As flexible and useful as Input Panel is, we have been looking at it as a bridge between old and new technology. It is a method of translating from a medium humans understand, handwriting or speech, to a medium the computer can manipulate, standardized characters. Once the ink vanishes off Input Panel and converts it to text, it is lost.
Input Panel can send the actual pen strokes, or ink, from the writing pad, as well as the list of possible meanings, to the application. Some applications can’t accept this kind of data, but many can. Exactly how the ink will appear in the document and to what extent you can edit it varies; in some the pen strokes and the alternate word list are available, and in others the ink is converted into a static, un-editable image.
To send ink off the writing pad as ink, place the cursor in the document where you want the ink to appear and then tap the down arrow to the right of the Send button on Input Panel. If the Send As Ink option is available, the application you chose will accept the ink. Select Send As Ink, and whatever you write will appear in the document as ink. Figure 2-29 shows an example with Word 2002. We will explore sending ink directly to applications further in Chapter 6. In the next three chapters, we will look at Windows Journal, in which the ink goes directly into the application without the need for Input Panel at all.