5 mins read

Enable and use handwriting input in Windows 10

Do you navigate Windows 10 using more than just a mouse? Maybe you use a graphics tablet with a stylus, or prefer to use touch screen controls instead of typing or clicking. In this case, you may find it more helpful to use an alternative way of typing instead of using a traditional keyboard. One of the options available by default in Windows 10 is handwriting recognition, making it a good option if typing with a pen feels more natural to you than with a keyboard.

If you’re interested in typing with cursive instead of keys, just follow these instructions to set up handwriting input in Windows 10.

Activate the handwriting tool

To do this, make sure you have the touch keyboard enabled in Windows 10. You’ll know you have it if you see an icon in your toolbar that looks like the image below.

If you don’t, you’ll need to enable it first. Right-click on the taskbar and click “Show Touch Keyboard Button” to make it visible.

Now that we have the touch keyboard active, we can activate handwriting. Click the Touch Keyboard button on your toolbar and you should see the following image.

This is the touch keyboard. You can use this to enter letters via a touch screen or drawing tablet, but we’re not here to do that! If you press the button at the bottom right of this window, a pop-up window will appear. This popup will contain a pen icon on a sheet of paper. Clicking here will enable handwriting mode.

Using handwriting mode

At this point, Windows 10 will turn the touch keyboard into a thin, empty box. If you type words in this box using something like a mouse, digital pen, or touch screen, it will translate what you typed into text.

To use this tool to write in the software, first click on something you want to write. Then, type what you want to write on the handwriting bar. Windows will then show you what you have typed in the field you have selected. You can press the Delete arrow to erase what you’ve typed and start over or the Enter key to submit what you’ve typed, just like when using a search engine.

Improve recognition

Of course, everyone’s writing is different. Windows 10 may have a little trouble recognizing your personal style. If you’re having recognition issues, or just want to give Windows 10 more information about your handwriting to avoid headaches in the future, you can teach Windows about your style so it can better figure out what you’re writing.

Right-click the Start button and click Control Panel.

Then, click on “Language”. If you are using the category view, you will first need to click on “Clock, language and region” for the language to appear.

Find and click “Options” next to your chosen system language, followed by “Customize handwriting recognition.”

This will open the handwriting recognition wizard.

Target specific recognition errors It’s good if Windows has trouble recognizing specific words and letters in your style. You can tell Windows 10 how to type a specific word or letter or help it recognize characters with similar shapes (such as 2, Z, and 3).

Teach the recognizer your writing style It’s a better overall option. Windows will give you sentences and numbers to type, and you type them as you normally would. Windows then uses this data to better define what your typing style is like.

get it write

When you’re not using the mouse and keyboard, it’s nice to have an alternative way to enter text without having to change hardware every time you want to type something. With handwriting recognition, you can forget about the keyboard and simply scribble what you want to write, making Windows easier to navigate for those who use drawing tools or touch screens.

Do you use handwriting recognition in Windows 10? Let us know below in the comments.

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