Microsoft recently announced a long-awaited addition to its functionality for iPad devotees, and that’s the addition of handwriting capability to its popular OneNote app, specifically addressing the needs of tablet users. OneNote has allowed this feature already for different touch-screen computers, but this marks the incorporation of the stylus-driven or fingertip handwriting option for iOS tablets, as well as the incorporation of optical character recognition. The handwriting option allows written notes, of course, but Microsoft went ahead and included some fun drawing features as well; if you can scribble, you can doodle, right?


Some of the features include:

  • Palm rejection, especially important for those lefties who leave the base of their hands on the surface as they write
  • Three levels of sensitivity to choose from in palm recognition for either hand
  • The ability to annotate, highlight text, or write/draw text directly on top of an existing image
  • Sixteen different pen colors to choose from
  • Click-to-disengage scrolling option to move through the document
  • Optical character recognition that makes text-based images or text within photographs searchable
  • Cross-platform compatibility to pick up where you left off when you move to another device or desktop, even if the other device isn’t an Apple product

OneNote for touch-enabled computers has already included the feature to convert handwriting to text by highlighting the written words and converting them, allowing you to scrawl your document in a natural format (especially useful for those people who don’t love typing on their iPads) and then polish it with a professional-looking typewritten font by clicking the ink-to-text button in the Draw tab.

OneNote is a free app for iPad and iPhone, and is available in the App Store. Despite the free price tag, it still offers a wide range of functions without having to make extra in-app purchases or pay for a monthly subscription.

Some sharing features will only be available with an Office 365 subscription, though, but the free version is still pretty handy, especially with this handwriting upgrade. To get the most out of OneNote for iPad, you’ll want to make sure you’re running iOS 8 and have some form of cloud storage handy, as the app is compatible with the major file sharing platforms.

[Image via Microsoft Office Blog]