A stylus (pronounced STAI-luhs, from the Latin stilus or "stake") is an instrument for writing and, in computers, an input device used to write text or draw lines on a surface as input to a computer. The term was first used in workstations designed for graphics applications, such as CAD/CAM, where the stylus was attached to an electronically-sensitive tablet or surface on which the stylus user wrote. Later, in handheld computers such as Apple's Newton and 3Com's PalmPilot, a stylus was provided as an instrument for writing text characters and simple pictures. In most of today's handheld computers that accept written input, the writing instrument is referred to as a stylus or a pen.

This was last updated in September 2005

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