Friday, July 14, 2006

Ink everywhere?

Rob's article about ink in Vista (about the lack of ink everywhere) made me both post and think (actually I've been thinking a lot). I've been working on a little utility for giving me ink everywhere, and wanted to post some pictures about my progress so far. The idea is that the utility would replace the TIP completely, letting you write directly on text fields all over Windows.

The application is still being developed, and important features like detecting the input scope (web, email etc) and integration with windowless controls in IE (on the page itself) is still to be added.

Take a look at these pictures of the application:

Inking in IE:

Inking in the search field in IE:

Inking in Explorer:

Renaming a folder:

Inking in Outlook:

7 comments:

Rob Bushway said...

Great stuff, Christian. Continue to let us know how you progress.

CTitanic said...

Wow, this looks really good. If you need any help testing it in an UMPC please, let me know.

F2theD said...

Yeah, I really like it too! Are those pictures mere concept, or is it in the albha/beta stadium? I really like the idea of it, maybe you coud even combine it with something like ink gestures to have an "enter" command to insert. Keep it coming!

//F2theD@gmail.com
//F2theD.blogspot.com

Jan-Kristian said...

Interesting stuff!
I interned at the MS Tablet PC text input team last summer, and I can reassure you that they are constantly trying to figure out what the best way to ink text is. Inking directly on text fields definitely seems to be the most natural way to do it, but there are many considerations which need to be taken care of – for example editing of the input. I too agree with Rob, and think that more applications (and definitely the ones made by MS) should natively support ink. When you have to convert ink to computer text you loose a lot of the richness and spontaneity that the use of a pen provides.
Be sure to keep us posted on your progress :)

Shayne said...

Functionality like this would be too good to be true! Please keep working on it, and I'll hold my breath until it is released. =o )

Perry Reed said...

Very nice! I'm looking forward to seeing the final product.

Christian F. said...

Thanks for all great comments. I'm still working hard to lift the program from a proof of concept to a more robust and generic replacement for the Tablet PC input panel. The program as it is today is working, but as I wrote its missing some vital functionality like getting the input scope and working with controls in Internet Explorer.