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Working with the TabletPC

At the GUI (graphical user interface) level, the TabletPC enhancement to Windows accommodates stylus-based computing by "layering" the TabletPC features over the operating system, which enables you to enter text by stylus instead of by keyboard. Also, the layering provides you with the mechanism by which you "teach" the computer about your handwriting.

Operationally, for normal Windows applications such as Internet Explorer and Word, the OS senses the presence of an electromagnetic stylus as it nears a text input area and displays a small writing pad icon that you click with the stylus. A writing pad control appears (see Figure 1). You enter your text into the writing pad control, which in turn is entered into the text input area.

Figure 01

Figure 1 Stylus-aware applications show a writing pad icon where writing pad input is supported.

The writing pad control has three modes: writing pad, character pad, and keyboard. The writing pad, shown in Figure 2, enables you to write data free form.

Figure 02

Figure 2 The writing pad allows free form writing input.

The character pad enables you to write out text within the bounds of letter spaces (see Figure 3). One of the nice features of the character pad is that it enables you to correct handwriting-recognition errors as they happen. For example, as you can see in Figure 3, the handwriting recognizer mistook the entry for the letter, lowercase L. However, by clicking the correction drop-down you can select the small letter L, thus avoiding the need to keep writing input until the handwriting recognizer gets it.

Figure 03

Figure 3 You enter letters one at a time in the character pad.

You use the keyboard pad to tap out text on the simulated keyboard using the stylus (see Figure 4).

Figure 04

Figure 4 The keyboard pad enables you to use the stylus to tap out keyboard entries.

If an application does not have the capability to sense the presence of a stylus, you enter text by stylus by clicking the stylus in the input area requiring text and then clicking the writing pad icon on the Windows taskbar, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 05

Figure 5 If an application does not support TabletPC input, click the writing pad icon in the taskbar to bring up the writing pad that you use to enter data into any text entry field.

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