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Windows 7 and Handwriting Recognition Improvements



Microsoft’s Engineering Windows 7 blog just published an indepth look at the changes that went into the handwriting improvements in Windows 7a must read for all Tablet PC users and enthusiasts.

Microsoft has been working on handwriting recognition for over 15 years going back to the Pen extensions for Windows 3.0.   With the increased integration and broad availability of the handwriting components present in Windows Vista we continue to see increased use of handwriting with Windows PCs.   We see many customers using handwriting across a wide variety of applications including schools, hospitals, banking, insurance, government, and more.   It is exciting to see this natural form of interaction used in new scenarios.   Of course one thing we need to continue to do is improve the quality of recognition as well as the availability of recognizers in more languages around the world.   In this post, Yvonne, a Program Manager on our User Interface Platform team, provides a perspective on engineering new recognizers and recognition improvements in Windows 7.



  1. Fred Beiderbecke

    02/10/2009 at 8:18 am

    I have noticed a significant improvement in the recognition in windows 7.

  2. Michael

    02/10/2009 at 10:21 am

    Happy to hear they make progress, handwriting recognition is quite a critical feature for tablet/touchscreen computers.

  3. Elmstrom

    02/10/2009 at 10:32 am

    Cool to hear, that they are adding more languege, really really looking forward for native support of danish.

  4. John in Norway

    02/10/2009 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve tried the handwriting recognition on all 3 OSs and haven’t noticed any difference (they’ve all be excellent). As you can see though, I have very good handwriting.

  5. Jake

    02/10/2009 at 2:56 pm

    Out of the box the handwriting recognition is much better than Vista’s. I’ve been amazed by how accurate the recognition has been with no training. Added to that, I prefer the way the TIP replaces words once they’ve been recognized and find it much easier to review what I’ve written before hitting insert. The new gestures also really help – especially the join and split gestures.

    This is one feature I really miss whenever I go back to Vista.

  6. Mickey Segal

    02/10/2009 at 5:08 pm

    I hadn’t known about the “Report handwriting recognition errors” tool before. The TIP does pretty badly when I draw the letter “r”. I just sent in a bunch of errors from today. It would be great if the recognition got better at reading my writing, which is something of a mix between printing and script.

  7. Mickey Segal

    02/10/2009 at 5:17 pm says that the â€ŔReport handwriting recognition errors” tool is in the “Tablet PC” folder. An icon that launches the program is there, but on my installation of Vista it is called “Ink Watson”.

    Was that there from the beginning of Vista or did it appear with an update?

  8. Rob Bushway

    02/10/2009 at 7:11 pm

    Mickey: mine isn’t called Ink Watson, but the Report handwriting reco errors app is in the tablet pc folder

  9. Mickey Segal

    02/11/2009 at 9:44 am

    I see from that others had something called “Ink Watson” that was the “Handwriting Recognition Error Reporting Wizard” but I don’t know why I’m seeing what seems to be an unusual name. I did a Vista Clean install as detailed at so I don’t think this is an XP remnant. But it does seem to be the correct program. I don’t think I explored this because there were some Windows utilities that had a similar name so I probably just never tried this.

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