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If your computer has a touch screen, you can use OneNote to handwrite notes instead of typing them. This is useful if you can write better or faster than you can type, and it’s great for meetings or interviews where the sound of typing away on a keyboard might be considered inappropriate. It's also a great way to annotate notes and screenshots or add illustrations to OneNote.

To handwrite notes, do the following:

  1. On the ribbon, choose the Draw tab.

  2. In the Tools group, choose a pen or highlighter, and then write notes on the screen.

  3. To stop drawing, click the Type button on the Draw tab.

Note: Visual note-takers may enjoy drawing and sketching notes on a page.

Convert handwriting to text

OneNote includes a handy conversion tool so you can change handwritten text into typed text. This is useful if you want to share your handwritten notes in a more legible format with other people.

To convert handwriting to text, do the following:

  1. On the Draw tab, choose the Lasso Select button.

  2. On the page, drag a selection over the handwriting you want to convert.

  3. On the Draw tab, choose Ink to Text.

Convert handwritten notes to text in other languages

To convert handwritten notes to text in other languages, follow the steps below:

  1. Check that handwriting is installed for your chosen language. To add a language, open language settings, select Add a language to choose your language, and if handwriting is available, select Next to install.

    Note: You need Windows 10 or newer and local administrator rights to install new languages.

  2. Open OneNote and navigate to the page containing the handwritten notes you wish to convert.

  3. On the Draw tab, use the Lasso Select tool to select the handwritten text or drawings you want to convert.

  4. Switch to the Review tab and choose Language > Set Proofing Language to select your language from the list.

  5. Once the language is set, close the Proofing language pane and go back to the Draw tab.

  6. Click or tap the Ink to Text button and the selected handwritten content will be converted into text and placed on the page, allowing for easier editing, formatting, and sharing.

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