Monday, March 06, 2006

Cancelling Block Recognizer (Pocket PC) shift punctuation mode

On my Pocket PC, my text entry method of choice is the Block Recognizer -- a clone of the Grafitti text input method from Palm PDA devices. My first PDA was a Palm Pilot (the Pocket PC being my 2nd and current PDA), so I'm on familiar ground entering text with Block Recognizer.

One gripe I've had for a while is that I didn't know of an quick way to cancel the punctuation "shift" state if I put Block Recognizer into that state by accident. Block Recognizer has a input combination method of entering punctuation characters where you tap the text entry area once with the stylus, then do a pen stroke and the app will interpret the stroke as a punctuation character instead of a letter or number. (For example, a tap followed by a vertical top-to-bottom stroke is interpreted as a singlequote instead of the letter "i".) Grafitti allows you to cancel the "shift" state with a "backspace" pen stroke, but unfortunately, Block Recognizer interprets the "backspace" as a "-" character when in shift mode instead of cancelling the shift mode. (Tapping the screen once more doesn't work to cancel shift, either -- that's a "." character.)

I accidentally happened around a workaround for this earlier tonight. I noticed that when in shift mode, the dot that indicates shift mode is active appeares in only the "letters" or "numbers" portion of the input area, but not both. I found that if I want to cancel shift mode in the letters portion of the input area, I can tap in the numbers section -- this moves the "shift" dot from the letters aera to the numbers area -- and then proceed to write normally again in the letters area.

This will hopefully work out to be a better solution than my old method of cancelling shift than my old method of writing any stroke, backspacing it, and then continuing, which I found to be really disruptive to my flow of writing when in the middle of a sentence and trying to write quickly (such as when taking notes during a presentation or lecture).

Now I just need to figure out my other main problem with Block Recognizer -- my low accuracy rate, particularly when it comes to the software misinterpreting my entry of a standard a-z letter character as an "international" character. The "œ" ("oe") character is one that comes up particularly often. I wish there were a way to disable recognition of all characters except the standard a-z and 0-9 when not in one of the shift modes.

1 comment:

  1. Any luck with the international character issue with the block recognizer? I've noted the same problem often.

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