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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Handwriting Recognition

The accuracy and convenience of Windows’ handwriting recognition have come a very long way—which is great news if you have a tablet. Hey, if tablets can decipher doctors’ handwriting, surely you can get your tablet to recognize yours.

Using a pop-up transcription window called the Input panel, you can enter text anywhere you can type: Microsoft Word, your email program, your Web browser, and so on. Windows also comes with a special program called Windows Journal that’s a note-taking module designed expressly for tablets.

Handwriting Anywhere

To make Windows recognize your handwriting, open any program where you would otherwise type—a word processor, for example.

Now open the Input panel, which is a floating handwriting window that automatically converts anything you write into typed text (Figure 3-10). To view this panel, start by summoning the regular onscreen keyboard:

  • In TileWorld. Tap to put the insertion point in a text-entry area—an empty word processor document or an email message, for example. The keyboard appears automatically.

  • At the Windows desktop. Tap the Keyboard icon on the taskbar.

Once the onscreen keyboard appears, tap the keyboard key (lower right); tap the Handwriting icon, third from left. Now the Input panel is ready to use.

Just write on either one of the light lines; you’re looking at a two-line input panel.

Write just the way you would on paper—in cursive, printing, or a mixture of both. The main advice here is to be patient. Windows may look like it’s transcribing a word before you’re finished writing it—but after a moment, it will re-evaluate what you’ve done and re-transcribe it.

Figure 3-10. Write just the way you ...

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