’m sure that option will be removed soon… I am so sick of important functionality being removed with no option for customization. Another example, the touch keyboard on my tablet is a phone numpad… So frustrating and nothing I can do about it. It’s like Windows is trying to turn their full fledged OS into an iOS clone… I hope the file explorer isn’t gone in the next update :(

    • For what it’s worth I posted a complaint yesterday to an online Windows 10 space Q&A dedicated to Fall Creators Update.

      See here -

      I’ve received asking I contact the Windows Ink team which I’ve just done. My email is copied below. I’ll update this thread as and when I get a response.


      Jerry Koh (MS) reached out to me following my posting of a complaint about the negative stylus impact of Fall Creators Update. He suggested I direct my complaint to the Windows Ink team hence this email. For ease of reference the complaint I posted is here:

      To set the scene I have been using a slate style Windows PC since 2007 – with OneNote being the defining reason for this pen centric choice of hardware. Given the length of time invested in this setup it will not surprise you to learn the three current slate PC’s I rotate my work between are all Wacom EMR penabled, as is my Galaxy Note 5, bought solely to permit integrated OneNote note taking on the go.

      Up until updating my PC’s with FCU I was exceedingly happy with my pen centric way of working and quite frankly at a loss to understand why more folks hadn’t abandoned mouse/touchpad/physical keyboard input. I mention Wacom in the knowledge MS are now heavily invested in N-trig’s active stylus and FCU might possibly be a pure delight for this type of pen user and negatively impacting only Wacom EMR users, who do not represent the future for MS pen input. Many Wacom styli do not feature a barrel switch, including my favourite current stylus, which must surely deserve a prize for coolest digital pen 2017 -

      On the assumption MS has not deliberately thrown under a bus a large section of the pen using community, legacy or not, I must therefore conclude the recent change in stylus behaviour is impacting all pen users equally – and in the eyes of many this has been a major step backwards.

      To illustrate my point succinctly I drew attention to the fact that pen flicks and navigation is now simply impossible to use given the recent change in stylus behaviour following FCU. I fully appreciate this productivity tool is used by only a small section of pen users but I can no more understand why this feature is overlooked by so many pen users than I can understand why so few PC users cling to the mouse/touchpad/physical keyboard.

      If this was the only negative change (grievous though it would be to me personally) it would be regrettable but we all have to accept changes occur which you must learn to live with. Unfortunately it is not and the negative issues run much deeper. The inability to easily highlight text then bring up a drop down window, as per usual mouse interaction, makes simple everyday actions a massive chore and dramatically reduces the ease and advantage of using a pen as the primary input method. Not an ink issue I know but coupled with the bizarre decision to drop the fully featured on-screen keyboard from the keyboard button (and yes I know I can still access a fully featured keyboard within settings) and replace with a finger friendly cutdown alternative has made using the pen a complete nightmare.

      As I’ve mentioned in complaints posted elsewhere the difficulty the change within FCU was flagged up pre RTM but no heed was paid – see here

      If you would like to see a flavour of the problems other users are experiencing post RTM you can look here - - where I have added my own voice to the proceedings.

      Apologies for the lengthy email but this has so badly impacted my work flow, including making it impossible to interact with my Photo Editing software using a pen, that I felt it worthwhile taking time out to discover whether these changes are an unforeseen and unintended consequence which will be reversed or the new stylus behaviour is how MS understand pen users wish to use their tool and will remain as is.

      I look forward to your response.

    • I use my pen most of the time and I set it up just like a mouse. Left click, middle click, and right click. Easy to use and easy to switch between pen and mouse. The fall creators update ruins my ability to work that way. If you haven’t noticed the first thing windows pen users do is turn off the microsoft pen tools so we can actually work. We want less interference from you not more for the love of god please I need to work!!!1

    • My issue is not specific to edge. I was able to correct the scroll issue by unchecking “Use Windows Ink” in the Mapping tab of the Wacom tablet settings. However, “press and hold” to right click is not working at all.

    • Hi Rosa, just to clarify, you’re talking about the settings for a separate Wacom tablet? That connects with USB right? Just wanted to double check, because I would love for a Wacom setting to fix it, but I don’t have any such setting in the Wacom FeelDriver (for penabled tablets).

      As far as the press and hold to right click, there seems to also be a bug tying the pen to touch here as well. I can’t enable it in touch, but disable it for pen, even though I can see the checkmarks on the appropriate tabs, the behavior doesn’t line up. If you’re using an external tablet, you might not have touch functionality, so I don’t know if you have both a “touch” and a “pen” tab in the Pen and Touch Settings in control panel, but if you do, have you tried enabling it in both?

    • “James M. ‎Nov‎ ‎4‎, ‎2017 Microsoft Edge Team
      Thank you for providing this information about the issue. This is by design now. There was a recent change in Pen behavior on Windows (including Edge). In order to extend a selection, the user should press the barrel-button.
      Best Wishes,
      The MS Edge Team”
      Are you guys serious there? Is this one by design too?

    • @Andrew M. Yes, there is a setting in the Wacom Tablet Properties app… this is for a Wacom USB connected Intuos Pen & Touch tablet.

      @James M - Microsoft Edge Team. Using the button on the pen defeats the purpose. I use a pen as a result of injury and fine motor movements using my fingers is painful. With the drag/select, and press and hold to right click I can do most things using my whole hand/wrist. Please give an option to change this behavior.

    • To all those posting about their pen issues here following the bizarre FCU update.

      As most already know this issue is far wider than just Edge. Advice received elsewhere from MS is to direct all these problems, the more detaled the better, to

      This is the team that has visited this abomination upon us pen users, so it will be that team which needs to undo it.

      The Edge rep was simply stating a fact when he said it was by design - Windows Ink not Edge.

    • It might be by design (no matter if Edge or OS) not everybody likes the behaviour and hence making it optional would have been the better/more respectful way.

    • Re Andy R

      Don’t disagree but the misstep has occured. The job now is to get MS to recognise the error of their ways and put this right. I was informed the folks to do that are in the WindowsInk team not the Edge team. We need to bear down on those responsible and not the innocent bystander.

    • Ageed! Hence I also posted the link to my Feedback Hub comment for people who drop in here to maybe upvote it to get MS to take that plea serious and exhert pressure on the people responsible ;-)

    • BTW,the same thing happened on Chrome, Firefox, OneNote, … forums where this new OS behaviour led to bug reports on their forums.
      So the innocent bystanders should maybe also raise the voice not to fall victim to colateral damage.

    • Andy R.
      I’ve already made a bug report on Adobe user voice portal. At first was not sure where the problem is, because for me Windows 10 and Adobe CC all updated in one day. The more we spread this - the quicker fixes will come. As a representative at Microsoft told me - they made this scroll with pen because of users feedback. We are in minority because most people just surf the web and want to scroll it with their pen - they don’t need to interact with any serious software or advanced web apps. The irony here is that we still have half backed (compared to Windows 8) tablet mode, but now we, pen users, can’t use even desktop as it is supposed to.

    • MonteR x
      I’m sure you’re correct. But that makes it a double blunder on the part of MS.
      They should have called it Fall Consumers Update.

    • @Patrick L. & @MonteR x.
      If I only want to surf the web I’d go for an Android tablet or maybe even the bitten fruit. And if they wanted to have touch behaviour with a stylus MS could donate one capacitive pen tip for their pen to evirate an active pen.

      MS should focus on productive folk - the market for passive consumers is already lost to other OSs and won’t be won back with such decisions either.

    • “Patrick L. 3 hours ago
      They should have called it Fall Consumers Update.”
      first wanted to point this out, but thought it will be a little mean here in the Edge section. but i’m sure i posted somewhere something about the irony of the update’s name

    • This issue reminds me of a book titled "Save capitalism from capitalists", who warned against monopolist-like companies that are turning classic capitalism into a bunch of well paid irresponsible managers. If we had other alternatives to Windows, the developers of the Falls Creator Update that compromised the pen functionality - by design or by accident - would have been fired by now. Instead they keep getting outstanding salaries and don’t even deign to come here and talk to customers.

      I think getting those people fired is more important than fixing the pen. We should get a petition for it. The pen can be fixed in a few months by good hackers, but bad managers will only get worse with time. Only public effort can make these companies move away from the icebergs that their managers don’t see.

    • “D P.
      Instead they keep getting outstanding salaries and don’t even deign to come here and talk to customers.”
      I think you are a bit confused. As I already mentioned, they actually came out and answered our questions. This is not the right place, because the issue is not with Edge.
      This is a more relevant place to complain about this issue

    • I hate this new functionality. It affects all my browsers, including Firefox, despite what Richard J. saying about Firefox seeming to be the best option? It also affects some of my programs (scroll bars unusable with the pen).
      Mircrosoft NEEDS to revert back to the old functionality because this is absolutely unusable for people who rely on pens.

    • It’s been two month and there was no word from MS regarding this issue.

      I am going to install ubuntu to see how things works there.

      2017 is the year when MS follows new company code: If it works we can kill it. And we won’t give a damn about customers because why would we… lol

    • Death off Surface Tablet, the Fall update has slowed my work down to a point, that I am now not upgrading to the latest surface, and trying to locate an alternative, just now a typo can not even point to the area have to go to the front or end of the word then use the arrows, pathetic, I now have a blue O that gets in the way, can not easily cut and paste, so a minute become minutes to type, want to save a file (pdf) need to create a folder, damn explorer closes up can not see a thing. Have to stop! go into explorer create the folder, go back to edge and then save, what the hell back to the 90’s. Really MS test before you release, very unprofessional, whole industry is going dumb with facebook/twitter/google mentality business people still need good tools, maybe apple is the way go bugger been with MS since 93 …—…

    • Hi Everyone,

      I developed and patented the World’s most efficient Multi-Mode Gesture Based Interface called EditRight Software.

      EditRight Software represents a blazingly fast and accurate way to edit content on a Windows Tablet in Microsoft Word using an integrated pen.

      I mean EditRight Software use to represent a blazing fast and accurate way to edit content on a Windows Tablet, until I updated my Surface Tablet to the latest version of Windows Fall Creators Update.

      It is now almost impossible to properly select a block of text.

      Even when I manage to select a block of text then try to draw a stroke of ink all that happens is a scrolling event.

      When is Microsoft going to provide an option to disable this feature?

      This is the same problem that occurred when ink was made the default mode of interaction in Office Products.

      Everyone complained and eventually Microsoft provided an option to give back the ability to select a block of text with a pen.

      You should always provide an OFF switch when you make a significant change to the fundamental interaction between a pen and Windows OS or applications.


      Sean Maxted, President and CEO
      Natural Input Solutions Inc.

    • I am using the Surface 2. I find that in browsers, finger selection no longer works. You must double-tap and use the blue handles to highlight. Pen works fine. I wonder if this came from the recent updates. Very bothersome! I wish MS used focus groups to test stuff before rollout. Argh!

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