• Posted by Allan Platt
  • October 6, 2011 5:56 AM PDT

WritePad lets you take notes in your own handwriting with an iPad stylus or even your finger. The state-of-the-art handwriting recognition software will adapt and learn your style of writing. You can use simple gestures to select text, cut, copy, paste, and insert special characters.

WritePad has a spell checker with its own custom dictionary, a context analyzer, auto-corrector, and a Shorthand feature that fills-in words and phrases you frequently use, once entered into the Shorthand Editor.

Version tested 5.2 Cost $9.99

The Good – only handwriting recognition  text program for the iPad that works with your finger or stylus. Allows note taking while standing using the iPad like a clip board. There is a customizable dictionary, shorthand generator, translator, and communication options using  cloud, email or Wi-Fi..


The Bad – Could use a better iPad tutorial, it is about 90% accurate in translation and requires editing, learning the gestures and customization. There is a learning curve that improves your performance to more you use it. There are no drawing or graphics options. For some users a stylus will be required as the recognition program is strong but not infallible.


Bottom Line – A great tool if you like handwriting notes and need the electronic text instead of free hand notes. The medical documentation applications can be  timesaving and worth the customization.


The Full Review -

If you are not a fast screen typist and you need electronic text documents, then Writepad offers a novel hand writing recognition solution. The iPad is an ideal device for notetaking and with Writepad there is now an app that allows you to write notes by as you would on a sheet of paper or on a clipboard. Writepad allows you to use your finger or a stylus to input text using the entire screen with gridlines, a textbox at the bottom or regular keypad entry.


Writepad converts your handwriting into spellchecked electronic text that can be stored, emailed, shared as text or PDF using Google docs, Dropbox, Evernote or Wi-Fi making it a powerful tool well worth the $9.99 price tag. There are multiple customized style options: cursive or printing handwriting, insert contacts, location and even one that permits you to translate your text into one of a dozen other languages.

The program has a PDF tutorial and there are video tutorials on YouTube and their website. http://www.phatware.com/writepad .There is a PDF help manual available by tapping the options  icon in bottom tray then tapping the help icon.


For students and faculty, this is a great note taking tool when you only have your iPad. Your screen functions like a regular piece of note paper and Writepad stores your notes as digital text for multiple uses. Writepad provides short hand commands for underscoring important points, which can be constructed and named to insert words, addresses, dates, or whole text paragraphs of template text that you use repeatedly.


For medical providers, having the parts of the routine history and physical examination pre done as shortcuts allows a provider to compose a detailed patient note in minutes. Common write-ups can be stored, recalled on screen edited and saved as new documents on the fly.  Common procedures, patient letters, and consultations that have the same documentation can be entered and labeled as a shorthand shortcut. The ability to chart at the bedside, standing or sitting is a wonderful workflow addition.

There is an option to buy a medical dictionary add-in for the program for $4.99