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Thread: Handwriting to text

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Handwriting to text

    This is something that is quite needed - an app / program that transforms your handwriting into digital text.

    I know there are some options around there. I googled, searched around the web, but there hasn't been one single definitive answer that you can rely on. Most apps and programs allow you to take a picture of your handwritten text and then you could be able to search the text, like Evernote does. But that's not quite enough - I want my handwritten stuff to be digitalised, so I don't have to write it again in digital form.

    Any suggestions on this?
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    Well, you could always just scan the stuff and read it as a picture format. This is something which is often done with patient care-records in healthcare, as it minimizes errors significantly, plus you know about doctors handwriting, it is barely legible to human eyes.

    But to do this, you require a scanner which is able to use discern the differences (I forgot the actual name of what it is called. Alpha-optic? Probably something technobabble like that, I remember having one) which costs closer to £70-100 mark, instead of your typical cheap printer-scanner of £20-30, and then you need the software to do it. This also requires your handwriting to be "neat" (like, spaced clear lettering neat), and even then, you will need to proof read the results to ensure you get it correct. In my honest opinion, it wasn't worth the hassle.

    So your solutions are this:

    1) Get the hardware and software to do it, you still need to proof read, and it is time consuming.
    2) Put it infront of you and type it out by hand. (cheaper and quicker than 1).
    3) Get access to a industry-scale scanner/photocopier, and just mass-scan all of your documents into a picture format. (significantly faster and cheaper than everything else)
    4) Use your personal scanner to just take a scan of your documents in a picture format. (significantly slower than 3, faster than 1 and 2.)
    Last edited by Beskar; 10-21-2016 at 00:44.
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  3. #3
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    So technically, we haven't yet invented the handwriting to text software yet.

    The problem with this is that it's time consuming, and sometimes I want to jot down some ideas and have them imported directly into an app or something similar without having to rewrite the whole thing again.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    I think that's a tough one, I know you can directly use handwriting to an extent in Windows 10, but whether that recognizes actual handwriting or more writing in digital style, or how good it works, I do not know. To digitalize handwriting sounds complicated, especially given the myriad of different styles that exist, as Beskar hinted at with how doctors write.

    Scanning it as a picture as Beskar suggests is probably the best idea. There are also Smartphone apps that do a relatively good job if you don't want to buy a scanner. I've used Office Lens for a few copies I had to send e.g. for some government inquiry myself, never had any problems.
    It can also create a Word document with the photographed pictures and text, but I am relatively sure handwriting will not be recognized as text.


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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    But to do this, you require a scanner which is able to use discern the differences (I forgot the actual name of what it is called. Alpha-optic? Probably something technobabble like that, I remember having one)
    OCR- Optical Character Recognition.
    Sadly, that's just about the extent of my knowledge of it. Years back, I had mixed results using OCR to scan typed pages in as editable documents. Handwriting would have been pretty much a non-starter. I'm sure things have improved since then.... but enough to do what you're looking for reliable? Beats me.
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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    OCR, indeed. OCR improved quite markedly in the past years, and even the fact that Evernote allows you to even search for a specific piece of text within a picture is big business!

    That being said... does anyone have OneNote?

    https://support.office.com/en-us/art...2-9ee62cebbd4c

    Convert handwriting to text

    OneNote includes a handy conversion tool so you can change handwritten text into typed text.
    To convert handwriting to text, do the following:

    1. On the Draw tab, choose the Lasso Select button.
    2. On the page, drag a selection over the handwriting you want to convert.
    3. On the Draw tab, choose Ink to Text.
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  7. #7
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    I think that refers to handwriting you enter directly into the device, e.g. with a stylus.
    I just tried it with some handwritten text I wrote with my finger on my tablet, doesn't seem to do anything with it.
    When I use the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard's handwriting function on the tablet, it works relatively well though, as long as the words are in the dictionary of the system language. Which meant it would only find German words, when I switched to English, the handwriting keyboard was not even available, in German, English words were not recognized and it tried to find the closest German words. Probably would have to download some language pack for that in the options, I think the handwriting comes in seperate packs from the overall language packs.

    It may be useful if one has a Surface with a stylus or some other stylus input tablet, but then I usually type faster on a keyboard and also avoid recognition errors that way.


    Also the following guys claim that their software is very good at OCR with handwriting, and it seems to be free, but I never heard of them before and am somewhat sceptical of the offer.

    http://www.cvisiontech.com/library/o...cognition.html

    According to Bloomberg they seem to work with Panasonic though, sounds legit if it isn't "free"ware or so. You may want to try it if you have something to scan the documents with.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/research/st...capid=38949656


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  8. #8
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    Sweeeet! Thank you for the tip/link Husar.

    I'll give it a try.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Handwriting to text

    you can find online OCR applications to convert handwriting to text

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