This book describes how to create applications that use the Microsoft® Windows® Pen Application Programming Interface (API). The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 presents an overview of pen-based computing and describes the various components of the Pen API. Sample code supplements the text and later chapters present a complete sample program and sample recognizer as examples. (Recognizers translate pen strokes into characters, symbols, or shapes.) Part 2 provides a reference for the functions, structures, messages, and constants that make up the Pen API. Following the reference, a number of appendixes provide information about the differences between versions 1.0 and 2.0 of the Pen API, the 32-bit pen services, and more.

The Microsoft Windows 95 operating system includes a subset of the Pen API for displaying pen data. This allows a pen-based application to collect pen data from a pen tablet, store the data, and later display the data on any personal computer running Windows 95, even without pen hardware. The full pen services come only with pen hardware from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of pen equipment. Thus, an application running with Windows 95 has guaranteed access to at least the display portion of the Pen API; if a pen tablet is attached, the application can also accept pen input.

The full pen services of the Pen API version 2.0 described in this book can run only with Windows 95 or later Windows versions.

This book assumes a familiarity with the C language and with Windows programming in general. To keep discussions concise, the text does not digress to define such general terms as dynamic-link library (DLL), callback function, or message. However, pen-based computing generates its own lexicon, so the text defines new terms specific to the Pen API as they are introduced. In addition, a brief glossary of terminology specific to pen-based computing appears at the end of this book.

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