About handwriting recognition

This feature is available in the Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean language versions of Microsoft Office. Because handwriting recognition is not installed by default in all of these languages, you may need to install it separately.

Use handwriting recognition to enter text into any Microsoft Office program by writing instead of typing.

Handwriting inserted into a program

You can write by using a handwriting input device — such as a graphics tablet used with 3-D drawing programs or Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software, or a pen tablet device — or you can write using your mouse.

Your natural handwriting is converted to typed characters and inserted inline with any existing text, at the same size as the existing text. In Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook, you can also choose the option to leave text in handwritten form.

You can convert handwritten notes taken in a Handheld PC or Pocket PC into Microsoft Word by following the instructions that come with your handheld device.

ShowWorking with handwriting recognition

To use handwriting recognition for the first time, install it by doing a custom installation, and then use the feature by clicking buttons on the Language bar that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen in any Office program.

Language bar

Callout 1 Language bar

Start by selecting a writing area, a writing pad on the screen similar to lined notebook paper, or you can write anywhere on the screen. You can write by using a handwriting input device or by moving your mouse on your mouse pad to form words. Your handwriting is automatically recognized and entered at the insertion point in the program.

Write as you naturally do on a paper surface, using cursive style, printing, or a combination of both. As you write, enter entire words without pausing after each letter, and leave space between words.

Handwriting options

You can make changes to how quickly or slowly your handwriting is recognized or turn on or off the automatic recognition of your handwriting. You can also change the on-screen pen color and width and adjust the handwriting toolbar.

ShowHow handwriting is inserted

Handwriting is automatically recognized and inserted into your file when you:

  • Write enough information that is accurately recognized.
  • Reach the end of the line and need space to continue writing.
  • Pause for a time after writing.
  • Click Recognize Now Button image on the handwriting toolbar.

ShowAdditional handwriting features in Word and Outlook

 Note   If Word is enabled as your e-mail editor, you can use these additional features in Outlook.

In Word and Outlook you can:

  • Insert writing in handwritten form by clicking Ink Button image on the Writing Pad or Write Anywhere toolbar.

Example: Text in handwritten form

  • Format writing in handwritten form — for example, by changing the font size and color.
  • Search and replace writing inserted in handwritten form.
  • Correct errors by right-clicking the incorrect text, and then selecting a correction from a list of alternatives.
  • Insert a sketch — such as an organization chart or other drawing.
Applies to:
Access 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003, Word 2003