Microsoft just made the pen mightier with Ink improvements in Windows 10

Microsoft has just unleashed a new preview build of Windows 10 which incorporates a number of smart embellishments for Windows Ink, including a new Stencils feature and integration with the Photos app.

Yes, you can now Ink up your images in Photos using either a pen, pencil, or a fresh addition for those who feel like a bit of fancy scribing: a calligraphy pen. After you’ve saved the modified photo, you can share it as a still image, or even as a video which replays the process of you drawing on the pic.

As for the aforementioned new Stencils tool, Microsoft explains that this combines the functions of the protractor and compass, making it a breeze for users to draw a circle or precise arc. You get a degree readout as you draw, so you know exactly where you are in terms of your arc’s degrees, and the protractor can be resized with a simple two-finger pinch gesture.

Ruler has also been updated so you now get a numerical degree readout to make drawing precise angles easier. Microsoft has done a bit of tweaking to pen drop-down menus in Windows Ink Workspace, as well, so it’s now possible to modify both color and width, without having to go in twice to do so.

More touchpad tweaks 

Aside from the work on Ink, preview build 14951 also made further adjustments for precision touchpads, which saw a raft of customization options arrive last week. The latest tweaks involve the introduction of a keyboard shortcut picker which allows you to bind favorite key press combinations to gestures, and a ‘Change audio and volume’ option has been added to the basic swipe gestures present.

Furthermore, the camera app has been revamped with interface tweaks like being able to access Settings straight from the camera UI, and a new zoom slider for easier, er, zooming. You can set a photo timer from the dashboard, too, and on the PC, a tap of the spacebar now takes a picture.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux also got some attention with Ubuntu 16.04 replacing version 14.04 when it comes to new Bash on Ubuntu on Windows instances – although existing instances won’t be upgraded automatically. For more details, and the full list of changes and known issues to be aware of, check out Microsoft’s blog post announcing this preview build.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).