Windows 8 Tablet Input Panel (TIP) Tipped on YouTube (Video)

A YouTuber who goes by adelayedperson is showing off video screen captures of build 7989 of Windows 8, including a fairly thorough run through of its on-screen keyboard, known better to us as the Tablet Input Panel or TIP.

The video gives a brief look at the different functionality in the redesigned TIP. As you can see, the basic functionality is little changed from the TIP in Windows 7 with the same ability to float as a separate window. The keys appear blockier, but the dots in the bottom right corner indicates it can be stretched and resized (though this is not shown).

The major changes are the removal of the number row in the standard keyboard (available in a separate view), the addition of emoticons and a wider range of symbols, and the split keyboard option. While the split ‘board shown in the touch-optimized “Immersive” interface looks pretty good, it’s rather disappointing on the floating TIP. I would imagine it looks better when docked, but still retains that big gray area in the middle. Hopefully that area will at least get translucent in the final version if not removed entirely. Ideally, the split arrangement should automatically dock the keys at the side of the screen, leaving the center free and clear.


While the handwriting area is shown in the video, no inking is shown, presumably because the user lacks pen input. What is shown are the correction gestures, which are unchanged from Windows 7. The default writing area appears to be larger, but again, this can likely be stretched and resized.

What I find distressing is the lack of options apparent in the new TIP. I’m guessing there’s some way to change the pen tip and docking options, but there’s no sign of the “Tools” menu in the video. This menu in Windows 7 also offers the character-by-character writing area and a shortcut to the handwriting training area. Without it, I’m left wondering if users will have to dig through the Control Panel to activate or access them.

Overall, looks like a net gain with the added keyboard features, but inking remains little or not changed, which is a disappointment as the world grows more interested in tablets.

This tip on the TIP comes to us from reader Willem Evenhuis (thanks again, Will).


Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]


  1. If this is really meant to be the jump to a tablet-focused OS then it’s missing the point. Having “the same but with a few improvements” just isn’t going to bring many over from the ipad.

  2. One of the features I’m really looking forward to with webOS on the TouchPad when it finally gets to our little corner of the world is the number row being on the primary keyboard.  It seems horribly backwards that Microsoft is removing that feature from their onscreen keyboard!

  3. Anyone got any idea how to bring this panel up on a resistive touchscreen device? I’ve loaded W8 Developer Preview on my Viliv S5 but am still struggling with that one aspect. Pity, because the OS runs great otherwise.

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