Pen-Unaware Applications

Microsoft Windows 95 supports the use of a pen even with pen-unaware applications. For such applications, Windows provides a means for the pen to mimic both mouse and keyboard data. It does this in two ways.

The first method, the Pen Message Interpreter, is described in the "Windows" section in the previous chapter. The second method involves two utility "applets" called Writing Palette (WRITEPAL.EXE) and Screen Keyboard (SK.EXE), both supplied as installed applications. Writing Palette allows the user to enter handwritten text for those occasions when the Message Interpreter fails to detect an input prompt. For example, when running an MS-DOS text editor in a window, the user can input handwritten text through the Writing Palette utility. The Pen API translates the handwritten text into characters and displays the result in the writing window. The user can then correct the text if necessary and tap the OK button when the corrections are recognized. Windows feeds the characters to the pen-unaware text editor as a series of WM_KEYDOWN and WM_KEYUP messages as though they were typed at the keyboard.

The Screen Keyboard applet displays an image of a typical keyboard on which the user can "type" by tapping the keys of the on-screen keyboard with the pen. Each key is sent as soon as it is typed. This does not require recognition because no handwriting is involved.

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