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How to Use GoodNotes Handwriting to Text Feature [Visual Guide]

How to Use GoodNotes Handwriting to Text Feature [Visual Guide]

How to use the GoodNotes handwriting to text feature has become a popular query as users look for efficient ways to digitize their handwritten notes.

We’ll cover two ways to convert your written notes into typed text on GoodNotes.

One way is by using scribble, the other is by using the lasso tool – both methods are very straight forward and we will provided a visual guide for both options in this guide.

Related: Notability vs GoodNotes: The Ultimate Note-Taking App Comparison

This blog post will explore the ins and outs of this handy feature, including step-by-step instructions as well to turn your writing into typed text on GoodNotes app.

What you’ll learn

  • Utilizing the converting handwritten notes to text tool in Goodnotes
  • Two methods for converting written notes into typed text and sharing and archiving options for your converted notes
  • Step-by-step instruction for using the feature and tips and tricks for improving the digitization process!

Related: 15 Best GoodNotes Alternatives For Note-Taking

GoodNotes: how to use the handwriting to text feature

1 GoodNotes how to use the handwriting to text feature

GoodNotes truly shines when it comes to facilitating the conversion of handwritten notes to text. This powerful feature can be accessed via two methods – the Scribble tool and the Lasso tool. Both options provide flexibility and convenience, allowing users to choose the most suitable method for their specific needs.

Also see: Tutorial: How to Use GoodNotes to Take Great Notes (Beginners & Pros)

By diving into the nuances and capabilities of these tools, we can maximize the efficiency and utility of the Handwriting to Text conversion process within GoodNotes.

Method #1. Use the Lasso tool to turn your writing into typed text on GoodNotes

The Lasso tool, on the other hand, is a versatile option that can be used retrospectively on existing handwritten notes.

  • To convert your notes with the Lasso tool, begin by selecting the Top right button next to the Add icon
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    Digital Planner credit – DownloadsByDice
  • Next, select the lasso tool, located six options in from the right on the second toolbar (see photo below)
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  • Then proceed to encircle the desired portion of your handwritten notes using the tool – this can be done with precision, allowing you to target specific sections of text.
    CleanShot 2023 05 18 at 21.32.09@2x
  • Once you’ve encircled the text, tap on the selection to reveal a dropdown menu and choose the “Convert Handwriting to Text” option.
    CleanShot 2023 05 18 at 21.33.31@2x
  • Congratulations! You have now turned your writing into text using the GoodNotes app

This method is particularly useful when dealing with pre-existing notes or when you’d prefer to convert your handwriting to text at a later time. The Lasso tool’s adaptability and precision will enable you to have complete control over the conversion process.

Related: 7 Best Apps To Convert Handwriting To Text On IPad

Method #2. Using Scribble

The Scribble tool is a native iPadOS feature that enables you to write directly in GoodNotes’ text boxes with your Apple Pencil. This integration provides a coherent and natural note-taking experience, making it incredibly user-friendly.

  • Make sure you have the Scribble option toggled on in your iPad’s settings. (Settings > General > Apple Pencil > Scribble on
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  • To use the Scribble tool to convert handwriting to text on GoodNotes, start by selecting the text box tool and create a text box in the desired area.
  • Once the text box is in place, write your notes directly using the Apple Pencil.
  • As you write, you’ll notice that your handwriting is automatically converted into typed text within the text box.

Also see: Notability Review: Hands-on Test (similar app to goodnotes)

Using the Scribble tool ensures that your notes maintain a clean and organized appearance. This method is ideal for those who prefer to have their handwriting automatically converted to legible text while writing, which minimizes distractions and streamlines note-taking efficiency.

How accurate is the Handwriting to text feature on GoodNotes?

4 How good is the Handwriting to text feature on GoodNotes

The Handwriting to Text feature on GoodNotes has been developed with a strong emphasis on optimizing usability, accuracy, and efficiency.

Although the app may not boast a perfect handwriting recognition feature, it certainly excels in delivering a an enjoyable user experience.

GoodNotes’ Handwriting to Text feature supports multiple languages and is constantly improving through updates that enhance its recognition and accuracy.

The integration of the Scribble tool and Lasso tool within GoodNotes showcases a thoughtful understanding of users’ varying preferences, providing both real-time handwriting conversion and the ability to convert text retrospectively.

Also see: 11 Best Digital NotePads 

This adaptability, coupled with the app’s acknowledgment of the importance of organization and accessibility in the note-taking process, demonstrates that GoodNotes’ Handwriting to Text feature is, indeed, highly effective and valuable.


5 Benefits

Using GoodNotes for handwriting to text conversion offers several notable advantages. One major benefit is its ability to recognize and convert handwritten notes into digital text, specifically for writing or note-taking.

The app employs cutting-edge OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which can accurately recognize different handwriting styles. This allows users to transform their handwritten notes into searchable text, making it easily accessible and organized.

Another significant benefit is the seamless integration of GoodNotes with various devices. For instance, it’s compatible with iPads and Apple Pencils, which allows for an enhanced and more natural note-taking experience.

Also… it syncs effortlessly with cloud storage platforms, ensuring your notes are securely backed up and accessible across devices.

Related: 15 Best E-ink Tablets For Reading, Note Taking

Lastly, GoodNotes boasts a user-friendly interface that caters to both professionals and casual users. It offers an extensive set of features, including various pen types, highlighters, and a customizable toolbar. This provides added versatility to the note-taking process and allows users to create vibrant, engaging, and organized digital notes.


6 Drawbacks

One downside of using the Goodnotes app for handwriting to text is that it often moves one letter at a time and can be disruptive, not waiting until the user has finished writing.

  • This issue can be exacerbated when using the Apple Pencil and the on-screen keyboard getting in the way.
  • Additionally, the app struggles with differentiating between upper and lower case letters, converting handwriting to lowercase, although this has improved with recent updates.
  • When writing song lyrics or poetry, inserting line breaks and moving to the next line can be challenging.

However, there are advantages to using handwritten notes on an iPad as mentioned earlier.

The app is compatible with both the Apple Pencil 1 and 2, making it an excellent choice for quick notes and illustrations. Its hybrid draw/text feature is particularly useful during lectures, enabling seamless transitioning between writing and drawing…. but that doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks like we noted previously.

Alternative options for converting handwriting to text without GoodNotes

7 Alternative options for converting handwriting to text without GoodNotes

Converting handwriting to text on iPad or iPhone

First, capture a well-lit, legible image of the written document using your iPad or iPhone’s camera. Locate the image in the camera roll, highlighting and copying the text you wish to extract. Open the Notes app or Google Docs app, pasting the copied text to transform handwritten content into digital text, simplifying sharing and storage.

For those seeking alternative apps for handwriting to text conversion on iOS devices, there are several available that we cover.

As far as apps go on the iPad for this purpose, a well known choice is Nebo – a powerful note-taking app that offers impressive handwriting recognition capabilities, as well as a host of other features, like adding diagrams and equations.

Notability is another versatile app favored by many iPad and iPhone users, providing a wide array of tools and a smooth, user-friendly interface.

Converting handwriting to text on Mac and Windows

For non-iOS device users interested in converting handwritten notes to text, there still exists a collection of robust alternatives.

One standout example is Microsoft OneNote, available for both Mac and Windows users. It provides substantial handwriting recognition features and can quickly convert handwriting to digital text. For Windows users, MyScript’s Nebo – available on the Microsoft Store – offers noteworthy functionality, delivering an intuitive note-taking experience and accurate text conversion.

See more ways you can make this happen in our post: 14 best Apps to Convert Handwriting to Text, which covers various devices, not just iOS based devices

In conclusion, while GoodNotes stands out as a powerful, feature-rich app for handwriting to text conversion, it may not be suited to everyone’s needs due to factors like compatibility and cost. However, there exists a wide range of alternative options that cater to various platforms and user requirements, ensuring that everyone can take advantage of digital note-taking and handwriting conversion.

Both of these apps have OCR as well, we compared them in our review: OneNote or GoodNotes: Selecting the Ideal App for School Organization

How well does Goodnotes convert handwriting to text when compared to other apps?

10 How well can Goodnotes convert handwriting to text compared to other apps

When it comes to note-taking applications – Goodnotes has carved out a unique name for itself, especially with its handwriting-to-text conversion feature. With remarkable accuracy and recognition capabilities, Goodnotes successfully transcribes user’s handwritten notes into digital text in real-time.

Contrasted with competitors like Notability, OneNote, or Nebo, Goodnotes fares impressively – exhibiting a near-perfect character recognition rate.

However, what truly makes Goodnotes stand out is its ability to accommodate distinctive writing styles and differing legibilities with ease. Also.. it offers exceptional language support (with over 30 languages seamlessly integrated within the app).

Also see our experience on an alternate note-taking app, called Noteshelf (Our NoteShelf review)

Users from diverse linguistic backgrounds can make the most of Goodnotes’ handwriting conversion feature.

On the other hand, while other apps might certainly have their merits, Goodnotes excels at enabling users to organize, manage, and convert their handwritten notes smoothly and efficiently.


Can you turn handwriting into a custom font GoodNotes?

Turning your handwriting into a custom font with GoodNotes is, unfortunately, not a feature currently available within the app. GoodNotes primarily focuses on providing a seamless note-taking experience with powerful handwriting recognition and conversion to text, rather than creating new fonts from your handwriting.

Also see: iPhone Font Generator: Make Stylish Text Messages

However, users who wish to accomplish this feat can explore other online tools or software specifically designed for creating custom fonts based on individual handwriting samples.

Once the new font is generated, it can be imported into various applications, including word processors or design tools, to showcase a unique personal style. GoodNotes, being primarily a note-taking application, does not currently support direct font import, but there are alternatives for users seeking that personalized touch we all look for.

Also see: Apple Pencil 1 vs 2

How to type on GoodNotes

To type notes in GoodNotes, start by opening a new or existing document within the app. Once inside the document, look for the ‘Text Box’ icon typically situated in the toolbar. This icon resembles a capital T. Tap on the ‘Text Box’ icon, which will subsequently cause a text box to appear within your document. You can now tap within the text box area and start typing your notes using the onscreen keyboard.

GoodNotes allows you to format your typed text as per your preferences easily. You can adjust the text’s size, color, style, and alignment using the accessible text-editing tools. Furthermore, the app enables users to move the text box around the page for optimal organization and presentation.

In short, typing notes in GoodNotes is an effortless and intuitive process, allowing users to choose between handwriting or typed text according to their preferences and requirements.

Also see: 9 Best Stylus for Android

Why isn’t handwriting to text working on GoodNotes with my Apple Pencil?

If you are experiencing issues with the handwriting-to-text conversion in GoodNotes while using an Apple Pencil, there are a few troubleshooting steps to consider.

  • First, ensure that GoodNotes has the appropriate permissions to support handwriting recognition. You can check this by navigating to your device’s settings, selecting ‘Privacy,’ and confirming that GoodNotes has access to the ‘Handwriting Recognition’ permission.
  • Secondly, examine your Apple Pencil’s connectivity status. If the Pencil is not properly connected, GoodNotes may face difficulties in capturing your handwriting strokes, leading to conversion problems. You can verify this by going to your device’s settings and selecting ‘Bluetooth’ to ensure theApple Pencil is connected.
  • Always verify that your GoodNotes app is updated to the latest version, as out-of-date software may lead to compatibility issues or feature limitations. Updating your app might resolve any existing issues with the handwriting-to-text functionality.

Related: Apple Pencil 2 vs Surface Pen: Which is Better for Drawing & Note Taking?

By addressing these common areas of concern, users can typically resolve issues with their GoodNotes handwriting-to-text conversion when utilizing an Apple Pencil, ensuring a seamless and satisfactory experience.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ