How to Convert Handwriting Into a Microsoft Word Document

If your computer or tablet has a touch screen, you can insert handwriting into your Microsoft Word document, but you need to use the handwriting panel built into those devices. There are other ways to insert handwriting into a document, though, including using your scanner and special fonts. You can also easily insert your signature into a Word document.

You can convert handwriting into a Microsoft Word document.
Image Credit: Poike/iStock/GettyImages

Convert Handwriting to Text

As convenient as typing is, it lacks the personal touch of the handwritten word. Fortunately, technology makes it easy to jot down words and then import them into Microsoft Word. You can scan handwriting to text or use one of the many tools available on your devices.

To scan cursive to text, you need to position your document on a scanner and import it into your computer; then, convert the text using optical character recognition. If you have a touch screen device, you can skip this step by drawing on your screen using your finger or a digital pen. You can also turn your handwriting into a font or use a font that looks like handwriting, even if it isn't your own.

Convert Touch-Screen Handwriting to Text

If you have a touch-enabled device, you don't have to go to the trouble to scan cursive to text to sign documents or email a handwritten note. You can draw using your finger, a digital pen or a mouse. Just look for the Draw tab in a Microsoft Word document, choose a pen, and start writing. You can also control the thickness and color of your handwriting.

You may want to write on the screen and have it convert to text, though. Instead of having to scan handwriting to text, you can write directly on your screen and switch it to the text you need in your document. You need to do this in OneNote and then paste the text into your Word document. After you've written your text, use the Lasso Select button to choose what you want to convert and select Ink to Text on the Draw tab.

Convert Scanned Handwriting to Text

If you have a document with handwriting on it, you can use a scanner to deliver it to your device and then convert it to text. To scan handwriting to text, scan the document as a PDF, then use Microsoft OneNote to capture the words. Open the PDF and choose Copy Text From Picture.

OneNote isn't the only tool that can convert scanned handwriting to text. Google Drive and Google Docs are free tools you can use to translate handwritten text, and you can then copy and paste the text into your Word document. If you use Google Docs instead of Word, this is especially convenient.

Another option is to convert handwriting to text using a third-party optical character recognition (OCR) tool. SimpleOCR is a free tool that lets you scan documents for conversion. You can use the Despeckle or the Noisy Document feature for more accuracy when converting handwritten text.

Create a Handwriting Font

You don't have to scan cursive to text to get your handwriting into a document. Instead, you can use an app such as Calligraphr to turn your own handwriting into a font that you can use indefinitely. You fill out a template, take a picture of the template, and store your handwriting font on your computer.

If the goal isn't necessarily to convert handwriting to text but to have your text look like it's handwritten, there are fonts for that. Just scroll through the options built into Word, and you'll see there are a few that simulate handwriting. If you don't like those, Google Fonts has a handwriting category. Find one you like and download the family for personal use.

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