Handwriting to Text

When it comes to creativity artists and writers may often try new materials or technology to help their productivity. For a writer, the option to handwrite and have it converted to text is appealing especially when it comes to long projects or even shorter ones. With just a quick swipe of the pen or finger even, a note can be converted to text.

It sounds all very simple, but it isn't especially when it comes down to discovering whether your computer or tablet devices have that capability.

I have several devices and after several hours of fruitless research, I succumbed to phoning the companies directly. I discovered that, even with a handwriting to text app like Nebo, my Lenovo Yoga, a gift from my husband, would never be able to do handwriting to text because, although it has a capacitor pen and I can draw the most amazing pictures with it along with word processing and other computer applications with its Halo keyboard, it would need an active pen. (More research into the differences between an active pen and capacitor pen followed by compatible pens to the Yoga book, comparing prices etc.) It was all frustrating and time consuming in attempting to get a straight answer to which pen to buy and ultimately, it didn't matter as I discovered one phone call later, my Lenovo Yoga didn't have a digital screen.

Not giving up on this unicorn of handwriting to text, I began researching if the HP Spectre 360 had this capability. This was much easier to research and, even though my Spectre is only three years old, it doesn't have the digital capabilities to perform handwriting to text and I would need to buy a newer version of the laptop. The bottom line is that that option is too expensive.

In between all the researching, I checked out other devices that have that capability including the I-pad Pro, Remarkable, Ratta Supernote and the Microsoft Surface Pro. They all have comparable prices and their capabilities can be sorted into two categories: computer-like or a reader. The I-pad and Surface Pro vs Ratta Supernote and Remarkable.

I dropped by a Best Buy store to check out options. At first, I picked up an active pen for my I-Pad mini because that was a type of solution and then checked out the Spectre 360, I-pad Pro and Surface Pro. It was a comedy of errors as none of them seemed to have that ability. Finally, I approached one of the four male sales reps and asked them to show me how to get the handwriting to text on the Spectre, Surface Pro and a new Lenovo Yoga (I quickly nixed the pricier Lenovo). They didn't know the answer on the Spectre, they had never heard of a Ratta Supernote or Remarkable Tablet, and the digital pens that they attempted to use weren't functional.

By then, we were trying to use the Surface Pro which I liked for its size, computer capabilities, and its potential handwriting to text. By then there are two reps changing batteries in pens, without success while suggesting I use my finger to hand write. Through it all, I had enough time to check out the settings and capabilities of the Spectre, I-pad Pro, and the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro's price was appealing. I told the Sales rep that I would buy it if he could prove that it could indeed do handwriting to text.

They opened a new pen and voila, it worked. I bought the Surface Pro. I can justify it by the fact that my Spectre's keyboard died over a year ago and I just use a WIFI keyboard on top and that I have put my Lenovo Yoga book on Craigslist. If the Spectre dies and the Lenovo sells, I'll still have the Surface Pro which is a computer and a handwriting to text tablet and the sale of the Lenovo will offset the price of the Surface Pro.

The final question is why would a person go to such lengths to get the handwriting to text option? I have typed pages in Word and I need to edit, change, and add a lot more words. Handwriting seems to make those creative juices flow much more easily than typing away on a keyboard.

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