Best Apps to Convert Handwritting into Text

Have you been looking for the best apps that can help you digitize handwritten texts? Well then, get ready to cross paths with the resources you’re after.

Modern-day note-taking has evolved to a great extent. From students to teachers and even the working professionals has instilled the habit of digitizing their workstations in one way or the other. Thankfully, the practice of digitizing handwritten notes has also seen considerable improvement over the years, which is again a vital aspect.

Talking about the current scenario, there are many utilities meant to convert handwritten documents into digital texts. To understand how they work, you’ll first need to know about a term called OCR. In case you haven’t heard of it before, OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a term coined for the technology that recognizes text from images.

In this following write-up, we’ll look at eight of the best, most promising apps for converting handwritten notes into text. These apps use the OCR technique and detect the characters before transforming them into the desired typeface. To make sure you find yourself in the best position of choosing one, we’ve prepared the good and the bad aspects that are packed with each tool.

7 Best Apps: Can Turn Your Handwritten Notes(stylus) into text

1. Evernote 

evernote apps

Available for: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android 

You can download and get more info at Evernote

To begin with the list of the best apps for converting handwritten pieces to digital text, we’ve got Evernote. Available for both Android and iOS devices, this app is among the most efficient utilities for quickly capturing handwritten ideas. Thanks to Evernote’s built-in camera, you can seamlessly scan your handwritten notes and get them converted in minutes. 

Why So Special?

  • Apart from getting your pieces of information converted. Evernote bags a healthy amount of possibilities. This includes writing notes and highlighting the desired section with changing fonts and colors. 
  • Evernote allows users to add tasks directly to notes.
  • Grouping notes by a number of factors is made easy with Evernote.
  • Uploaded notes are available anywhere, anytime, even without an active internet connection.
  • With Evernote, you can upload high-quality media that scales to up to 200 MB in size.

Pros:

  • Cross-platform compatible
  • Amazing Range of features
  • Vivid search options

Cons:

  • Paid plans are expensive

Using Evernote OCR

  • Launch Evernote
  • Click on the + icon on the bottom right corner.
  • Select Camera
  • Snap the handwritten document
  • Wait for the green tick to appear and tap on it.
  • You can then choose the note title and proceed.
  • Head back to the Evernote dashboard and start operating on your handwritten document.

2. Microsoft OneNote

one note

Available for: Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, web

You can download and get more info at Microsoft OneNote

With Microsoft OneNote, you’re looking at a tool that offers the most straightforward approaches to digitizing handwritten pieces. All you need to do is snap a page and offer OneNote some time to get the job done. However, it is crucial to ensure that the data you provide must be legible enough for the tool to get hold of. Coming from the home of Microsoft, OneNote shifts the overall handwriting to text conversion utility to the next level. 

Other Features of Microsoft OneNote:

  • It helps organize data in Notebook
  • OneNote features a Web Clipper that allows users to extract information right from a web page.
  • Seamless text searching. You can use the Ctrl+E key combination and enable the search panel.

Pros:

  • Feature-rich
  • The tool is well optimized for every MS software
  • It packs a powerful free version

Cons:

  • You’ll need to pay for an extra storage option.

Using Microsoft OneNote:

  • Launch the app and head over to the draw tab.
  • Navigate and click on the Lasso Select button.
  • Drag and select the handwriting you want to convert.
  • From the available options under the Draw tab, choose the one that says Ink to Text.

3. Notability

notability logo turning handwritten text into notes

Available for: iPad, Mac, iPhone, and iPod touch

More info at their website Notability

Whether you’re a student or a working professional, Notability is a perfect utility that works alike in both situations. In simple words, those who seek an easy-to-use note-taking tool that can help them convert handwritten pieces into digital texts seamlessly need to have a look at Notability. The tool isn’t limited to basic handwritten information, as it can help users extract necessary data from images, GIFs, and even web pages.

What Makes Notability Special?

One thing that makes Notability sit apart from the rest is the multi-note feature. As the name suggests, multi-note functionality enables users to operate on more than one note at a time. Moreover, the reason that the converted files get automatically saved to iCloud, Notability, leaves nothing to complain about.

Pros:

  • Great user interface
  • Super efficient search functionality
  • Brilliant handwriting recognition
  • Reasonable pricing

Cons:

  • Poor voice note navigation

Converting Handwritten Notes to text using Notability

  • Get yourself inside the homepage of Notability.
  • Open a note and click on the lasso tool.
  • Hover over to the handwriting you wish to convert and select the portion.
  • Click on the option that says Convert to Text. You can click anywhere on the converted section to bring necessary edits.
  • Finally, tap on Convert Selection.

4. GoodNotes 5

goodnotes turning handwritten notes into text

Available for: iPad, iPhone, Mac 

You can download the app and get more info at their site GoodNotes

GoodNotes 5 is an iOS exclusive, robust tool for digitizing handwritten texts. Offering a great degree of customizing ability, this tool defines the overall document creation process like a professional. No matter if you’re after a searchable notebook, drawing, or illustration, GoodNotes 5 is designed to help you in any situation. 

Besides bringing all the basic utilities to the table, GoodNotes 5 amazingly aids in crafting vectors out of the written text. In addition to that, the tool incorporates a search engine meant to locate any desired section within the notes effortlessly. To put it in other words, GoodNotes 5 is not just any other handwriting recognition tool; it is more than that.

Pros:

  • Well optimized for both gen Apple Pencil
  • Seamless handwriting conversion
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • There is no free version.

Using GoodNotes 5

  • Launch GoodNotes 5
  • Tap the Lasso tool located inside the toolbar.
  • Select the handwritten notes for conversion.
  • Tap on Convert.
  • After that, hit the share button in the upper right corner, followed by clicking the Copy option.

5. Nebo

nebo app logo turns handwritten notes to editable text

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, Chrome OS

Credits: Nebo

Marketed as the future of note-taking, Nebo promises to be the smartest take on assigning beautiful notes, and rightfully so. Loaded with features to fall in love with, the app can transform usual handwriting and portray those as typed texts. Nebo is designed to serve all the possible spheres of life, ranging from studies to work.

What’s Great?

  • It helps turn handwritten notes into professional documents.
  • You can seamlessly add PDFs to your notebooks and mark them with annotations.
  • The tool packs an infinite canvas where you can write and draw freely. Users can also copy the created content for future usage. 

Pros:

  • Supports more than 60 languages
  • Packs useful gestures
  • Supports scanning Math & Chemical equations
  • It features a custom dictionary

Cons:

  • Drag & drop ability is not great

Nebo for Handwriting Conversion:

  • Launch Nebo
  • Grab your stylus 
  • Write whatever you want inside Nebo. 
  • Once done,  double-tap your writing and turn it into text.

6. ABBY FineReader

ABBY FineReader logo

Available for: iOS, Android, Web 

Source: Abby FineReader

ABBY makes you look at a platform that can help you digitize content in 198 languages accurately. Being multiple languages compatible, lists ABBY Fine Reader among the best apps of all time. However, one thing that sets this tool a bit off is the fact that operating it can be troubling at times. Nonetheless, it is indeed a robust tool for modern-day needs.

  • Start off by scanning the handwritten notes.
  • Now save the document in a PDF format.
  • Launch ABBY fine reader and open the PDF
  • Wait for the app to deconstruct the document, followed by capturing the text automatically
  • From there, you can copy or edit the document.

7. Bonus: Scribble

apple scribble

Available for: iPadOS 14+

Credits: Apple

Don’t want to download an additional tool for digitizing handwritten texts? Well then, I’ve got a piece of good news for those who’ve invested in an iPad/iPad Pro that packs iPadOS 14. Scribble, a feature added to modern-day Apple tablets, helps convert handwritten information into typed text. Although inbuilt with the system OS, Scribble loads up with a bunch of abilities that even a number of premium tools fail to provide. Scribble operates fast enough and digitizes handwriting right away; something really deserves appreciation.

Currently Compatible With:

  • iPad Air (2020)
  • iPad (2020)
  • iPad Pro 11 (2020)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)
  • iPad (2019)
  • iPad Mini (2019)
  • iPad Air (2019)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 11 (2018)
  • iPad (2018)
  • iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7 (2016)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2015)

Activating Scribble:

  • Launch the Settings menu
  • Scroll your way down and select the Apple Pencil option
  • From there, tap the toggle next to Scribble for activating it.

Using Scribble:

  • The best way to employ Scribble is with Notes. Launch it and tap to show the Markup toolbar.
  • Under the Markup toolbar, locate and tap the Handwriting tool
  • Now, when you write something with Apple Pencil, Scribble will automatically convert the same into typed text.

5 Best Apps That Can Scan your Document Outside your Device and Turn it into a Text that you can Further Edit

1. PentoPrint 

pen to print

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android

Pen to Print is another brilliant utility that reads manuscript texts once scanned and converts them into flexible digital texts. The main purpose of using the term flexible for highlighting the converted text is that the same can be desirably edited stored on either your iPad or Android devices or within any cloud service of your choice. Pen to Print packs a super-efficient Optical Character Recognition engine that can extract text from various sources, including letters, school notes, and more.

Do you Know?

What’s more amazing about Pen to Print is that it not only digitizes the texts written on paper but is also capable of scanning and converting notes or pieces of information right from the blackboard. Supporting more than 50 languages, the possibilities with Pen to Print are limitless.

Pros:

  • It offers a minimalist and elegant design
  • Syncs across iCloud
  • Works with over 50 languages

Cons:

  • Sync may require a subscription

Using Pen to Print

  • Open Pen to Print
  • Click on the + icon and start scanning your notes.
  • After the app successfully reads your document, you can go over the text line-by-line.
  • Correct errors if needed.
  • Export the text and share the same through various platforms.
  • Save the text on your device by clicking the dedicated icon.

2. Google Keep

logo-google-keep

Available for: Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, web

Having talked about the one from Microsoft already, let’s have a look at a free tool from Google that integrates with the Google Lens functionality and comes out as a promising digitized note-taking utility. Google, in recent years, has been trying its best to create an easy-to-use digital workstation for users worldwide that offers the most minimalist approaches besides being loaded with all the necessary features; Google Keep walks along similar lines.

Remember: Google Keep is entirely free to use. Moreover, the platform is free from ads as well. You can sync and keep all your works right at your fingertips and access those whenever you want to.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • No ads
  • Seamless Google services

Cons:

  • Some features are limited.

How to Use Google Keep OCR:

  • Launch Google Keep and Scan your image that has the handwritten text.
  • After that, tap on the three dots located at the top-right end of the screen).
  • Press the option that says Grab the Text.

3. Readiris 17

readiris 17 logo

Whether you’re on Mac, iOS, or Android, Readiris 17 is designed to offer the best possible way of scanning handwritten pieces of information into text. Readiris is among the popular OCR apps that have been developed to help users carry out text conversion in the most seamless manner. The fact that Rediris supports multiple formats enhances its efficiency to the next level.

Using Readiris 17:

  • At first, you’ll need to scan your document by simply clicking on the Scan option located at the top left of the app’s menu. Alternatively, you can insert any of your scanned documents followed by clicking the Open button.
  • Now right-click the file and allow Readiris to automatically convert the information and export those to the edit-ready document.

4. Prizmo

iprizmo5_256

Another super-efficient OCR app built for the Mac environment. Extending support for over 23 languages, Prizmo offers brilliant work when we talk about recognizing texts, no matter it is handwritten or simply scanned. However, your notes should be clear enough for the app to process. Prizmo is considered a great all-around OCR solution primarily for being flexibly accessible from both MAC, iPhone, and the iPad.

Using Prizmo

  • Login to your iPad
  • Find and open any of your documents or photo containing the text you wish to convert 
  • Crop and have the document desirably adjusted
  • Navigate to the top right corner of the taskbar and click Recognize
  • Now all you need to do is wait.

5. PDF Scanner

pdf scanner logo

PDF Scanner, an online/offline utility that recognizes and converts scanned text in minutes, needs no detailed introduction. Capable of operating with content written in more than 100 languages, PDF Scanner is robust. Moreover, the app also allows its users to customize their text before they finally save it.

Using PDF Scanner

  • Launch the app
  • Press the + button
  • Now use the App’s inbuilt scanner, or simply import the desired document from your device library.
  • Next, wait for the software to convert the image into digital text.

Wrapping Up

And with that, we’re done discussing the eight best tools that help convert handwritten documents into digital texts. In this article, you’ll find the most detailed analysis of the finest available apps that embeds optical character recognition ability for digitizing handwritten data in the most promising manner.

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