How to Extract Text from Handwriting in OneNote 2013 - dummies

How to Extract Text from Handwriting in OneNote 2013

By James H. Russell

Among the cooler features of OneNote 2013 are its ink technologies that enable you to use a stylus or even your finger to literally write notes on the screen. If you want to include these notes in a report or other professional document, however, you’ll probably want to turn your handwriting into text that can be formatted. Follow these steps to turn your ink notes into text:

  1. Open a note page with handwriting on it or use the Draw tab to write something on a blank space on a note.

  2. Select the Draw tab if it’s not selected already and click or tap the Ink to Text button.

    OneNote automatically converts anything it sees as “text-like” into text. You can then format, copy, cut, or otherwise work with the “text” as usual. Notice that OneNote didn’t pick up the “J.”


Depending on your handwriting, OneNote may not recognize parts of the text and simply not convert it. If so, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Lasso Select tool to select the text that did not convert.

  2. Right-click or press and hold on the selected text. In the pop-up menu that appears, choose Treat Selected Ink As and then choose Handwriting from the submenu.

  3. Next, click or tap the Ink to Text button to convert the selection to text.

    If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to reenter the text manually by ink or by typing the missing text.