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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition by David Pogue

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Ink: Handwriting Recognition

In the same way that your grandmother turned yesterday’s dinner into today’s sandwich (and tomorrow’s soup), Apple recycled the handwriting technology of its failed Newton handheld and added it to Mac OS X. It’s now called Ink, and it does exactly what it used to: turns your handwriting into “typed” text in any program.

You can’t very well write directly on your Apple Cinema Display (although that would be cool). So Ink appears in Mac OS X only if you have a graphics tablet, one of those stylus-and-pad devices found generally only on the desks of graphic artists. (Wacom is the best-known tablet company, but there are a couple of others.)

Can Ink really replace the keyboard? Not for anything more than quick notes, that’s for sure. But it can be handy when you’re Web surfing, sketching, filling in database forms, and so on.

Note

Why on earth did Apple go to all this software-writing trouble just to satisfy the tiny community of graphics-tablet owners? That’s exactly what the GICPWBAMBDOPTC (Great Internet Confederacy of People Who Believe that Apple Must Be Developing a One-Piece Tablet Computer) wants to know.

Write Anywhere

Open System Preferences and click the Ink icon. (It appears only after you’ve hooked up a tablet.) Turn on handwriting recognition by setting the “Handwriting Recognition is” button to On (Figure 15-17, top). Right away, you see a change on your screen: The Ink toolbar appears (Figure 15-17, bottom).

Figure 15-17. Top: Most people never ...

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