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Handwriting is squiggly with any app

Discussion in 'iPad 3 Forum' started by PRSS, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Hello everybody

    I have iPad3 and i would like to make hand written notes. I have installed Sketchbook pro, Bamboo Paper, Paper by fifty three, PenUltimate, etc.

    In none of these my handwriting resembles my own writing. Either with the finger or with a Wacom Stylus or a Targus stylus. The writing is sort of squiggly.

    the stylus does not behave like a physical pen. And the iPad actually stretches the strokes or does something that the writing is not natural. I can't recognize my own handwriting.
    It is like a child's writing.

    So is the iPad not designed for this. (I have come across the same problem with my Samsung Galaxy S3 also)
    Is there any link that solves this problem? is everybody experiencing this same problem or am I doing something wrong?

    I really would like to take handwritten notes on the iPad with a stylus. Another question is how do you mange to write without keeping the palm on the iPad.
    I have to keep a handkerchief under my palm as a work-around for this. If you havebetter ideas please let me know.

    Thanks in advance
    PRSS
  2. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The iPad is not designed for this.

    The best you can do is use an app that lets you zoom in close to write something in big letters and then zoom back out to make it look better. Some apps have parts of the screen that reject palm presses.

    I have seen people take lots of notes on an iPad...but they are usually very young and patient. I personally would not bother with this. I'd either get a MS Surface Pro or some other device (conertable laptop) that has a real digitizing screen, not just a touch screen. iPad is not designed to use with a pen. If you want great results, get the right tool for the job. What you are doing is like trying to drive nails with a roll of toliet paper.
  3. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Thank you, I never realized there was a difference on "touch" - digitizer Vs Touch screen !
    With best regards
    PRSS
  4. skarpsill
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    skarpsill iPF Noob

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    I use handwriting a lot and I'm neither young nor patient! Noteshelf is a favorite app where mix handwriting and typed text
  5. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Thank you very much
  6. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    You CAN write with a stylus on the iPad and do it well

    For the record, I totally disagree with the naysayers. The iPad may not have been designed to take notes with a stylus but you don't have to be young, particularly patient or a genius to be able to produce PDFs that contain handwritten notes, text, drawings, diagrams and photos. If you're interested I can give you a link to an online Evernote folder of mine where you can see some of the more than 300 such notes that I've produced on iPad 1 and iPad 4 in the last two-and-a-half years.

    The apps I recommend are Notetaker HD, Good Notes, Notability, Neu.Notes. All these apps employ the 'zoom window' method that allows you to write with your hand/wrist resting on the lower bezel of the iPad. There are other apps that use this method, eg Noteshelf and Upad, but with them you need to drag the 'magnifying window' around the main screen (boring!) whilst the apps I recommend allow you to reposition that window with a single press.

    The apps I've recommended all have their own strengths and weaknesses. I could write a lengthy post about them, but won't. :)
    In my opinion you should have all of them.
  7. Krooked
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    Krooked iPF Novice

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    I agree with this whole-heartedly. Whenever someone is taking notes on a device in a business meeting, they are not using an iPad. I frequently doodle and sketch on my iPad with a stylus, but there is a huge difference between touch screens and digitizers. I have both and the difference is night and day.
  8. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Hi Krooked. We must move in different circles, as my experience is the opposite of yours.
  9. Krooked
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    Krooked iPF Novice

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    I've seen people typing on their iPads (with either an external keyboard or the digital one), but I have yet to see someone taking notes on an iPad with a stylus. Those people who have used a stylus for note taking are using a tablet/laptop equipped with a digitizer.
  10. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Hi Chowdown

    Why don't you please give me the link to your evernote. Seeing it would encourage me.

    Did you do it all with evernote only?

    Thanks in advance
    PRSS
  11. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Not sure if it's ok to post this here. Happy to have this post removed by an admin if it contravenes some rule.

    https://www.evernote.com/pub/markk51/somehandwrittennotes

    The notes I've linked to were made almost exclusively with NTHD and a Targus stylus. Any printed text you see comes from scans or screenshots. Evernote is just my cloud repository.

    Some of these 'notes' were done in front of a class and projected onto a whiteboard in real time. Some were scribbled while commuting. Some were were done with care, the tip of my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth. Some were answers to emails that I received whilst in bed at 11pm.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
    • Like Like x 2
  12. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Thank you very much. It has really helped.
  13. Krooked
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    Krooked iPF Novice

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    Those are the absolute best notes I have ever seen taken on an iPad. They even rival and (in some instances) put the notes I take on my Cintiq to shame, and I'm an artist. I am massively impressed. I am going to install NTHD when I get home tonight and check it out. I (and many other iPad users) are obviously doing something incredibly wrong with our stylus' as I have never gotten anything (or seen anyone else get anything) except chicken scratch out of the iPad unless they were creating very large letters. It would be nice to use the much lighter iPad for notetaking and sketches rather than my laptop. Which targus are you using? The fat dome-tipped stylus is the only one I can seem to find and I think the tip is probably the biggest hinderance to accuracy for me.
  14. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    I've bought four Targus styluses since Dec 2010. After a few months they get "sticky" and I chuck 'em out. Yeah, they've all been pretty fat-tipped. The one I bought the other day is a bit annoying; it's one of those knob-on-the-lid-normal pen-on-the-inside affairs. I prefer a one-piece job. I also bought a crappy $8 no-name stylus which went into the garbage bin after 5 minutes. The knob had way too much give.

    NTHD, GoodNotes, Noteability, neu.Notes, iDraw.

    Any guitarist who sees a violin will judge it impossible to play in tune. Until they see one being played in tune.
  15. Krooked
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    Krooked iPF Novice

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    (No longer a nay-sayer)

    So I purchased NoteTaker HD for $4.99 and it works surprizingly well. It actually addresses the one thing that sucks about writing notes on the iPad, the fact that the iPad is not a digitizer and needs a bit of help. It does this with a sliding magnifier. I found the program fairly intuitive and I like how quickly I got used to moving the magnifier around as I was jotting down my notes. In a pinch (and for the cost), this is a great note-taking program for the iPad. It actually makes note taking on the iPad possible and I am no longer a nay-sayer chowdown.

    Having said all of that, I still prefer the digitizers on my other devices since there is no need to magnify small portions of the page in order to create ledgible handwriting. Even with the clever and pleasant manner NTHD handles this task, you still need to pay a bit more attention to what you're drawing/writing, and you must slow down your normal note-taking speed in order to remain legible. Also, since you're creating large letters (in the magnified view), your hand can cramp up after a short session. If I didn't have digitizers, I would very likely use this program to take notes during my business meetings, or at least give it a try.

    So even with the cons (which are minor), I will no longer say you can't take (or make) nice useful handwritten notes on the iPad and I will certaihnly pass on this info to the iPad typists as another option. I found NTHD fun to use for doodles and marking them up with notes as I went.
  16. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    All fine....we understand you have only done this to help our fellow members.

    And thank you for the time you have invested here to do this.....some great info in this thread! ;)
  17. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Don't forget the other apps I mentioned in the earlier post that also use this method. GoodNotes, for example, is easier to use than NTHD and has more flexible ink, although it isn't as full-featured.

    If you set up properly there's no need to write unnaturally.
  18. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Hello Chowdown & Krooked, you have given me very useful info. Can I ask you some more questions? Right now I have downloaded and i am using GoodNotes(Free) which is amazingly good. I am yet to purchase the pro version or try buying the other apps to see which best fits my needs. As of now the free GoodNotes is doing very well indeed.

    In the meanwhile the questions are about stylus. I have a Targus Stylus and also a Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad. I thought the Wacom would do a better job (I also have Bamboo paper installed). To my surprise I do not find that much of a difference between Targus & Wacom (I thought Wacom would be way superior to Targus - as I am using a Wacom Tablet with its own stylus/pen on my PC - for my sketching/painting hobby). This Wacom Stylus for iPad came with a soft nib plus 3 spare soft nibs/tips. This nib is slightly softer than the Targus which has only one type of nib. I could not purchase the "firm nibs" from Amazon / flipkart/e-bay as they are always in short supply or there is no demand for the "firm nibs". So I could not get my hands on these physically. If you people have had experience in this, I am asking you if the "firm nib" on the Wacom Stylus for iPad would give better results than the Targus. (I am not considering Adonit - as many people say that it scratches the iPad glass surface if you were careless- and also because they require batteries). All these are quite expensive in India - so it becomes a bit expensive for us to purchase & experiment - any info on the "firm nib" would really help.

    Thanks in advance
    PRSS
  19. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Hi PRSS.

    I've only ever used Targus styluses, except for a cheap no-name stylus that I threw away after 5 minutes because it was so soft that its metal shaft would bump nastily into the screen whenever I tapped. So all I know is that for me, firm is better than soft. My styluses tend to last about six months before they start to get grabby and useless.

    I know nothing about the Wacom iPad stylus, but its iPad app is nothing special, imo.
  20. PRSS
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    PRSS iPF Novice

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    Thank you for the info
    PRSS

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