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Windows 11 borrows one of the best Apple Pencil features

The iPad Air 5 with the Apple Pencil 2

Pen support is one of the defining features of the Surface lineup, so Microsoft is trying not to lag behind the competition by regularly introducing new inking capabilities. As it usually goes in the industry, changes oftentimes arrive heavily inspired by what is already available on other platforms.

The latest Windows 11 preview update borrowed one of the best Apple Pencil features, Scribble. It allows inputting hand-written text into any text box. And with build 23481, Scribble-like capabilities arrive in Windows 11.

Windows 11 build 23481 features notably improved the inking experience with better accuracy and enhanced text recognition, resulting in much better text input. Besides, writing with a Surface Pen or another compatible stylus is now more convenient thanks to a new gesture that lets you remove words by scratching them out.

Build 23481 screenshots

The latest Windows Ink improvements are gradually rolling out to Windows Insiders with the latest Dev build. Unfortunately, not all users with compatible hardware can immediately try them out since US English is currently the only supported language.

Microsoft plans to monitor feedback before expanding the rollout, and you can expect the company to add support for more languages in future updates.

It's worth noting is that the updated Windows Ink has a few known issues, something to expect from a new feature in a preview build:

  • Users can’t use handwriting to erase text in Microsoft Edge.
  • The address box in Microsoft Edge might not work correctly.
  • Windows Ink does not convert handwriting to text into the main content (e.g., Word documents and Excel spreadsheets) in Microsoft 365 applications.
  • Search boxes in Microsoft 365 applications (e.g., Microsoft Word) might not work correctly.
  • Comment fields in Microsoft 365 applications (e.g., Microsoft Word) might not work correctly.

Another noteworthy change in the latest Windows 11 preview build is related to the ill-fated Chat app. Microsoft removed it from the taskbar and replaced it with the Microsoft Teams Free app.

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