Google Translate website now enables handwriting input

25 Jul 2013

Image via The Official Google Translate Blog

Google Translate has introduced handwriting input on its website, which lets users draw in text that may be a challenge to type out on some keyboards.

“Handwriting input lets you translate a written expression, even if you don’t know how to type the characters,” wrote Xiangye Xiao, product manager, on The Official Google Translate Blog.

For example, a user sees an expression written in Chinese characters and wants to know its meaning in English, but doesn’t know how to type these characters. Using the new handwriting input tool, he or she can simply draw the characters on his or her computer screen and instantly see the translation.

Once a user chooses his or her input language, he or she will see the input tools icon that looks like a pencil at the bottom of the text area. A click on the upside-down triangle next to the input tools icon will then enable a user to switch to handwriting in the drop-down menu.

The user can then begin drawing his or her text on the main panel of the handwriting tool. Users on a desktop PC just have to click on the panel and drag their cursor to ‘write’ the characters.

Multiple characters can be drawn at once.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic