Handwriting on the iPad using partial zoom mode

Handwriting on a tablet – or should I say the iPad – is all about being aware of what you are writing on and with. There are lots of styli out there that try to use new and “innovative” methods for improving the accuracy of capacitive technology, for instance those disc type styli. The problem is that they’re increasing the accuracy with the goal of making handwriting on the screen like handwriting with pen and paper – or a proper digital pen like on the Galaxy Note 10.1 – and that simply won’t happen. So, you’re getting a stylus that’s more accurate, yes, but still not accurate enough!

So, what to do? Well, I’ve been going on and on about using partial zoom (or magnification mode as I’ve referred to it as in the past) as a direct substitute for the whole accuracy race. That’s what I’m doing now.It’s not really anything like using pen and paper – because you’re “overwriting” the same line over and over with huge writing. The rest is then handled by software that shrinks it down and puts it where it belongs. You don’t need that much accuracy, because you’re writing huge letters.

Some would say that you might as well use machine text, or write on paper. I disagree. For long texts, sure, a hardware keyboard and a text editing program rocks. What I personally do the most of however are quick and dirty notes while sitting at a tiny lecture hall table”,often annotating PDF files rather than writing from scratch. For those uses, I find this faster, easier, and more flexible. I would love a Note 10.1 to get a real pen, but don’t want to give up the iPad’s software. This is a compromise that at least is working for me.


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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.