Text Input Using the Pen

Windows Vista supports text input using a tablet pen. This section discusses how you can analyze the text entry scenarios for your application and make best use of the available technologies in Windows Vista.

The conversion of handwriting to text is performed by a technology component called a handwriting recognizer. Handwriting recognizers are written specifically for each supported language. Their default behavior is to recognize vocabulary words that appear in a dictionary for a particular language.

Some text input strings, such as URLs, e-mail addresses, and names may not appear in the dictionary. Handwriting recognizers can adjust to these types of input strings, as well.

The following topics discuss two Windows Vista technologies that you can use to integrate text recognition with your application:

  • Tablet PC Input Panel is a user interface accessory that people use to enter text in text entry areas, such as text boxes and combo boxes. You can customize the behavior of Input Panel to fit your text entry scenarios.
  • Ink Analysis programming interfaces recognize the structure and content of handwriting. You'll use these interfaces to perform text and shape recognition on handwriting in custom inking areas.

These are different types of technologies, but both are integral to text entry using the tablet pen.

Issues surrounding text recognition

Entering text is a ubiquitous task on a mobile PC. Despite the technical challenges involved in text recognition, users expect a smooth experience when handwriting URLs, e-mail, and file names, and when completing website forms. A number of factors influence a user's success in entering text, including the following:

  • Capabilities of the handwriting recognizer
  • Nature of the content entered
  • The user's handwriting style and handedness (whether she is left-handed or right-handed)
  • Visual support in the interface for helping the user write recognizable text
  • How the application configures the text recognition technologies

Summary recommendations

  • Use input scopes and word lists to help the recognizer return accurate translations of handwritten words and phrases.
  • Provide AutoComplete functionality for data entry fields whose inputs tend to be lengthy, repetitive, or complex.

Get the Best Results from Tablet PC Handwriting Recognizers



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Build date: 2/8/2011