Does your touchscreen device respond to touch commands created by a stylus? While some touchscreens support the use of a stylus, others do not. Even if your touchscreen currently doesn’t work with a stylus, though, there are a few ways to make it work.

Choose a Resistive Touchscreen

All resistive touchscreens are designed to work a stylus. In fact, they support touch commands created by any object as well as a bare finger or gloved finger. Touching or tapping a resistive touchscreen with a stylus will force the upper and bottom layers to press together. When this occurs, the resistive touchscreen will register the point of contact as a touch command in that area.

Use a Capacitive Stylus

If you own a capacitive touchscreen, you won’t be able to perform touch commands using a traditional stylus. Styluses used for resistive touchscreens are typically made of plastic or other nonconductive materials. Therefore, they don’t work with capacitive touchscreens. When you press a traditional stylus against a capacitive touchscreen, it won’t absorb any device’s electrostatic field. As a result, the capacitive touchscreen won’t register the touch command.

There are special types of styluses, however, that are designed to work with capacitive touchscreens. Known as capacitive styluses, they are made of an electrically conductive material. Capacitive styluses look like regular, traditional stylus. But rather than being made of plastic, they are made of a conductive material like metal. Their conductive construction allows them to absorb some of the electrical current created by a capacitive touchscreen.

Add Conductive Material to Your Stylus

With a little work, you can convert a traditional stylus into a capacitive stylus. Basically, this involves modifying a traditional stylus with conductive material on the tip so that it will absorb some of the device’s electrical current. Gluing conductive foam to the tip of a traditional stylus, for example, will essentially turn it into a conductive stylus. When you press the tip against a capacitive touchscreen, it will absorb some of the device’s electrical current — and the device will detect this current change as a touch command.

When in doubt, choose a resistive touchscreen. As previously mentioned, resistive touchscreens support all types of touch commands, including those performed with a traditional stylus. If you have a capacitive touchscreen, however, you’ll need to either use a capacitive stylus or a modified traditional stylus. As long as the stylus is able to absorb some of the device’s electrical current, it will work with a capacitive touchscreen.