Business Applications
 [Wacom Americas]  [Products]  [Product Support]  [Tips]  [Store]  [Corporate]     February 18, 2004

A Wacom tablet has long been an essential tool for graphic artists. Now the most important business applications are being designed to also benefit from the power of pen input.

To get you started enjoying these great new capabilities, we have put together some fundamental information on using your Wacom tablet with Office XP, PowerPoint, and Acrobat.

Office XP
Microsoft’s new handwriting recognition allows you to enter text by writing instead of typing. The easiest and most natural way to enter text is by using a Wacom digital pen. Your handwriting is automatically converted to typewritten characters and inserted right where you want it.

You can use handwriting recognition in programs that support it. These include:

  • All Microsoft Office XP programs, such as Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002 or Microsoft Outlook 2002.
  • Outlook Express 5.0 or later (use handwriting to write e-mail).
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 or later (you may use handwriting in text boxes that appear on Web sites, but not in the Address bar).
  • Any software program that is handwriting-enabled.
Many of you may not be aware that Microsoft PowerPoint has a pen tool for inking right on your presentation. If you know you will need a whiteboard at some point in your presentation, you can easily include a blank slide to use as a blank foil on which you can use your Wacom pen as a virtual marker. Or, if you prefer to emphasize your point by circling and inking right on your slides, the PowerPoint pen tool is a great way to interact with your media and keep your audience focused where you want them to be.

To turn on the pen is a simple procedure. The simplest way is to press “Cntrl-P”. This changes the pointer to the pen tool. You can also do this by right clicking on your slide and selecting “pen” as a pointer option. “Cntrl-A” changes the pointer back to a hidden pointer. To erase the ink, you can right click on your slide and select “erase” as a screen option. A simpler approach to erase your ink at any time is to simply hit the “E” key on your keyboard. You can change your pen color ink by selecting the “slideshow” pull-down from the top menu (not while you’re running the slideshow) and then selecting “set up show”. This will change your default pen color. If you want to change pen color while you are giving a slide show, right click on your slide, select “pointer options/pen color” and your preferred color.

Using Microsoft PowerPoint with a projector provides you all the flexibility of an overhead projector with foils, but without the mess and clean-up, and you have many more options for delivering different kinds of media. PowerPoint’s virtual pen combined with Wacom’s electronic pen provides you every opportunity to interact with your audience on-the-fly, keeping them entertained and well directed.

Adobe Acrobat 5.0
For many of you in the document review business, the time to print out, go to the printer and get the document, mark-up, then forward the doc for further revision… well, it’s a rather cumbersome process. Email has revolutionized our lives, but we still print everything out when we want to make edits. It’s a huge time sink, not to mention a drain on our natural resources and environment. Adobe has introduced a new way to work that is called ePaper (electronic paper). Adobe Acrobat can be used to generate ePaper documents from any application. It’s as simple as printing to a printer, only instead of printing a paper document, you print an electronic one.

Once you have an electronic document or form, you can use Acrobat to digitally sign the document and to mark up documents for further revision. There are two kinds of annotation with Adobe Acrobat, text annotations and ink annotations. For our purposes, we focus on ink annotations which are very easy to perform with Wacom’s unique pen input solutions. With your ePaper document open in Acrobat, simply select the pen tool and mark up your document at will. Then attach it to an email directed to your designated addressee. No more running to printers to fetch documents. No more running documents all over the building. And, it’s a great way to save some trees. Simply print electronic paper, mark it up, and send it via email or post it to an intranet. Acrobat documents are supported on a wide variety of platforms and can be universally read by everyone (Acrobat readers are free at

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