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I was saving some hand-written note in iPhone Notes (suppose I had drawn "hello world, how are you?"). The default name suggested for the particular note was the start of the document ("hello world"). This suggested that Notes was able to convert handwriting to text, and comes with an OCR feature.

This was also strongly seconded when I included an image at the top of the note. The image was actually a screenshot of a browser page, and when I was trying to save it, the suggested name was the URL of the page, again indicating that OCR was performed.

However, I couldn't find how to convert handwritten notes/images to text in Notes, despite Notes supporting that. Is there any way to do it, or has this feature purposely been not provided?

PS - I know I can install third party apps to achieve the same. I just wondered how to do this using Notes.

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  • What iOS version? – fsb Aug 18 '20 at 14:30
  • iOS version is 13.6 – ghost Aug 18 '20 at 14:31
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It’s done automatically as part of the document scanning feature.

What’s New in Notes for iOS and iPadOS

What else is new

  • Use search to find text in documents, like receipts or bills, that you’ve scanned with the built in document scanner.
  • Search can also visually recognize images inside your notes such as images of a bike when you search for the word “bike.”

It’s just a built in function. You may have to reimport the handwritten note do it’s processed by the OCR engine.

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  • However, is it possible for me to copy the entire 'hand-written' thing in text format? – ghost Aug 19 '20 at 7:43
  • I just tested it and it will recognize handwriting (not very good though). It will recognize handwriting from a new import. Whether it's scanned in right there in notes or imported from photos. – Allan Aug 19 '20 at 15:07

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