Handwriting and Math Conversion

Convert handwriting into text; transform handwritten equations into hi-res scalable images. Edit and group ink together as a single element. Grouped ink can be moved, scaled, and rotated like media objects.  


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.

  1. Open a note.
  2. Tap select tool.png
  3. Circle the ink you want to convert and tap inside the box.
  4. Select Convert.
  5. Select Text and your handwriting will instantly be converted into text.
  6. Select Math and handwritten equations will be converted into hi-res scalable images. 

Editing Ink

  1. Tap select tool.png
  2. Circle the ink you'd like to edit.
    • Tip: Transform an existing line into a dotted or dashed line by going to Style and then selecting a dotted or dashed line style.
  3. To move handwriting, tap/click and drag it.
  4. To style, cut, copy, or delete handwriting, tap inside the dotted line.
  5. To paste handwriting, tap and hold at a new location after using cut or copy.
  6. To resize handwriting, place two fingers in the selected area and pinch or expand.
  7. To rotate handwriting, place two fingers in the selected area and rotate.

Grouping Ink and Making Stickers

  1. Tap select tool.png and draw around the separate ink that you'd like to combine together.
  2. Click/tap inside the drawn circle and a menu will appear. 
  3. Select Group.
    • You can now make changes (move, scale, rotate) to the items as one.
  4. Select Save and go to Stickers. Your saved sticker(s) will appear under My Stickers and you can use them in any note. 

Conversion Language

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

Supported Languages

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

Changing the Recognition Language for All Notes

  1. Open Notability's Library.
  2. Tap mceclip2.png > Handwriting > Language and select 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 threedotsnoteview.png> Info > Handwriting Language and select your preferred language.

Math Conversion 

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.


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.