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Q: Getting written text into electronic text ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: Getting written text into electronic text
Category: Computers
Asked by: 101606-ga
List Price: $22.00
Posted: 25 Aug 2006 12:45 PDT
Expires: 24 Sep 2006 12:45 PDT
Question ID: 759528
In my job I have to spend a lot of time in meetings asking people
questions listening to them as I write notes on what they are saying
so I write fast and untidily in paper note books. I then spend what
seems like ages typing up these minutes into electronic file notes,
reports etc. afterwards. I have tried a couple of ways to speed this
process up but so far nothing has really gripped me as a viable
alternative. I have tried ViaVoice to speak my notes into text which
is not too bad but is a hassle to set up and then debug the text. And
then I tried a Logitech Digital pen on which you write with a fat pen
on a special notepad and it (sort of) turns your written notes into
electronic text. My question is (sorry for the delay) what is the best
alternative out there at the moment. I have seen advertised a Samsung
Q which seems to allow you to write directly onto a screen with a sort
of pen and have your notes as electronic text automatically. I could
sit in a meeting with something like this discreetly on the table in
front of me... basically I need something fast, effective and
discreet. Could a researcher please give me some of the current
alternatives with some good pro and con listings. Thanks!

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Aug 2006 13:04 PDT
Is there a particular reason you are not typing your notes directly,
rather than writing then transcribing?

Clarification of Question by 101606-ga on 26 Aug 2006 01:27 PDT
Thanks pafalafa (great name!). There's a couple of reasons - battery
life is the first and secondly people get a little freaked out if you
are sitting there in front of them with a fullscale PC typing
away....they feel put-out as if you are doing something else more
important than talking to them.. they suspect you might be answering
your emails or playing electronic patience (I know, I've tried
it)..and a video recorder would be even more scary I think..
especially if they have ever been questioned by the FBI or CIA :o)
You need something discreet and reassuring and small - which is why
the digital pen looked a good idea (but is too fat and the handwriting
recognition isn't great because it can't learn). Thanks for the
comments from other researchers.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: pinkfreud-ga on 25 Aug 2006 13:12 PDT
A friend of mine used PhatPad to take notes during a convention last
year, and she spoke well of it. Here's a review:
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: wardd-ga on 25 Aug 2006 15:32 PDT
It may be more than you want to do, but a know a salesman that video
tapes all his conferances with clients, so he can pass the actual
video onto his tech guys to answer the questions properly.  He uses a
little digital camcorder, sony  I think.  He also keeps all of them
for legal reason as well as a good resource for training.
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: sonoritygenius-ga on 25 Aug 2006 20:59 PDT
Why not use a Tabbed computer.....
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: jdrusse-ga on 26 Aug 2006 13:08 PDT
I have a Compaq TC1000 that is perfect for taking notes. You can write
directly on the screen and it will even change your handwriting into
text. It is also very small (approx. 8" x 11" x 1".) It has an amazing
battery life--I have had it last up to 5 hours on a charge.
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: yaipha-ga on 04 Sep 2006 05:20 PDT
i think the best is the conventional way of... Shorthand writing...
:). You can join a short term course on Shorthand writing and that can
help you for quick noting of the conversation and latter type out...
at your convenience. You can use this skill for noting/jotting
something in front of others as some sort of coded text. These may not
be an expected solution under Computer Subsection but i guess it will
surely work... what do you say?
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: qihandsome-ga on 07 Sep 2006 12:51 PDT
bring a small mp3 to record the meeting instead of writing it
down.then find some easy way to translate the voice to letters.
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: fsmth-ga on 09 Sep 2006 15:29 PDT
I think what you need is an OCR(Optical character recognition)
software, which can recognise and texts in graphics. After you write
some notes ,you just have to scan them with a laser scanner , then you
can use OCR software and get electronic file.

you can got one OCR software here

More Introduction to OCR:

Often abbreviated OCR, optical character recognition refers to the
branch of computer science that involves reading text from paper and
translating the images into a form that the computer can manipulate
(for example, into ASCII codes). An OCR system enables you to take a
book or a magazine article, feed it directly into an electronic
computer file, and then edit the file using a word processor.
All OCR systems include an optical scanner for reading text, and
sophisticated software for analyzing images. Most OCR systems use a
combination of hardware (specialized circuit boards) and software to
recognize characters, although some inexpensive systems do it entirely
through software. Advanced OCR systems can read text in large variety
of fonts, but they still have difficulty with handwritten text.

The potential of OCR systems is enormous because they enable users to
harness the power of computers to access printed documents. OCR is
already being used widely in the legal profession, where searches that
once required hours or days can now be accomplished in a few seconds.
Subject: Re: Getting written text into electronic text
From: keystroke-ga on 09 Sep 2006 17:25 PDT
Is there a PC in the room? If so, I believe that Dragon Naturally
Speaking could help you. You would have to speak into a microphone,
but even if you wrote your notes and dictated them later, you'd save

Basically it is a software which you speak to and it types what you
say. It works very well and can be bought on Amazon for $50. The new
version just came out.

It's interesting that the digital pen didn't work-- that seems like a
nifty gadget and I had thought of buying one myself.

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