In an effort to ”[make] the internet easier to use by people worldwide,” Google has added a new language support feature to its Gmail and Google Doc services: Handwriting input.
On Tuesday, via a blog post on Google’s Official Gmail Blog, Google introduced the ability to use one’s own handwriting to input text.
The blog post gives the impression that the handwriting feature would be most useful for users who wish to input text from languages that are foreign to them, especially for languages that use more complex characters such as Chinese, Hindi and Russian.
But while the Google handwriting feature is a new offering for Gmail and Google Docs, it has been featured in the past as part of another Google product, Google Translate, as Engadget points out.
The handwriting feature is easily accessible through Settings (gear icon) in Gmail. From there, under Language options, check the box next to “Enable input tools” and then pick the language in which you’d like to write. Once you enable the handwriting feature, when you’re ready, click the pencil icon that now appears on the left of the gear icon. You’re now able to write using your mouse or track pad, once you’ve written whatever phrase you’d like, just click on one of Google’s suggestions as to what you were trying to say and there you have it, a phrase written in another language.
As of Tuesday, Gmail offers the handwriting feature in more than 20 languages while Google Docs offers it in more than 50 languages.