Within the spreadsheet area, the pen should default to a pointer. If the
application allows in-cell editing, double-tapping the cell should open a writing
window in which the user can write or edit the contents of the cell. This window
should include a palette of commonly entered symbols such as "*" or formula
names that are hard to recognize. This allows the user to enter an unambiguous
symbol by tapping an appropriate button.
A formula bar area should behave more like the word-processor application just
described. If the area is empty, the application should display the writing
window automatically. Naturally, the recognizer should be configured according to
the type of input expected, whether text, numerical, or whatever.
Annotation, including quick notes and diagrams, represents an ideal usage of a
pen in a spreadsheet application. Often, annotated text can be kept as ink and
does not require recognition. Anchoring and targeting annotations on a
spreadsheet is somewhat easier than on a word-processing document because cells do not
flow in the same manner as text. Annotations should be anchored to the data
and not the cell. This ensures that, if the data moves to another cell, the
annotation moves with it.
Because spreadsheets contain much data that is not based on words, on-screen
keyboards should be easy to display (and automatic in many circumstances). As
with word-processing applications, writing in a spreadsheet will most likely be
limited to small editing and format changes.
The user will often wish to edit the contents of a single cell to see how it
affects the rest of the spreadsheet. To facilitate this operation with a pen,
the application should anticipate as much as possible. For example,
double-tapping a field containing a numeric value should display a numeric on-screen keypad.
If the spreadsheet offers text entry with recognition, it should provide an
appropriate tool accessible from a toolbar or menu. When the user selects
text-entry mode, the spreadsheet should enlarge (zoom), allowing the user to write
comfortably within a cell. The application can rely on the automatic targeting
capabilities provided by the Pen application programming interface (API),
described in Chapter 2, to route text appropriately to different cells.
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