Chapter 2
Tablet PC Input Panel and Ink

The Tablet PC Input Panel is primarily a tool for entering text when a standard keyboard is not convenient or available. This, of course, is something you must do all the time on a tablet, so Input Panel is a large part of your tablet experience. Ideally, you could use your pen and enter information directly into any document by putting the pen to the screen where you want the information to go and starting to write. In fact, this was the original plan for pen input and may be possible as more programs appear specifically designed for the tablet. The problem is that the majority of programs you use on your tablet today were designed for keyboard input, not for pen input. The first attempts at making keyboard-centric programs accept pen input directly worked, but the process was confusing for the user. The solution was to create a system in which the users could place the cursor where they wanted to write but actually write the information with a pen in a separate input area, much like the writing area of a Palm or Pocket PC. The computer would respond as if the user had placed the cursor with a mouse and started typing on a keyboard. That system is Input Panel.