Windows Software Review
Recognition by Papyrus
Always the right tool for the job
Recognition by Papyrus is not just a handwriting recognizer, it's an entire
recognition system designed to give you a variety of tools for different
recognition tasks. It includes both a natural, writer-independent cursive
and printed recognizer and a constrained unistroke character recognizer.
The theory behind this approach is that different types of recognizers are
optimal for different writing tasks. For example, since it is word and dictionary
based, cursive works best in situations where the writing is highly topical
and the words you are likely to use are already in the dictionary. On the
other hand, a character recognizer works better in situations where words
are not likely to be found in a dictionary.
Recognition by Papyrus lets you switch between two model sets, one for natural
writing and printing, and one for characters.
Since it is user independent, the Natural model accepts many different variants
for each letter. It is using language-specific information (dictionaries,
letter combination informatin, and case conventions) to improve accuracy.
Text can either be entered free form or into a nicely done and very flexible
tablet application. You enter text into combed (or lined) fields in the
bottom window. The translated writing then appears in the top window. Tapping
on a word brings up a list of other possibilities. A resize handle lets
you easily change the size of the combed boxes.
The Allegro model, on the other hand, only accepts one valid letter shape
for each character, and each character consists of a single stroke. This
way, all ambiguity is removed from the alphabet and individual letter recognition
accuracy is greatly improved. This, of course, is the approach that has
been popularized by Palm Computing's Graffiti, but there are significant
differences between the two. Like Graffiti, Allegro uses a modified alphabet,
but it is not the same that Graffiti uses. If you already know Graffiti
you may feel frustrated about having to learn yet another unistroke alphabet.
If you never learned the Graffiti character set, you'll adopt quickly to
Allegro's. which actually has advantages over Graffiti's. For example, all
characters in Allegro's alphabet are lower case unlike Graffiti's mix of
upper and lower, and most Allegro characters are pretty much the way most
people print them anyway, so it is probably easier to get used to.
Recognition accuracy of the natural model depends, as it does in all handwriting
recognizers, on your writing style and the kind of writing you do. It worked
well for me. Where Recognition by Papyrus really shines, in addition to
the very cleverly designed interface, is in offering you the right recognition
tool for any situation.