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Handwriting Recognition

We'll spend relatively little time on the handwriting-recognition system that comes with Office XP because although it is certainly an interesting little program, its value for FrontPage users isn't exactly easy to determine. That said, however, if you have any reason whatsoever to use a graphics tablet for creating text, by all means do so in Office's Writing Pad. As with the Speech features, Handwriting will be of interest to people for whom it is difficult or even impossible to use a keyboard. Together, these two recognition systems could be extremely powerful if this is your situation. In fact, you could conceivably abandon the keyboard almost entirely.

To launch Writing Pad (see Figure 32.3), click the Handwriting icon on the Language bar and select Writing Pad. The Writing Pad pops up, and you can use your graphics stylus or even your mouse to begin entering text or drawings. The difference between text and drawings is this: When you click the Ink icon and start drawing, your work gets automatically imported into the current FrontPage document as a graphic. When you click the Text icon and start drawing, your work goes through a recognition process and appears in the current FrontPage document as text. Therefore, if you want to add a graphic, such as a piece of handwriting or a set of hand-drawn shapes or doodles, use the Ink icon. If you want the handwriting converted to text, however, use the Text icon. You can configure Writing Pad to recognize more or less quickly than the default, and not to recognize automatically at all and instead allow you to do whatever work you want and then click the Recognize icon when you're ready. Because whatever is in the drawing window disappears as soon as recognition is completed, turning off recognition is the only way to produce a reasonably complex drawing or a longer piece of writing.


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