In addition to a Pocket PC I also use a Tablet PC. It’s a convertible model and I don’t always use it in tablet mode, but that is changing as I find more tools to fill the gaps in the user interface that seem missing to me.

As I mentioned when using a handwriting user interface I’m a fan of something called gestures. The Tablet PC has these too but it is up to each application to map them to commands. So far there are few applications that do so. There are a great many things that gestures could be used for like selection or Cut, Copy, and Paste that would make the Tablet PC feel much more natural. It’s a shame that Microsoft never implemented a system-wide gesture user interface into the Tablet PC. However like Calligrapher that added this feature to the Pocket PC there is something called StrokeIt for the Tablet PC (actually any PC) that adds both system and application specific gestures.

StrokeIt is not made specifically for the Tablet PC but despite this, it works really well. As such it doesn’t use most of the Microsoft defined gestures but you can teach it any new gesture you want including the missing ones defined by Microsoft. With StrokeIt you can use gestures anywhere to invoke any set of keys or commands using a macro system for defining gesture actions. They’re not always the easiest thing to set up but they are quite powerful and you can set up gestures and actions to be global or per-application. It comes with a bunch of pre-defined actions for popular applications to get you started. It’s also very light-weight taking just 360k on my TabletPC (by contrast the Tablet PC recognition UI take about 34,000k).

Using StrokeIt my Tablet PC feels much more natural. When I need to invoke the spell checker, I can just draw a big checkmark like on my Pocket PC. I can also set up gestures and actions for Cut, Copy, and Paste or anything else I want. And best of all StrokeIt is completely free for personal use. If you’re using a Tablet PC I would highly recommend trying StrokeIt.

Flux and Mutability

The mutable notebook of David Jade