linux handwriting app

When I last wrote about Write on this blog in 2017 I described it as a fantastic handwritten note taking app for Linux.

Three years on and with a new release available for download I’m pleased to say that my conclusion still stands — heck, this freeware app is now even better at what it sets out to do.

Which is what exactly?

Well, Write is Qt-based note-taking app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and (new) iOS. It’s designed (ideally) for use with an active stylus. Using it on a non-touch device is possible, though with so many solid typing-based Linux note taking apps available, it’s not necessarily optimal.

Where Write excels compared to more general purpose note-taking apps and annotation tools (like Xournalpp, a similar open source app I’ve written about before) is in its focus on catering to the scribbled word and nothing else.

This app describes itself as “a word processor for handwriting” and the feature set it comes with is totally geared towards that aim. Although it does not do handwriting recognition (a different task entirely) it does offer:

  • Automatic paragraph reflow
  • Create bookmarks to text
  • Undo/redo dial for quick revisions
  • Ruled erase & select
  • Supports handwritten URLs/Links
  • Freehand drawing
  • Lasso and rectangular select
  • Cut, copy, paste actions
  • Insert images
  • Variety of paper types and pens
  • Open, HTML + SVG document format

All of the features listed above are now complimented by a crop of NEW features and capabilities:

  • Path select tool
  • Split view for working on two documents side by side
  • Add a new page by double tapping dimmed area under document
  • Long press on undo button to select recent strokes
  • New input smoothing options
  • Easier pen setup
  • Improved SVG support (opening and saving)

Think all that sounds good?

You can download Write for free for Linux, Windows, macOS and Android direct from the project website. The (brand new) iOS version is available from the App Store.

Do note that the Linux version of Write is provided as a tar.gz archive. Extract this archive and double-click on the binary file inside to launch the app. An installation script is also included. Running this will add a shortcut for Write to your desktop’s application menu/launcher.

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