Best "basic" handwritten to text conversion app

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Kpierce, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Kpierce

    Kpierce
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    hello all:
    I am new here and I hope I am posting in the correct forum.
    I have an iPad 2, running iOS 8.4.

    I am looking for a solid application for taking notes. I have tried or looked at the top ones on the market. Such as one note (seems to feature to convert ink to text is not in the iPad version), Evernote, Writepad for iPad, Top Notes, Memo and My Script to name a few.

    What I am looking for is an application where I can take hand written notes during a meeting. Then after the meeting I want to convert my handwritten notes in text so I can then copy and paste them into a Word template for meeting notes.

    The closest app I have found so far is Memo. However it treats each page as completely different from the other pages. For example if I have 20 written pages, I would have to highlight each page one by one, then I would have to cut and paste 20 times to get all the information into the word document.

    My ideal app would allow me to take all my notes, pressing the + sign to get another page is ok. But when I am finished I would press a button (or something) and the handwriting would be somehow converted. Also, this ideal app would have a STRONG handwriting to text engine. And another important item would be the ability to tell it, I am left handed. This seems to be an issue with several apps I have tried.

    I really appreciate you time and attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Kpierce
     
  2. twerppoet

    twerppoet
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    If your main requirement is that you want to handwrite rather than type, you might try the MyScript - Stack keyboard. Instead of converting your writing after the fact, it uses handwriting recognition as an input method.

    The extra gestures for spaces, returns, etc, take a little practice, but not excessive. I've found it reasonably accurate with my hand writing (printing, not script); though things like quotation marks, caps, and other odd characters can be trickier. It works best of you treat the input pad as a writing area, writing the letters in a row, as you would on paper rather than on top of each other; which was common in older pen input methods like the Palm's Graffiti.

    And since it's a third party keyboard, it can be used in the app of your choice.
     
  3. Kpierce

    Kpierce
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    Thank you for the quick response. I will give myscript a look. But looking a the information online, it might not be what I am looking for.

    To summarize,
    1) I would like to take notes using a stylus.
    2) Convert these notes to text.

    Seems like this would be something very basic. And at the root of most of these apps, you can get to the finished product, which is to have handwritten notes converted to text. However, it takes many steps to get to the converted text.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Kpierce
     
  4. twerppoet

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    I understood what you wanted. I just don't have any apps that do that, and don't know of any that do it well. At least not on the iPad.

    I'm not saying there are not any.

    But I thought I'd offer what I had, since it 'might' work for you. :)

    Not that I use it myself. I thought it was cool, and much better than older systems of it's kind I'd tried in the past, but in the end I'd rather use a keyboard. Even a touch keyboard. I'm faster, and make fewer mistakes.

    I don't like taking hand written notes on the iPad for two reasons. One, if I just jot away on the screen then it's hard to get more than a few notes per page. Even with a stylus. Some apps, like Notabilty, have a special handwriting area that you can use to enter text, and that works better, but I find that I'm no faster than I would be on the keyboard, and in the end you just have some non-searchable text.

    Though you can export as a PDF to Evernote which detects and makes handwriting searchable (pro account only). I occasionally use that, but only for scanned in notes, not notes I took on the iPad itself.

    Inevitably I fall back on good old paper and pencil when I need to take notes in a meeting, or doodle ideas.

    Anyway. Good luck with your search. I've always been interested in this kind of note app, even if I've never found one I liked well enough to use. I'll be interested in hearing about any solution you end up liking.
     
    #4 twerppoet, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  5. Kpierce

    Kpierce
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    Thanks for the quick response. If there is nothing that will do what I need, can you tell me the app that would be the closest to what I need?

    From what I have found myscript memo is the closest. I think oneNote would do the trick, however it seems that the feature "ink to text" is not available for the iPad. Perhaps the feature is there and I am missing something.

    As always, thank you so much for your help.

    Thanks
    Kpierce
     
  6. twerppoet

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    Like I said, I don't' have an app that will convert handwritten documents to text. The two apps I do have that allow handwriting are Penultimate and Notability.

    Penultimate only exports as PDF and it's own format. It does save automatically to Evernote, which is why I keep it around. Just in case I do need to jot a few things down and don't have a notebook available.

    Notability can export as PDF, RTF, and it's own format. The RTF export sounds good, but I haven't had much luck getting it to work, and if/when it does script is exported as images, not converted text. Unlike Penultimate, Notability offers both text and script note taking, along with some other nifty features. I keep it mostly for it's ability to take notes on top of other PDF files. It's like being able to doodle on your meeting handout.

    While I've heard of apps that do what you want, I don't' have any personal experience with them, and I haven't read any reviews. Your own experience will be a far better guide than I.

    You mentioned OneNote. I didn't know it had this ability, but it did spark an idea. If you have an Office 365 account, then your OneNote notes should be available (and synced) for you online, and/or on a computer. It might be possible to take the notes on the iPad, then use those methods to convert the notes at a later time.
     
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  7. Kpierce

    Kpierce
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    You may have the answer, wonder if it will work this way.

    1) Take notes on your iPad
    2) save notes to a 365 mail account (never done this). I assume this a easy.
    3) from my laptop/desktop pull up the notes saved in previous step.
    4) edit text to what is needed.
    5) email text notes from laptop/desktop

    Only catch here is, oneNote will perform the "ink to text" on a laptop/desktop.

    Thanks
     
  8. twerppoet

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    No problem.

    Doesn't oneNote sync between the iPad and Desktop (or online), as long as you use the same Office 365 account? Should save you a step, not having to mail it.

    Anyway, if it works please let us know.
     
  9. Kpierce

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    OnNote appears to be a very basic function program, that has been implement in a "non-intuitive" manner. For example does "syncing a note book" save it to the cloud.

    I finally got to a point where I thought I understood everything. So, I created a notebook, a few folders and then pages.

    I synced it and went to my laptop, struggled a little but was finally able to open one of the writing pages. I was then able to do ink to text. Poof!! There was the text. I have bad handwriting so OneNote did not do that well on the conversation. But, that is something I can work on.

    Is there a good tutorial for oneNote. I looked and only found a few tutorials, and they were not that great.

    Finally, does anyone use the palm Rejection? Does it work you, it really seems to work only "some" of the time.

    Again, thank you for you time and support,

    Kpierce
     
  10. twerppoet

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    I'm glad it worked, if only sort of. Good handwriting conversion is always tricky.

    No idea's about tutorials for oneNote. Maybe there's something on YouTube.

    Palm rejection is generally better than no palm rejection, but not awesome even then. You mentioned that you were left handed, so make sure you've dug through the palm rejection settings and picked the mode most suitable for you writing style. Most handwriting apps have several options.Top-left is my guess, but you lefties have some weird writing habits, so maybe not. :)
     

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