Handwriting recognition (HWR), also known as Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR), is the ability of a device or software program to analyze the shape of cursive or printed handwriting drawn on a touchscreen and then translate it into letters, words, numbers, and punctuation marks.
The image of the written text may be sensed "off line" from a piece of paper by optical scanning (optical character recognition) or intelligent word recognition. Alternatively, the movements of the pen tip may be sensed "on line", for example by a pen-based computer screen surface, a generally easier task as there are more clues available. A handwriting recognition system handles formatting, performs correct segmentation into characters, and finds the most plausible words.
Most devices that have touchscreens have built-in handwriting recognition capability. Input is best done using a stylus.
It should be noted that only devices using resistive type of touchscreen readily allows for input with various objects. The capacitive touchscreen devices can accept only human finger input.