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Third handwriting app that Evernote search will recognise?

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Hi all, I am using iPad Pro pencil for handwriting notes and like many I am not very happy. Is there a third app that allows better handwriting notes, which I could then insert into Evernote and- crucially- Evernote is able to word- search within them? Thanks.


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Hi @GeorgeK  I use notability.  Assuming my handwriting isn't too bad, current version of EN will word search in handwritten notes.  I import them into EN as a pdf, and the search results highlight the found words.  

I know that Goodnotes is another popular choice among folks here in EN discussion as well, not sure about word-searching in there but would assume you'd have similar results.  

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  • Level 5*
On 1/29/2022 at 12:52 AM, GeorgeK said:

Is there a third app that allows better handwriting notes, which I could then insert into Evernote

Another vote for the Notability app       
Exported to a searchable pdf for storage in Evernote

To use Evernote's handwriting recognition process, use any app that exports in image format 

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EN will NOT make handwriting in PDFs searchable !


This must be done by the app where the handwriting is generated. GoodNotes 5 does this automatically - every word written in GN5 is searchable within of the app. They offer to select text and convert it into computer text as well.

On exporting to EN, you simply enable the option that the handwriting OCR is enabled. Then the search index will be exported with the pdf. GN5 is embedding the search index in an invisible layer into the pdf. These handwritten PDFs are fully searchable in EN, after a short wait while EN imports the search index into its own database.

Alternatively you can export as a picture file, that EN will OCR itself. But this only works for single pages, not for a full GN5 notebook.


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Hi all thanks for the replies, unfortunately files from Notability are not searchable once I import them in Evernote, neither as PDFs or JPGs or pngs. Not sure if I need to set specific settings, but couldn't find any... 

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Not sure why, someone smarter than me might have an idea.  I tested this morning and can search my handwritten notes that I have in EN both ways.  I've exported (as pdf) directly from noteability into EN (using the 'share to' function in noteability and choosing EN).  I've also exported a noteability doc as a pdf into a windows folder, then used EN to import the file.  Both methods give me a good search result.

Things to consider?  In EN, make sure your search criteria are what you think they are....remove any tag or folder filters....or make sure they are correct.  Sometimes I am in a EN folder working on a note and I perform a search--and the search is being filtered by the tag or the folder that I am working in.  That will limit your search parameters.  Good luck.

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EN makes handwriting searchable if it appears in JPG, GIF or PNG files. There are some more restrictions - as an example, handwriting will only be recognized when in regular angles, which is 0, 90, 180 or 270 degrees, or close to it. The languages in which handwriting will be OCRed are less (11) than the OCR of printed text (27).

Many more details are in the rather technical document I posted above, or the help documents on the EN website.

Since I do not use notability, I do not know if the problems are with the notability files, or with one of the other issues.

PDF files send from GoodNotes 5 come complete with an OCR search index, they do not need the OCR service by EN and are fully searchable (for subscribers Personal and above).

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