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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual 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 OS X. It’s now called Ink, and it does exactly what it used to: turn 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 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.

Still, let’s face it: You could count on one hand the number of people with Wacom digitizing tablets who use them for handwriting input. And so, to avoid sacrificing any more old-growth trees to this book than absolutely necessary, the how-to for Ink is available as a free downloadable PDF appendix to this chapter. You’ll find it on this book’s “Missing CD” page at www.missingmanuals.com.

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