Microsoft Spartan: A closer look at inking

Earlier this week, Microsoft released a new version of Windows 10 and with it comes their new browser, Spartan. If you haven't installed the new build, and we don't blame you as there are several known issues with this release, but if you are curious about Spartan's new inking support, we have you covered.

First off, what exactly is inking? The term generally means support for pen input but in this case, it means the markup of web pages using a new feature in Spartan. In short, it allows you to draw on-top of webpages and then easily share the content.

To start using the feature, you tap the icon in the top right that looks like a square with a pen writing on it. Once you enter the new mode, the tab will turn purple and there will be pen options in the top left. For those of you who have used OneNote, the color and layout will feel familiar.

The first option you have in the top left is the pen icon and if you click it, you can change the color and pen tip size. The next icon is the highlighter that allows you to highlight text; as with the pen you can change the color and tips too.

The third icon is an eraser and by clicking on it, you also have the option to clear everything from the page. The fourth icon allows you to create a text box so you can type a comment and the last icon allows you to crop a section of the page.

In the top right, you have a save option, a sharing option, and an exit button to leave the inking mode.

Inking is straight forward, by selecting a pen or highlighter, you can markup the webpage and easily share it with anyone. While the concept is quite simple, we have already received two tips where someone used this feature to point out items not discussed in-depth with the Surface 3.

When you share a webpage that you have written on, Microsoft calls this image a 'Web Note'. These notes can easily be added to OneNote, emailed or shared on any of your favorite social networks.

The feature is a simple tool for the browser but adds a new layer of interaction with Spartan. While you may not need inking support every day, when you do, it will make quick work of marking up a webpage

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