Electronically scan a book to import its content into a word-processing program. Save a snippet handwritten on a personal digital assistant (PDA) screen into a spreadsheet. Decipher a scrawled form or the zip code on an envelope. In all these cases, software translates typed or handwritten characters into digital text that can be edited, e-mailed, stored or used to tell a high-speed machine which direction to route a letter.
This article was originally published with the title The Write Type.