I've seen various iPad applications that allow you to take notes in your own handwriting. I'm wondering if there are any options for allowing a user to input handwritten data into input fields on web page and convert the handwriting into text.

For example, Windows Tablet edition had this functionality built in. They had an "Input Panel" button, which resembles a small window with a pen over it. You would then write your text in the Input Panel window and the Tablet PC would automatically convert it to text after a short delay.

I'm hoping to find something similar for the iPad, if it exists.

  • I dont think that is possible without a jailbreak from the way the ipad works unless they made a web browser app that had this functionality built in. Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


There is no native way to input handwritten data into input fields on a web page. However there are a few workarounds (not elegant but may help).

Using an application like WritePad for iPad, you could handwrite your text, have the application convert it to text and then cut and paste the text into the browser.


The short answer is that, no, it is currently not possible to enter text into webpage form fields on the iPad using your handwriting. This would have to be implemented in a third-party browser or by Apple in their own Mobile Safari browser. You could try submitting a Safari feature request with Apple (select "iOS" as your operating system).

Be aware, though, that Apple is generally against using handwriting for input on their mobile devices because they see it as inelegant and unwieldy. It adds complexity because it requires a stylus for best use -- plus, it's a tough programming challenge to get right. Apple encourages their third-party developers to use simpler "touch" interfaces whenever possible.

That said, I would bet that Apple has some talented engineers working on handwriting recognition in a lab somewhere, so there's always a chance they'll release that feature "when it's ready".

  • Downvotes should generally be commented -- what's the reason here? This answer is on-topic and correct, and I did more than just say "no".
    – Austin
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 16:43

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