How to Enable Handwriting Recognition on the Galaxy Note

  • MORE

Handwriting Recognition

One of best features of the Samsung Galaxy Note series, including the Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note II, is its handwriting keyboard, which converts your scribbles into ASCII text and then inserts them into whatever field you're editing. Unfortunately, the scribble area doesn't appear by default and it's not readily apparent how to activate it. Fortunately, you can turn on handwriting recognition in seconds if you follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Samsung keyboard. You can make the keyboard appear by tapping in any available text field such as the browser address bar.
    Galaxy Note Keyboard
  2. Tap the settings button  which is the gear icon located to the left of the spacebar. A list of keyboard menu options appears.
  3. Toggle Pen detection to on. This setting should cause the handwriting recognition box to appear when you tap any field with the pen. However, in our experience, it didn't always work the first time we tapped.
    Pen Detection 
  4. Hit the back button to return to the keyboard. 
  5. Press and hold the settings icon to the left of the spacebar. A pop-up list of icons appears.
     Galaxy Note Keyboard Switch button
  6. Select the Pen icon with a T next to it. Your keyboard will disappear and be replaced by the handwriting recognition box.
     Handwriting Recognition Area

You can switch back to QWERTY keyboard mode at any time by tapping the keyboard icon in the upper left corner of the handwriting recognition box. 

Keyboard Icon

When in QWERTY mode, the pen icon will appear to the left of the spacebar so you can switch to handwriting recognition mode, even if the pen detection feature doesn't launch that mode automatically.
 Keyboard with Toggle button

Recommended by Outbrain
Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
7 comments
  • Ljung Says:

    Awesome! Simple and straightforward to the point guide. Found this article before I start downloading bunch of third party keyboard apps. Thank you.

  • Neliso Nhlabatsi Says:

    Thank you so much for the guide above, It so much helped me after I hade mistakenly and unconsciously activated the handwriting mode and desperately needed to change back to the Samsung keyboard. I tried all I could but couldn't succeed until I googled and found this article.

  • Asher Says:

    Thanks for this article. Got it figured out. Was going to try to leave comment from my Galaxy Note 10.1 but for some reason after I put in my name in the top left field, I couldn't input text to any of the other fields. I think there is a problem with your comment form because it will still input text in the browser address bar.

  • mohammad taghi zolfaghari Says:

    Dear Author,I have one Galaxy Note 10.1 and enabled handwriting already. It works perfectly in English however I need it to support Farsi. I have Farsi as an input language but it is not listed into the languages available for handwriting. Further, my friend has one Galaxy Note 8 and it has Farsi recognition included into handwriting. I wonder how i can have it as well. Another point is my handwriting version is older. How can I upgrade it. It might be the solution.I would appreciate it if you can pass me some advice.Regards,Mohamad

  • Peter Says:

    Thank you for your help Avram.

    Unfortunately with my Galaxy Note 2 when I get to step 5 the pop up list of icons does not include the pen icon. Any suggestions?

  • arash Says:

    As you know in galaxy note 8 the recognition for handwriting to text in persian (فارسی ) is existed . How can I add this ability for galaxy note 10? Thanks for your recommends.

  • Mohamad Says:

    Dear Author,
    I have one Galaxy Note 10.1 and enabled handwriting already. It works perfectly in English however I need it to support Farsi. I have Farsi as an input language but it is not listed into the languages available for handwriting. Further, my friend has one Galaxy Note 8 and it has Farsi recognition included into handwriting. I wonder how i can have it as well. Another point is my handwriting version is older. How can I upgrade it. It might be the solution.
    I would appreciate it if you can pass me some advice.
    Regards,
    Mohamad

Back to top