A recognizer is a DLL with functions that determine what symbol a pattern of pen strokes represents. As illustrated in Figure 1.4, Windows allows the concurrent operation of more than one recognizer. For example, one recognizer may specialize in English letters, another in mathematical symbols, another in geometric shapes, and so forth.

Each handwriting recognizer can access any number of word lists. Word lists offer a way for a recognizer to corroborate and refine its guesses. For example, if a recognizer cannot decide whether a handwritten word is "boy" or "looy," finding one word but not the other in a word list helps the recognizer make a more confident choice.

Although many recognizers may be available to an application, only one serves as the system default recognizer. This is the recognizer that Windows automatically installs and calls by default. To use other recognizers, an application must first specifically install them. (For information about how to install multiple recognizers, see Chapter 5, "The Recognition Process.") The Microsoft Handwriting Recognizer (GRECO.DLL) is provided as the default system recognizer on most OEM tablet installations of Microsoft pen services. The Microsoft Handwriting Recognizer recognizes all European letters, numerals, and punctuation, with emphasis on English, French, and German, An application can set up a different system recognizer by identifying the new file in the Windows registry. Appendix A explains how to set up a new default recognizer.

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