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(Archived) Review of Handwriting Recognition

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This is a fairly long review of my experiences with the 3.0. The most important part maybe the paragraphs on handwriting recognition which are the first three paragraphs of the review. I apologize for the length.

Since I received my invitation to use Evernote 3.0, I have focused most of my work on the program to testing how it does with handwriting recognition. I had hoped that with the recent revision to RitePen, that much of the new recognition capability would also be included in Evernote. In the course of this review, I prepared a number of documents using my Adesso Cyberpad and my Acecad L2 electronic tablets. Both are roughly equivalent electronic Devices for capturing handwriting, and Evernote accepts the files which each create.

The good news is that there does appear to be improvement in the ability of Evernote to recognize handwriting (either printing or cursive) and translate it to text. While it continues to make recognition errors, many of those arrows can be traced to mind non-standard writing and to the innate difficulty are recognizing printed letters (the stroke required to write bill look very similar to the strokes required to write 1311). It still has problems recognizing punctuation marks such as commas and parentheses but it does quite well with periods and question marks.

The cause I like to write along documents extending over several pages, I'd like to merge them together in a single evernote note by putting each page into a single note and then copying each page into the first note before doing my editing and recognition. I had been having some problems and with Evernote 2.0 in that it would not allow me to place copied handwritten pages at the end of previous notes. It appears that whatever was causing that has been reduced or eliminated in 3.0.

Most significantly, and perhaps more importantly, Evernote was able to recognize much of what I had written in the search windows whether a I had actually recognized the text or not. I was also impressed with the speed at which that recognition took place.

Finally, I would also say that I was pleased with the look and feel of 3.0. I felt that it did look cleaner for what that would be worth.

Things I was less pleased with included the change from 2.0 in applying titles to various notes. In 2.0, a single line at the beginning of a note was sufficient for that lion to be made the title of the note in the note list. It appears in 3.0 that handwritten notes takes several lines of text for the title.

I also tried to use speech recognition in Evernote without success. I am working on a machine with Windows Vista X64 installed, and that requires me to use the Windows Speech Recognition program as Dragon Naturally Speaking does not work in a 64 bit environment, and while I could dictate into a note, it's all the window as a nonstandard window and required me to do it as a correction. I could apply text to an Evernote by dictating it first into Wordpad and in copying it into the note that that is, at best, a kludge. This is, of course, a fairly minor problem that will not affect very many people.

On the whole, I think that the improvements which are showing in 3.0 will be useful for me in the primary task which I have for my installation. I will continue to recommend it to students for their use in maintaining in managing their lecture notes and their reading notes. I have not had an up experience with the new ways in which the tags are being used to make a meaningful comment here, though it seems to be less effective than the systems in 2.0.

Frank Abbott

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Thanks, Frank! I also thought I'd seen an improvement in the recognition of my scribbly handwriting, but of course I couldn't be sure. Maybe I was just writing more legibly? But now your post has convinced me they've made a big improvement in the area. I'll have to examine that further.

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