Amazon recently launched an update for its Kindle Scribe ereader that doubles as a notetaking tablet, adding the much-requested ability to convert handwriting into text files and more.
Another addition includes a new lasso select tool that lets you easily select and move handwritten text between documents. Plus, there are now more ways to customise your PDF reading experience, adding more flexibility overall.
We noted a lack of handwriting recognition and markup options in our review of the Kindle Scribe, so this update makes the device a much more viable product. Although these features arguably should have been available at launch, it’s great that they’re there now.
Update brings handwritten note conversion on Kindle Scribe
Following the Kindle Scribe update, converting your handwriting into text is now an option when exporting. From the Share menu, you can choose the “Convert to text and quick send” and “Convert to text and email” options for handwritten notebooks on the device. This exports the chosen notebook as a .txt file for ease of sharing and editing with others.
When choosing the email option, you can also preview and edit the converted notebook prior to sending it. From here, you can share the end result with up to five email addresses directly from the Scribe.
Moving and resizing handwritten text should now also be easier with the new lasso select tool. Amazon says this function works anywhere on the Scribe you can write, including notebooks, sticky notes, and uploaded PDFs. It lets you circle a selection of your writing, which you can then resize and move, in addition to pasting between other documents on your device. It seems particularly helpful if you run out of notetaking room on a document, letting you shuffle handwritten notes around and making them smaller to fit more in.
Last but not least, the Kindle Scribe update also adds more customisation options when reading PDFs uploaded via Send to Kindle. Now, you can swap between portrait and landscape orientations, increase font size by cropping margins, and select text for further options. On the latter feature, it’s odd that it wasn’t included at launch, but you can now select text to add specific notes and make highlights, while also looking up definitions, translations, and Wikipedia listings.
According to Amazon, this Kindle Scribe update is the final of its first series of improvements, indicating that there may be more on the way. More details on the software changes are available on the official announcement blog. Kindles should update automatically provided they are connected to Wi-Fi, but you can manually push the update by following Amazon’s instructions.