Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Paper replacement apps

Despite the promises of a paperless office it seems that we are printing and producing more paper documents than ever. I don't think that will change any time soon but there some apps that can be used to replace the handy paper pad. I have been trying out a few apps that are suitable for a Windows 10 tablet with a stylus. There are a number of options available from the Windows Store, but I have whittled down the choices to three apps: Nebo, Bamboo Paper and Graphiter.
Nebo, by MyScript, is my favourite as a paper notebook replacement. You can organise your notebooks into folders and create separate notebooks for different uses. One of the best features is that Nebo can convert your handwriting into text. It does this on the fly and seems to be very accurate, even with my scratchy handwriting. You can also draw boxes and shapes in diagram mode as well as math formulas. This can all be exported to Word for further editing purposes. I did find that the layout of converted text can be tricky to manage but this is not a big deal if you export it.
Bamboo Paper, by Wacom (who are known for digital pen editing), is a worthy mention. For simple note taking, this a very useful app. It doesn’t provide text recognition but it is easy to use and feels very natural when writing. Paid features allow you to add highlighters, crayons and paintbrushes as well as a variety of colours for each of these tools. This is handy if you want to use the app for sketching and drawing as well as note taking. This is a good all round pen app but if you want a specialised sketching app then Graphiter may be a better choice.
Graphiter provides a pencil for free use but the value of the app comes from the paid options. This allows you to use coloured pencils, pens and a blending tool. The ability of this app is only limited by your own sketching prowess. The demo shows very detailed real life drawings that are possible with the app. You can customise the heaviness of the pencil as well as the pencil width to allow for detailed sketching.
Overall I have found that Windows 10 tablet mode with a stylus is very useful and there are many choices of apps to make the most of this mode. For further information follow the links below.

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