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How to Convert Handwriting to Text with 5 Simple Methods

Whether you are a student who takes notes in class or a businessman who takes notes during meetings, you will use a notebook to take them with your pen most of the time. However, it is not easy to rewrite, store, and share notes. That is why so many users search around to find solutions for how to convert handwriting to text.

To help you get proper solutions quickly, we list the top 4 ways here including UPDF, Online OCR, GoodNotes, and Evernote. Go ahead and follow the guide.

Part 1. How to Convert Handwriting to Text Using UPDF OCR (Win and Mac)

UPDF for Windows and Mac has an OCR feature that can convert handwriting to text on Windows and Mac. It also offers other advanced features like editing, converting, password protecting, sharing, etc. UPDF is a one-stop program in which users can achieve perfection in their PDF documents. UPDF has many useful functions waiting for you to discover. You can click the download button below for a trial.

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handwritting to text

Top Features of UPDF Handwriting to Text Converter

Being a robust and innovative PDF editor, UPDF offers all-in-one solutions for users by providing efficient features.

  • OCR feature (Optical Character Recognition): UPDF OCR can help convert any scanned, image-based, handwritten PDF into editable PDFs.
  • PDF editing and Creating: Using UPDF, users can easily edit, add, delete, and replace text, images, and links in the PDF file. Moreover, you can also create PDFs from blank, images, word, excel, Powerpoint, etc.
  • Facile Reading Experience: UPDF is the best PDF reader tool available on the market. Its features can make the reading process facile with the "Navigation" toolbar. It allows users to jump from one page to another quickly, or jump to the end or the beginning of the PDF with one simple click. The most interesting feature is SlideShow. You can play the PDF like playing PowerPoint. That is awesome if you have one PDF format presentation.
  • PDF Converting: With the conversion feature, users can convert PDFs into popular formats like Word, Excel, PPT, CSV and etc with one click. It also enables batch conversion, which refers to converting a number of files into different file formats simultaneously.
  • Quick PDF Pages Organization: You can quickly rearrange, insert, replace, extract, crop, rotate, and delete pages in PDF.

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Converting Handwriting to Text Using UPDF OCR

If you have a Notebook with handwriting, you can take pictures or scan them, then, use UPDF creating and OCR features to convert them to text.

Step 1. Create PDF from Handwriting

First of all, use your phone camera to take pictures or use the scanner to scan handwriting. Then, transfer all your handwriting files to your computer.

Now, you need to make sure you download UPDF on your Windows or Mac. Double-click on the icon on your computer to launch it, and select "File" > "Create" > "PDF from Image" to choose a handwriting image or scanned file to create a PDF. Alternatively, drag the image directly into the UPDF interface.

import handwritten text to pdf

Step 2: Choose the OCR Feature

Proceed to the "Recognize Text Using OCR" function on the right panel. Next, go through the "Layout" settings and select "Text and pictures only", "Text over the page image" or "Text under the page images" in the list.

handwritten to text

Once done, select the language in the "Document Language" list that will help the OCR in recognition. You can also define the "Image Resolution" with any of the options in the list. For uncertainty, you can select "Detect Optimal Resolution" and continue.

Step 3: Apply OCR and Turn Handwriting to Editable Text

Click on the "Perform OCR" button for the execution of the process. Before it is converted, it asks you the location for the converted document and will execute the task after it is specified. Now you convert scanned handwriting to text or image-based handwriting to text successfully.

handwriting to text ocr layout settings

You can now edit the handwritten PDF directly with UPDF. Enter edit mode, select any text you need to modify, and you can edit all the content freely like you are on a word processor. Or you can click "Export PDF" and choose "Text" to convert PDF to text.

edit handwritten text

After learning how to convert handwritten to text on Windows and Mac, you may wonder how can you get this amazing software. Click the button below and you can have this feature right away.

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Part 2. How to Convert Handwriting to Text on iOS with UPDF? (iOS)

UPDF also allows you to convert handwriting into text via its iOS version with the help of the scan to PDF functionality. Users can easily scan their handwritten notes using the iPhone camera within the UPDF and then apply the OCR feature on the desktop version to convert them into text. The following steps will help you do so in an easy-to-utilize method.

Step 1. Convert Your Handwritten Scans to PDF

First, you have to scan the handwritten notes with the help of your iPhone camera. To do so, hit the "+" icon on the bottom right of your screen and select the "Scan" option. Now, take a snapshot of the handwritten notes by enabling the Auto-Recognize option for better results. Afterward, you can crop, rotate, and reorder the images after taking multiple snapshots. Then, press the "Download" icon to finally add these pictures to the UPDF iOS app.

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handwritten to pdf on ios

Step 2. Annotate and Add PDF Text Using the iOS UPDF App

After importing the file to the UPDF app, tap the "Pencil" icon on top of your iPhone screen to access multiple annotation tools. Now, use any of these tools to annotate PDF files according to your taste and requirements. Afterward, tap on the "Sticker" icon on top of your screen and then add any stickers to your PDF from the newly appeared toolbar on the bottom of the screen.

annotate handwritten pdf

Step 3. Add the PDF to UPDF Cloud and Open it on the Desktop Version to Utilize the OCR Feature

Finally, you have to upload the edited scans of handwritten notes on UPDF Cloud by tapping on the "Three Dots" on the file name and choosing the "Copy to UPDF Cloud" option.

Once you upload these notes to the cloud of this toolkit, access the scanned file on the desktop version of UPDF. Now, open the file and hit the "Recognize Text Using OCR" icon on the right side of the editing interface of desktop software to perform the OCR functionality as we explained in Part 1.

Part 3. How to Convert Handwriting to Text Online OCR? (Online)

Online OCR is a great online handwriting-to-text converter. It also allows users to convert handwritten notes into text, which saves a lot of time and provides exact and accurate conversion results. The best feature offered by Online OCR is that it provides high security to your PDF documents by deleting the PDF from the servers after conversion. Follow the steps below to convert scanned handwriting to text using the Online OCR free conversion tool:

Step 1: The first step is to search the Online OCR tool on your browser. Upload scanned handwritten PDF files with a size of less than 15 MB by clicking on the "Select File" button.

Step 2: After uploading the file, select the "Language" and "Output Format" of the handwritten PDF file from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: After selecting the language and output format of the scanned PDF, click on the "Convert" button to initiate the conversion process. It will take a few seconds and as soon as your scanned PDF is converted, download it on your computer by clicking "Download Output Format."

tap on download output file online ocr

Part 4. How to Convert Handwriting to Text in GoodNotes? (Mac and iOS)

GoodNotes is a good handwriting-to-text app and digital note-taking app compatible with MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. To convert handwritten notes into text with GoodNotes, follow the simple steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Open Good Notes on your MacBook and import scanned handwritten notes by clicking on the "New" button and follow it up by clicking on "Import." Now, select the handwritten document from Mac and import it to Good Notes.

Step 2: After importing a handwritten document, click on "Lasso Tool" from the toolbar. Mark the area of handwritten notes you want to convert into text. Follow it up by clicking on "Selection" and navigating to "Convert" to initiate the conversion.

good notes handwritten to text

Step 3: As soon as you click on convert, navigate to the "Share" button on the top right corner and follow it up by tapping on "Copy." To paste the converted handwritten note into text, long press on the screen, and your handwritten notes will be converted into text.

Part 5. How to Convert Handwriting to Text with Evernote (Win, Mac, iOS, and Android)

Evernote is a renowned note-taking application compatible with almost all OS and devices. It has an OCR feature that can help users convert handwritten notes to text. It also offers many other features to its user, such as adding notes, adding handwritten notes, voice notes, images, and screenshots to make notes catchy and productive. You can follow the steps mentioned to convert any handwriting into text using the OCR feature offered by Evernote:

Step 1: Download the Evernote application on your MacBook or Windows and launch it. After launching the application, import the handwritten notes on Evernote by clicking on "File" and follow it up by clicking on the "Import" option. Browse the Handwritten notes from your device and click on "Open."

Step 2: After importing the scanned handwritten notes, search for a text in the search bar to enable the OCR feature on handwritten notes.

search the text in evernote

Step 3: Once the search result is displayed on the screen, all the selected handwritten notes will be converted into digital text.

Part 6. Tips for Converting Handwriting to Text

Even though the UPDF OCR recognition feature can convert handwriting to text, the writing should be neat to facilitate the process. For this purpose, you can follow the tips given below to make the text recognition operation seamless.

  • Use Lined Paper: You should look to using good quality paper to avoid any inconsistency in the writing. We recommend you use lined paper to write without any errors.
  • Write in Capital Letters: OCR will quickly recognize the characters in your handwritten notes if you write in capital letters. By doing so, you will avoid any confusion that can be caused by intermingling small letters.
  • Keep Your Writing Uniform: As discussed before, you should write in a uniform way to let the OCR feature recognize your handwriting. For this purpose, you should write as slowly as possible to maintain uniformity.
  • Avoid Smudging: Try your best to avoid smudging and ink leakage for better recognition of writing. You can do so by using good-quality paper and a pen.

Part 7. FAQs on Handwriting to Text

1. Can I turn handwriting to text with OCR?

Yes, you can turn handwriting to text with the help of OCR functionality. For this purpose, you have to take the scans of your handwriting and then apply the OCR feature of a reliable PDF management tool to get the job done. UPDF can help you in this regard, as it has AI-powered OCR technology.

2. Is quality compromised when you convert handwriting to text?

The quality of the OCR conversion depends on the quality of your handwriting scans. If you have taken the scans with good lighting and picture quality, OCR converted text will maintain an excellent quality. Moreover, the consistency of the writing also plays a significant role in maintaining the quality during the conversion process.

3. What is the best handwriting-to-text converter?

UPDF is the best handwriting-to-text converter as it can help you convert handwriting to text easily with an intuitive interface. Moreover, you are allowed to edit, store and share the text directly on UPDF.

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4. Can OneNote Convert Handwriting to Text?

Yes. OneNote can convert handwriting to text. You only need to upload handwriting to OneNote, tap "Draw" > "Lasso Select", draw to select all handwritten contents, then, choose "Ink to Text" to convert handwriting to text.

5. How do you digitize handwriting?

UPDF for IOS offers a function - "Scan to PDF", you can scan the handwriting to a PDF file which makes handwriting digitalized. If you want to edit further, UPDF for Windows and Mac can process OCR recognition and editing.


There are various methods and applications discussed in the article by which you can easily convert handwriting notes to text. Suppose you are someone who is looking for the best method to convert handwritten notes regularly into text. In that case, it is better to opt for the application that offers quick, simple, and accurate conversion of scanned or image-based handwritten notes. Then, UPDF is the best solution. Install this robust PDF editor today and manage your files on the go.

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