What Does An Active Stylus Do?


Sometimes referred to as Active Pen, an active stylus is an input device which includes electronic components that allows the users to write directly on the display of any computing device which includes smartphones, computers, ultrabooks and tablets. An active stylus contains internal, electronics and features such as touch sensitivity, input buttons, memory writing, data writing transmission capabilities, and electronic erasers.

 These active stylus are designed for touch screen use. They allow users to write the very same way as they would when writing with a pen on paper. These pens allow for handwriting inputs, drawings, and several other gestures on a digital screen. These pens were designed for some of the earliest touch screens, most of which were resistive touch screens. This resistive touch screens consisted of two conductive players placed within the screen when pressed; both layers came in contact creating a circuit that notified the device where the touch occurred.  To generate this force needed and maintain touch accuracy, the stylus pen was used.

The stylus pen, on the other hand, functions more as pen computing, as it is used to input commands onto a computer screen, mobile device, or graphic tablet. Hence e this stylus pen functions more like a mouse or trackpad. An active stylus is a more extensive and much advanced form of the stylus pen. Passive stylus resembles active stylus, but it lacks the unique features of an active stylus and can merely be used to write on screens.

How Active Stylus Are Used

Active Stylus Pens


The technological advancement of the world has caused the digitization of quite several activities that would have been performed manually in the past. One of such is drawing; In recent times, drawing has also adapted and moved beyond mere putting pen or pencil to paper, now you can comfortably draw using stylus pens on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. This advancement has been made even more possible with active stylus.

For artists, especially those on the go, active stylus allows you to work just as effectively as you would if you were drawing on paper. Its pressure sensitivity features will enable you to properly make your strokes as thick or as light as you want. Also, you make fewer mistakes drawing with an active stylus than you would with a pencil or pen, as these active stylus are designed to prevent parallax errors. They are also equipped with erasers to help you clean off mistakes that might make.


Sometimes, having to type notes can be tiring, and other times, you might not even have your writing materials with you. In this situation, an active stylus allows you to write just as effectively on your digital device screen as you would on a notepad.

You can take your notes on the go and not have to worry about your fingers cramping up or running out of space on your notepad. Using this active stylus, you can write directly onto display screens of your digital devices. When used with handwriting recognition software, the active stylus’ handwriting input can be converted to digital text, stored in a digital document and edited in a text application.


Like other digital pens, an active stylus can also be used for pen scrolling in place of a mouse or a keyboard. Its electronic components generate wireless signals which are picked up by a proprietary digitizer and then transmitted to its dedicated controller providing data on the pen’s location, pressure as well as its functionalities


Active Stylus does not only help with drawing, but they can just as well be used for painting. Its ballpoint pen-like tip makes it relatively easy to paint with.

Active Stylus Vs Capacitive Stylus

Most modern touch screen devices use capacitive touch screens which allow you to merely touch the device screen to trigger a response, unlike resistive touch screens. As a result, a capacitive stylus is a simple pen that can be used to trigger the screen’s electrostatic field at touch just as the finger does. These pens work on all capacitive touch screens that are responsive to finger touch. They are affordable and require no batteries.

However, there is very little or most times, no pressure sensitivity. In the same way, your device cannot sense just how you are pressing your screen, so also does your device not sense just how had you are pressing your capacitive stylus on it. Also, the capacitive stylus does not perform any other functions asides, that which your finger does. Furthermore, the device does not differentiate between the stylus and your hand as such; it is very easy to make mistakes should your palm rest on the screen.

On the other hand, an active stylus is very accurate, thus giving you the accuracy of your writings and drawings need. The cursor is always placed below the tip, thus preventing parallax error. The digitizer technology of active stylus allows your screen to determine just how much pressure you are applying on it using the stylus. This way, it can generate as much thickness as you want for a stroke. The active stylus has excellent palm rejection. Placing your palm on your screen causes it to go into hover mode, and the cursor pops up, thus preventing any mistakes that might have been made. It also has extra features, such as erasers.

They are, however, a lot more expensive and need to be connected to an app before they can work. Active Stylus is also designed for specific screens and cannot be used on other screens aside those.

An active stylus is a product of digitalization which has made it even easier for artists and writers to work on the go without having to worry about moving their materials. They have made drawing, painting, and note taking relatively easy. However, these pens are still very selective, and care must be taken before choosing an active pen to ensure that it matches with your operating system. However, with your active stylus, the barriers of having to start over again due to errors have been removed as you can just easily erase the mistakes.  They, therefore, are essential items for your stationery.

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