Handwriting Recognition and Search

Convert handwriting into text and search in Notability. 

Handwriting Search

Notability's search tool now finds handwriting. You can search for handwriting across all of your notes or within a specific note.

Notability can only process the handwriting in your existing notes while the app is open.

Handwriting Conversion

  1. Open a note.
  2. Tap/click the laso tool.
  3. Circle the handwriting you want to convert.
  4. Tap/click "Convert to Text".
  5. Tap/click anywhere in the converted text to edit it.
  6. Tap/click "Convert Selection" to turn the handwriting into a text box with the converted text.
  7. Tap/click "Copy Text to Clipboard" to copy the text to your device's clipboard.

What language does Notability look for?

Notability uses your device's language. If your iPad is set to English, for example, Notability looks for English in your notes.

Changing the Recognition Language for All Notes

  1. Open Notability's Library.
  2. Tap/click the gear icon in the lower left hand side.
  3. Tap/click "Handwriting".
  4. Tap/click "Language".
  5. Tap/click your preferred language.

This changes the recognition language for new notes. It does not affect existing notes.

Changing the Recognition Language for a Single Note

  1. Open a note.
  2. Tap/click the icon with three dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap/click lib-btn-info_2x.png.
  4. Tap/click the language next to "Handwriting Language".

Changing the Recognition Language for Handwriting Conversion

  1. Convert handwriting into text as described above.
  2. Tap/click the language near the bottom left corner of the conversion window.
  3. Choose your preferred language.

Math Conversion 

Transform handwritten equations into hi-res scalable images. Color-coded equations will retain their original colors.

Math Conversion supports common mathematical expressions, elements, and rules including:

  • Latin alphabet
  • Digits
  • Mathematical symbols and operations
  • Greek symbols
  • Mathematical terms: sin, cos, tan, mean, median, mod, norm, ceil, cons, sort, sad, var, etc.
  • Chemical elements
  • International convention units (weight, length, frequency, luminosity, dosage, pressure, etc.)
  • Rules: horizontal pair, fence, square root, fraction, subscript, vertical pair, matrix, partial fractions, and more.

We support LaTeX! After converting handwriting to text, you can edit the Math Equations by modifying the underlying LaTeX. 

  • Right click or tap anywhere on your converted equations to access LaTeX editor options. 
  • When editing an equation, you are free to add in any LaTeX you'd like!

Supported Languages

Handwriting Recognition and Search is available in English, Danish, Dutch, Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese