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loiterbaer

Handwriting to text feature

Idea

I would be great if Evernote had a feature to convert parts of handwritten notes to text, similar to Microsoft's OneNote or Samsung's S-Note.

Since the OCR search for handwritten text already works extremely well I feel like this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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2 hours ago, loiterbaer said:

Since the OCR search for handwritten text already works extremely well I feel like this shouldn't be too much of a problem

One small problem with Evernote's OCR: it doesn't produce a stream of words from beginning to end; instead, it produces a set of potential matches for areas in the image, and stores them in the note. There can be multiple guesses for a particular sequence of letters, or possibly guesses for overlapping sequences of letters. So there's really no attempt to make a coherent stream of words out of the text in your image. It's really just a sequence of the guesses, and the pixel locations where the guess came from (the pixel locations are how they can do the highlighting).

Other than that, that would be a nice feature to have...

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Yeah, that's more or less what I imagined (and where the awesome performance probably comes from). Nevertheless, I'm sure it's possible to tap into the existing pipeline at some point and do actual text recognition against a dictionary (Samsung's S-Note let's you specify which language you are writing in, for example).

Thanks for the explanation!

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-Yes, it is certainly my idea from the beginning of tablets of what a tablet should be used for.  

Handwriting should be built in to iOS. 

But Evernote should definitely look into the possibility of merging with 7Notes HD Premium app

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1 hour ago, loiterbaer said:

I'm sure it's possible to tap into the existing pipeline at some point and do actual text recognition against a dictionary

The problem is that a candidate area can generate multiple valid words, depending on how bad your handwriting is (mine is pretty bad). This is all done on the Evernote servers, so they can't stop and ask you which word did you mean? Moreover, not all words that might be used are in dictionaries (think abbreviations, acronyms, variable names in computer code, and so on). Anyways, it's a good idea (I upvoted), and it's been requested before, but they'd need to change their processes and probably their internal format to accomplish this.

In conjunction with this, it wold be nice to be have the ability able to edit the recognized text in the Evernote clients, so that you could weed out false matches.

A couple of links that you might find informative:

https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208314518-How-Evernote-makes-text-inside-images-searchable

http://blog.evernote.com/tech/2013/07/18/how-evernotes-image-recognition-works/

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7Notes Premium  already does a great job of suggesting words and phrases. (nice algorithm).  

And I found it to be 97% accurate, even with my poor hand-writing. 

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I wish Evernote would hurry up and do this. Their competitor, OneNote, has a solution for this. I don't care if the OCR is imperfect, I just want it. I'll fix the typos myself. I generate hundreds of handwritten pages a month, scanned via the Evernote ScanSnap. Using a transcription service is super expensive. Converting them to another app, only to put them back into Evernote, is a massive pain. Search and OCR are not the same, and while searching is certainly valuable, there are other uses for the text itself. OCR has been a thing for years - please, Evernote, make it happen! 

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30 minutes ago, shiridh said:

I wish Evernote would hurry up and do this.

afaik  Handwriting transcription is not a feature being planned with Evernote.
Actually handwriting isn't supported beyond a simple sketch feature; stored in image format

My solution is to use another app; Notability on an iPad.
I store the documents in Evernote in pdf and native format.

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