Seeking stylus-based note taking and synching app with a certain feature
November 18, 2017 4:36 PM   Subscribe

I have a feeling I haven't seen this because it doesn't exist, and perhaps it CAN'T exist! But here it is:

I am writing something that'll be around 25 pages long. Normally I would do this by typing into a word processor. However, I've grown to feel more comfortable writing with a stylus on my iPad.

I have a number of note-taking apps (ZoomNotes is one fancy one I have) where I can write with my active stylus (the Lynctek Flip Stylus, very nice, magnetic, needs no charging) and it's easy and fun. And they let you put a box around a bunch of text, copy it, and paste it into another place on your document. BUT BUT BUT: as opposed to a regular word processor, where, when you paste some words further along in your document, the words after the pasted words automatically move forward, with the type of app I'm talking about, you paste that box o' words in the new space, but the words that are already there Do Not Move. Now I'm no programmer, but is that because of something called "object oriented" something?

I *get* that the words I've written in longhand with my stylus are NOT text -- they are a PICTURE -- (object? something like that) --- and that is why the copy and paste function does not work the way a word processor works. I get it! BUT I still would like to know if what I want exists somewhere in the world -- that is, a notes app where I can move my drawn-with-a-stylus words around and the words that come afterward will move themselves forward to accommodate the new words!

Otherwise, I guess there really is no way to do what I want to do outside of using a word processor. Right?
posted by DMelanogaster to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From a purely theoretical standpoint, I imagine this falls in the realm of programs that are possible but difficult to make, and I haven't seen any software that does what you describe.

One thing that is possible and I've seen apps for (though I'm not familiar with the iOS ecosystem, so I can't give recommendations) are programs that do handwriting recognition and turn your written words into regular text, which you can then manipulate in a word processor.
posted by Aleyn at 1:45 AM on November 19, 2017

Interesting - just tried with my favorite (OneNote, Windows) - and while everything (text or ink) gets surrounded by a box, moving a box of "content" just overlays it - it does not re-arrange anything.

However - I don't think this is all that difficult to program - it is "collision detection" between rectangles - something video games have been doing for decades.

However - there would be users that wouldn't like your preferred behavior - but this could be a setting (auto-insert, with auto-layout or "re-flow") that would be optional. (Then again, in todays UX/usability world apps tend to take away the ability to have custom settings, rather than add them)
posted by jkaczor at 5:41 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older A very specific question about a very frustrating...   |   Help me win our Christmas decorating contest Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.