Microsoft updates OneNote for iPad with handwriting and OCR features

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Microsoft has updated its OneNote application for iPad to add support for handwriting and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) features.

Using Microsoft’s OneNote for iPad version 2.9, users can now write and draw directly into notes. There’s a range of tools, including a pen, marker and highlighter that allows for uninterrupted note-taking.

“To get started on iPad, just tap the new Draw tab on the ribbon. Select a pen, marker, or highlighter and write, sketch or doodle until your heart’s content,” the OneNote team noted in a blog post on Thursday.

“When you’re writing, you’ll never run out of space. OneNote automatically expands pages as you type or write so you always have more room for fresh ideas.”

To achieve input accuracy, the app has a ‘Palm Rejection’ feature which asks users to indicate their pen holding style.

The update also adds support for optical character recognition (OCR) to let users search for text in scanned images and photos. Users will need to add the images to their notebook and OneNote will scan them for text once it syncs them to its server. Users can even copy and paste text to notes from images. OCR will work with all OneNote versions, from Windows Phone to Mac, even OneNote Online.

“More and more, people are capturing images of receipts, recipes, menus and shopping lists into OneNote,” the team wrote.

“With today’s update, text within any image inserted into a notebook saved on OneDrive will be searchable in OneNote on all PCs, phones and tablets, as well as OneNote Online.”