Strategies for improving handwriting recognition

It can be frustrating if your Tablet PC doesn't recognize your handwriting correctly. There are several things that you can do to improve handwriting recognition.

Personalize your handwriting recognition

If handwriting recognition generally works poorly for you, the best thing that you can do is to provide lots of handwriting samples through the Handwriting recognition personalization tool. When you provide handwriting samples, the handwriting recognizer learns how you write characters and words, which can improve the accuracy of handwriting recognition.

Open Handwriting Personalization by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type personalize handwriting recognition, and then, in the list of results, tap Personalize handwriting recognition.

Tips

  • The more handwriting samples you provide, the better the chances that your handwriting will be recognized.

  • You can provide samples for each section of the Handwriting recognition personalization tool as many times as you want; additional handwriting adds to the set of handwriting samples that's used to update the handwriting recognizer.

  • Because it can be time-consuming, you don't have to write all of your samples at one time. You can save your handwriting samples and come back to provide more handwriting samples at any time.

To learn more about the Handwriting recognition personalization tool and automatic learning, see Handwriting personalization on a Tablet PC.

Add words to the handwriting dictionary

You can greatly improve handwriting recognition for words such as proper names, acronyms, technical terms, and abbreviations by adding them to the handwriting dictionary. If a word is not in the handwriting dictionary, it's more likely to be recognized incorrectly.

To add a word to the handwriting dictionary

  1. Open Tablet PC Input Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Tablet PC Input Panel, and then, in the list of results, tap Tablet PC Input Panel.

  2. Tap the Writing Pad Picture of the Writing Pad button button.
  3. In the writing area, write the word that you want to add to the handwriting dictionary.

  4. Tap the word and, if necessary, revise it so that the word that you want to add to the dictionary appears.

    Make sure you spell the word correctly. If you add a misspelled word to the handwriting dictionary, it could degrade the quality of your handwriting recognition.

  5. Tap the arrow above the word , and then select Add to the handwriting dictionary.

Other things that might help

Besides using the handwriting personalization features and adding words to the handwriting dictionary, there are several things that you can do that might help improve handwriting recognition and your experience with using handwriting on your Tablet PC.

  • Hold the pen and Tablet PC naturally. Holding the tablet pen the same way that you hold a traditional pen or pencil makes your handwriting more natural, which can help improve recognition.

  • Set your Tablet PC for the hand you write with.

    To adjust handedness on your Tablet PC

    1. Open Tablet PC Settings by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then tapping Control Panel. In the search box, type Tablet PC Settings, and then, in the list of results, tap Tablet PC Settings.

      You won't see Tablet PC Settings if you aren't using a Tablet PC or a computer with a touchscreen.

    2. On the Other tab, under Handedness, tap Right-handed or Left-handed.

  • Make sure that your Tablet PC screen and pen are properly calibrated.

    To adjust screen and tablet pen calibration

    1. Open Tablet PC Settings by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then tapping Control Panel. In the search box, type Tablet PC Settings, and then, in the list of results, tap Tablet PC Settings.

      You won't see Tablet PC Settings if you aren't using a Tablet PC or a computer with a touchscreen.

    2. On the Display tab, under Display Options, tap Calibrate, follow the instructions on the screen, and then click Yes.

  • Use the quick keys (Num, Sym, and Web) in Tablet PC Input Panel to enter numbers, symbols, or common elements of web and e‑mail addresses, such as "www." and ".com". Quick keys are accessible from the writing pad, and provide a fast way to enter characters that might cause recognition errors.

If you upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows Vista

If you upgraded a Tablet PC to Windows 7 from Windows Vista, your previous handwriting files aren't being used to improve your handwriting recognition or text prediction. Follow these steps if you want them to be used:

  1. Open Pen and Touch by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then tapping Control Panel.
  2. In the search box, type pen and touch, and then, in the list of results, tap Pen and Touch.

    You won't see Pen and Touch if you aren't using a Tablet PC or a computer with a touchscreen.

  3. Tap the Handwriting tab.

  4. Select Don't use automatic learning, and delete any previously collected data, and then tap Apply.

  5. In the Delete Collected Data dialog box that appears, click Delete Data.

  6. Select Use automatic learning (recommended), and then tap OK.

  7. In the Use Automatic Learning dialog box that appears, click OK.