After updating the Mac edition of OneNote with enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) features and other goodies yesterday, Microsoft on Thursday announced that users of OneNote for iPad can now extract text within all images that are added to notebooks saved on OneDrive.
In addition, the iPad application now has handwriting support, a top requested feature which permits users to highlight documents, scribble notes or just draw sketches with their finger. With this update, handwriting is now available in OneNote across all platforms.
OCR works with any version of OneNote, from Windows Phone to Mac, even OneNote Online. Once an image has been added to OneDrive, the OneNote service will process it and it will start showing up in search results “typically within a few minutes.”
OCR can recognize printed text in a bunch of languages, “and we’re continuously adding support for more.” OneDrive for Business will gain the ability to search images from your older notes “in the coming months.”
As for the handwriting feature, it’s available by tapping the new Draw tab on the ribbon. Just Select a pen, marker or highlighter and choose your color to get started.
You have four classic pen colors at your disposal, with an additional sixteen colors available by tapping the color wheel. OneNote for iPad even supports any stylus and has palm detection so that you can write without worrying whether you’re left-handed or right-handed.
“To set it up, just tap Palm Rejection on the ribbon and then tap the image that most closely resembles how you normally hold a pen,” the Windows maker explained.
Here’s handwriting in action.
Microsoft says that handwriting draws from OneNote for Windows, which has supported inking since 2003, and the lessons the company has learned over the years from studying and understanding how people use pens.
Lastly, because OneNote has an endless canvas, it automatically expands pages as you type or write so you’ll never run out of space when you’re writing. You can scroll the page with two fingers, pinch-to-zoom and more.
OneNote 2.9 for iPad changelog:
- Handwriting – Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for putting pen to paper and sketching out your next great idea. That’s why we’re introducing handwriting to OneNote. Highlight documents, scribble notes, or just doodle until your heart’s content.
- OCR for Images – Search for text contained within images in your OneNote notebooks. OCR is now supported on new images added to OneDrive notebooks. You can even copy the image text and add it to your notes. Existing images will also become searchable soon!
- Bug fixes