How to Type on the Surface with the Touch Cover Keyboard - dummies

How to Type on the Surface with the Touch Cover Keyboard

By Andy Rathbone

The Touch Cover keyboard cover on your Surface lacks mechanical keys. But its pressure-sensitive keys work surprisingly well. A mere touch won’t trigger the keys, so you can rest your fingers on the keys without typing. But when you start tapping on the keys, the keyboard translates your taps into typing.


The Touch Cover keyboard feels almost like fabric or cardboard more than a keyboard, and typing on it is an eerie feeling at first. You can start typing on it immediately with good results, but your speed won’t pick up until you’ve used it for a few days.

Don’t try to type too quickly — you’ll need to grow used to typing without feeling anything in response. But after you grow used to it, you’ll find it faster than the onscreen keyboard. And unlike the onscreen keyboard, it doesn’t fill half your screen.

Basically, the Touch Cover keyboard works much like any other keyboard, but these tips will save you some time:

  • The F and J keys have slight indentations on them to help you position your fingers correctly. Feel for them with your index fingers, and your other fingers will stay aligned more correctly.

  • The Touch Cover keyboard isn’t waterproof enough to toss into the dishwasher, but a damp rag removes most spills.

  • The 12 dedicated keys across the keyboard’s top edge double as Function keys. To turn a Function key into a dedicated key, hold down the Fn key while pressing it. (The Fn key is to the right of the space bar.)

  • The first Touch Cover keyboard didn’t label its Function keys, so you need to remember which one is which; the Touch Cover 2 includes the labels, thankfully.

  • On the first Touch Cover keyboard, the trackpad’s left- and right-click buttons are just beneath the trackpad, separated by the little vertical line. On the Touch Cover 2 keyboard, those buttons are along the bottom of the trackpad rather than beneath it.

  • If the mouse pointer or cursor disappears while you use the scroll pad, detach the keyboard, wait a few seconds, and reattach it. The pointer or cursor should reappear.

  • The Touch Cover keyboard comes in different colors: black, white, purple, cyan, and magenta. (Not every country carries every color.) And no, snapping a colored keyboard onto your Surface won’t automatically change your screen’s background color to match.