Convert handwriting to text

In Windows Journal, you can convert ink to typed text that you can use in other programs or in a note. This can be very useful when you want to use information from your handwritten notes in a program in which typed text is preferred or required.

If you want to use your tablet pen to enter text into another program, use Tablet PC Input Panel. For more information, see Write it out: Using Tablet PC Input Panel instead of your keyboard.

You can change the recognizer language that Journal uses to match the language in which you take notes. If you need to change the recognizer language, you can recheck an existing note to make the selection of words more accurate. If you don't have a recognizer language that matches the language in which you take notes, you can choose to turn off handwriting recognition.

Handwriting recognition is currently available for English, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Korean, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese (Brazil). If you are not using one of these input languages, you can use the on-screen keyboard in Tablet PC Input Panel to enter text without using a standard keyboard.

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To convert handwriting to typed text

In Journal, you can convert ink to typed text and then paste the text into another program. You can also replace the original ink with the converted text in a text box.

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. On the Pen toolbar, tap Selection Tool.

  3. Draw a loop around the handwriting that you want to convert.

  4. Tap the Actions menu, and then tap Convert Handwriting to Text.

  5. In the Text Correction dialog box, tap Options.

  6. Tap to select or clear the Preserve line breaks from notes option.

    If your selection consists of several lines, these lines are preserved in the Converted text box and in the output text. Select this option when you are converting handwriting in which line breaks are important, such as a list or a poem. Clear this option when you are converting paragraphs in which the line breaks are unimportant.

  7. In the Converted text box, tap any word that is recognized incorrectly.

    If a word is marked with a green background, it is likely that you need to correct it.

    The handwriting that corresponds to the word you tapped appears in the Ink from note box. The handwriting is also selected in your note to provide context for the text that you are correcting.

  8. To correct the recognition error, look for the correct word in the Alternative box. If you find it, tap the word, and then tap Change. If you don't find the correct word, you must enter it.

  9. Tap OK twice.

  10. If a new Text Correction dialog box appears, select one of the following options:

    • Copy to the Clipboard. This option allows you to paste your text into another program. The handwriting in your note remains untouched.

    • Insert in the same Journal note. This option inserts your converted text into a text box in your note. Your original handwriting is deleted.

    If you selected the Always copy the text to the Clipboard option while you were correcting handwriting in the past, this dialog box does not appear and your converted text is always copied to the Clipboard.

  11. Tap Finish.

    If you chose to copy your converted text to the Clipboard, you can paste the text into any program.

    If you chose to insert your converted text into a text box, the original ink is deleted and the text box is inserted in its place.

Tip

  • If you want to convert all of the handwriting on a page to text, you can first select all of the handwriting by tapping Select All on the Edit menu.

Notes

  • You can convert ink to text from a pen only. You cannot convert ink from a highlighter.

  • You can convert ink to text only when handwriting recognition is turned on. You can turn on or turn off handwriting recognition on the Other tab of the Options dialog box.

To convert selected handwriting to an e-mail message

With Journal, you can convert ink to typed text and automatically insert the text into an e-mail message. You can also attach a graphics file to the e-mail message. The attached file contains an image of the original ink selection that you can view by using many standard graphics programs.

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. On the Pen toolbar, tap Selection Tool.

  3. Draw a loop around the ink that you want to select.

  4. Tap the Actions menu, and then tap Convert Selection to E-mail.

  5. In the Convert to E-mail dialog box, tap Options.

  6. Tap to select or clear either of the following two options:

    • Preserve line breaks from notes. If your selection consists of several lines, these lines are preserved in the Converted text box and in the output text. Select this option when you are converting handwriting in which line breaks are important, such as a list or a poem. Clear this option when you are converting paragraphs in which the line breaks are unimportant.

    • Include selected ink. The selected ink is saved as an enhanced metafile (.emf) and is also attached to the e-mail message.

  7. In the Converted text box, tap a word that is recognized incorrectly.

    If a word is marked with a green background, it is likely that you need to correct it.

    The handwriting that corresponds to the word you tapped appears in the Ink from note box. The handwriting is also selected in your note to provide context for the text that you are correcting.

  8. In the Alternative box, look for the correct word. If you find it, tap the word, and then tap Change.

  9. Tap Convert.

    The converted text automatically appears in the body of an e-mail message. If you selected the Include selected ink option from the Options button, an enhanced metafile (.emf) that represents the original ink selection is also attached to the e-mail message.

Notes

  • To convert selected ink to an e-mail message, you must have an e-mail program installed and set up.

  • You can convert ink to text only when handwriting recognition is turned on. On the Other tab of the Options dialog box, you can turn on or turn off handwriting recognition.

  • You can convert ink to text from a pen only. You cannot convert ink from a highlighter.

To turn handwriting recognition on or off

If Journal doesn't have a recognizer language installed that matches the language in which you are taking notes, you might want to turn off handwriting recognition. This prevents unexpected selections when you tap words to select them. But this also prevents you from converting handwriting to text.

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. Tap the Tools menu, and then tap Options.

  3. Tap the Other tab, and under Handwriting recognition, select or clear the Enable handwriting recognition check box.

  4. Tap OK.

To choose a recognizer language

You should choose a recognizer language to match the language in which you take notes. This will make your handwriting recognition as accurate as possible. It will also make selections more accurate when you tap words to select them.

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. Tap the Tools menu, and then tap Options.

  3. Tap the Other tab, and under Handwriting recognition, select the Enable handwriting recognition check box.

  4. In the Choose a recognizer language list, tap a language.

  5. Tap OK.

Note

  • If you have notes that match the new recognizer language, you might want to recheck the notes to ensure that tapping to select a word produces an accurate selection.

To recheck a note after changing the recognizer language

If you recheck an existing note after changing to a new recognizer language, Journal considers that note to be written in the new language. If the note was actually written in the new language, rechecking the note makes selections more accurate when you tap words to select them.

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. Open the note that you want to recheck.

  3. Tap the Tools menu, and then tap Options.

  4. Tap the Other tab, and under Handwriting recognition, tap Recheck Note.

  5. When prompted, tap Yes.

  6. Tap OK.