Convert your handwritten notes to text using Windows Journal in Windows 7 | 8

Windows 7 has some native capabilities which makes it more effective and useful when you are using it on the touch enabled devices like Tablet PCs or Touch Smart PCs. Windows 7 has an application called, Windows Journal, which lets you convert the ink that you write with the pen tool to typed text, which can be used 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 that requires or prefers typed text. It gives you power to free yourself from keyboards to input any text in your word processors also. The hand writing recognition engine of Windows 7 is much powerful and sufficient enough to correctly recognize your hand writing and also gives suggestions according to them.

Convert handwritten notes to text using Windows Journal

1. Click on Start, search for Windows Journal and open it.
2. On the Pen toolbar, tap Selection Tool. (If you are using it for the first time then you have to install the Journal Note Pen driver).

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.
7. If your selection consists of several lines, these lines are preserved in the Converted text box and in the output text. Select this option if line breaks are important, such as in a list or in a poem. Clear this option if line breaks are unimportant.
8. In the Converted text box, tap any word that is recognized incorrectly. If a word is marked with a green background, it’s likely that you need to correct it. The handwriting that corresponds to the word 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.

9. 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 using the keyboard or Tablet PC Input Panel, and then tap OK.

10. In the next prompt of the Text Correction dialog box, 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 unchanged.
  • 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 already while you were correcting handwriting in the past, this dialog box doesn’t appear and your converted text is automatically 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 new text box is inserted in its place.

Important Tips:

  • You can change the settings for handwriting recognition by tapping the Tools menu, tapping the Options dialog box, and then tapping the Other tab.
  • If you want to convert all of the handwriting on a page to text, tap the Edit menu, and then tap Select All to first select all of the handwriting.
  • Journal is unable to convert ink that was written with the highlighter tool.
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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.