My handwritten post

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ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture
My handwritten post

So a new toy arrived in the mail today and I just thought I'd share.   It's a pen and touch pad. I got it mainly for doing graphic and design work. I also was interested in being able to handwrite notes and possibly converting it to to text. It's a bit funky getting used to but during the tutorial I discovered that Vista has this handwriting to text feature. I generally dislike Vista but this feature is really cool. This whole post has written by a pen!   Then with one click it  was changed to text and inserted into the posting field. It is really bizarre writing out posts this way but I do like it. I find it pretty tactile and now that I'm getting used to it quite expressive. I've read quite a bit about recognition being quite bad but this software is doing a really good job at recognising my scrawl and I haven't even done any specific software training.

The tablet is also a touchpad. Kinda like a larger version of the pad you find on a laptop. It recognizes a few unique finger gestures as well. For instance when browsing if you want to go back a page instead of moving the cursor up to the back button you just sweep to fingers across it and like magic it goes back to the previous page. Scrolling down is done with two fingers just sweeping down.

So far I've been using this thing for a couple of hours and I love it I've already unplugged my mouse. I'm not generally one for gadgets but this is one that so far is making my computer use better and more enjoyable. I love being able to just move my fingers around without a mouse.  I doubt that I going to handwrite all my posts but its pretty neat to be able to mix things up a bit.

Polly B Polly B's picture

ElizaQ wrote:

It recognizes a few unique finger gestures as well.




Even keel

This sounds suspiciously like an ad -- but I guess it's not since you're a "rabble-rouser-machine". I can't see the benefit in this considering how much longer it must take you to write something out instead of typing.   The only benefit I can imagine for this tool is to be able to put your signature on a document.

G. Muffin

ElizaQ wrote:
I got it mainly for doing graphic and design work.

martin dufresne

I am sure much subtlety and empathy gets lost in typing as compared to writing. It would be interesting to see how Babble interactions would change if we wrote out posts instead of clickety-clacking away and... THERE, YOU SCOUNDREL!!!

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

No it's not an ad if it was I would probably have posted what it's name and brand was.  :D  Yep as G.Pie quoted it's mainly for graphic work. Most computer graphics people I personally know use some sort of tablet and pen system as it's easy to do fine detail, freehand draw and sketch a whole lot easier then with a mouse.  The handwriting stuff is just a bonus.  I'm a pretty fast typer as well as a fast pen on paper writer and it really isn't that much slower.   That was something I wasn't expecting.

I honestly just wanted to share if people were interested.  I know it's likely not for everyone.   I really enjoy writing and as much as I'm a slave to the computer I still do enjoy handwriting. Maybe that's because I spent most of my formative years handwriting everything, pre computer age.   For me there is just something more comtemplative with using a pen or pencil then with clickity clacking on the keyboard.   I especially like doing my first drafts of things written, especially fiction and creative writing but stopped doing it that way because it takes extra time to type it out onto a computer for further editing.   Now I may be able to get back to how I like to do those things.

This also might be an option for people that have problems with wrist and hand issues that make using a mouse somewhat difficult or at least if one does a lot of computer work different options to help alleviate always doing things with the same repetitive positions.



remind remind's picture

That is interesting eliza, thank you for sharing, this. Going to look into it as I am having mouse issues anyway.


How muchie?

Sometimes, when I am writing something, and can't get nuance and /or detail correct on the comp, I hand  write it out and then transfer into a word document..


bagkitty bagkitty's picture

[chiming in]I love my stylus and pad... not only do I find it less stress on my wrist, a lot of graphic design software now has options that will respond to the degree of pressure being applied to the stylus providing much more input than the simple front back and side to side movements that a mouse provides thereby allowing for much finer control in the finished product. I have never used it to do actual handwriting, but would heartily recommend it for working with design programs. In response to remind... huge range of prices... introductory model for about $100, couple of thousand for a large professional grade model. PVT if you want brand name.[chiming out]


This is interesting.  I type way faster than I write, so not sure it would be useful for me - but I'll bet it would be useful for people who want to take notes in class or something, and don't type very fast.

Le T Le T's picture

I was kind of expecting a .pdf of someone's handwritten post. But the tablet is cool too.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Hey Remind. It was about 100 bucks on sale I think regular price was about 130. It's from Wacom and called Bamboo.  They have a variety of different ones, some cheaper and professional model that costs bigger bucks.  

Bagkitty,  yeah this one does the pressure thing. I was playing around with in the tutorial and it was really great. I could actually sketch and draw just like with a pencil.  Unfortunately I don't have a design program that does that yet but I'm definately going to get one.

scott scott's picture

ElizaQ wrote:
It's from Wacom and called Bamboo.

I have a Bamboo (one of the smaller ones, but it has it's own mouse). I find I switch back and forth between the pen and the mouse. This helps prevent RSI I guess. There is no substitute for a pen when you need to do precise selections, and even more so when you need to do pixel by pixel manipulations. I still use the mouse for browsing and other menu driven tasks. You can use the pen as a mouse but I have a hard time with those miniature litttle buttons on the side of the pen. I always seem to pick it up wrong. I never did learn uses for the little "touch circle" thing.

I don't have a design program that does that yet but I'm definately going to get one.

The Gimp It's free and does 90% of what Photoshop does. You can also load brushes that were written for photoshop into it.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Thanks for the suggestion Scott. I do have Photoshop already but Gimp looks like it does a few things different which I'm interested in.  I was thinking about something more along lines of Illustrator but yeah that costs a bit of money.  However as I was looking at some info about Gimp I stumbled on Inkscape which is basically looks like a free Illustrator type program which does have pressure sensitivity.   Yay.  Now if I was only not a dialup it wouldn't take so long to download.  I want to play!   :D  

remind remind's picture

Thanks Eliza, scott,  and bagkitty,  goingto go happily looking when in the city.


I print and type equally as fast actually, and both are fast.

Charting patient's orders, and other nursing notes a 100 times a shift or more,   really elevates your speed at printing, writing not so much though.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

well... if we are going into brand names

ElizaQ... if you are looking for design software, and especially if you (or someone you know) qualifies to buy the student version, Adobe's Design Suite would get a recommendation from me, fully functional versions of PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign (very similar to the old PageMaker and much friendlier than Quark), Dreamweaver, Flash and the full version of Acrobat were all in a package for about 350.... plus some other goodies. They interact properly with the stylus and tablet