MS Research
  Ken Hinckley






Official Blog of the InkSeine project at Microsoft Research

Videos & Goodies

Limitations of InkSeine


Feedback & Discussions



InkSeine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  • Q: How do you pronounce InkSeine?
      A: Rhymes with insane. [ink-seyn]

  • Q: Why is it called InkSeine?
      A: A seine is a fishing net. You need an ink seine to fish for information using ink.

  • Q: When can the general public get InkSeine?
  • Q: What Tablet PC should I get to run InkSeine?
  • Q: What is the difference between InkSeine, OneNote, and Journal?
  • Q: Why isn't InkSeine integrated with OneNote? I'd rather use
           OneNote to store everything, but have the InkSeine interface.
  • The Tool Ring:

  • Q: What's this crazy arrow on my screen?

  • Q: I'm trying to use the scroller on the tool ring but the application
       doesn't scroll. What's wrong?
      A: The scroller simulates the wheel on your mouse, so the correct window
      must have the input focus for the scroller to work. You need to tap on the
      area of the screen you want to scroll, and then touch down inside the
      scroller and start circling your pen.

      If that still doesn't work, then the window you are trying to scroll may not
      support the mouse wheel.

      The scroller does not work with Excel (we cannot fix this). Also, we have several reports that it does not work in Firefox, although it has worked in Firefox for other people. We have not been able to track down the problem yet.

  • Q: I want to have links to the screen clippings that I take using
       the camera on the
    Tool Ring. Can InkSeine do this?
      A: YES! Automatic hyperlinks are now available in InkSeine for Office 2003 and 2007 (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook emails), as well as web pages in Internet Explorer.

      Unfortunately we do not yet have support for backlinks to clippings taken from OneNote, Adobe Acrobat (PDF) viewer, or web pages hosted in other web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Opera).

      Special thanks to Brian Meyers and Greg Smith in the VIBE research group for helping us adapt their code to make this great feature possible.
  • Customization:

  • Q: Can I set up my page with something other than graph paper?
  • Q: Can I set up my own pen and highligter colors?
      A: InkSeine does not offer custom pens or highlighters at this time. We plan to add this feature to InkSeine as soon as possible. However, you can copy ink strokes with different colors that you draw in OneNote or Windows Journal into InkSeine.

  • Q: How do I use the options to customize InkSeine?
  • Q: I have an older tablet and InkSeine gets kind of slow every
       few minutes when there are a lot of notes on the current page.
       What can I do about this?
      A: Use the options panel (shown above) to reduce the frequency of InkSeine's automatic handwriting recognition for search indexing, or disable this option altogether if necessary.

  • Queries & Searches:

  • Q: Can I make Web Search my default search when I select ink?
      A: Yes. Use the InkSeine Options command from the options menu at the top of the screen to bring up the options panel, as pictured above. Then use the radio button to select Web Search as your default search type from InkSeine's context menus for selections with ink in them.
  • Q: When I do a Personal Search, the search panel just says "Error in
       Query Engine." What's wrong?
      A: InkSeine uses Windows Desktop Search for Personal Search queries, but particularly under Windows XP, WDS takes some time to start when you first turn on your tablet, or after a reboot. Try the query again in a while and it should work. This is less of a problem for Windows Vista Search.

      If this error keeps happening for you, double-click on it and report the details of the error to the InkSeine Team.

      Windows XP also occasionally has problems with losing Outlook email results from its search index. To remedy this, right-click on the Desktop Search icon in the Windows task tray. Pick the Desktop Search Options command, and then choose "Rebuild Index" to force desktop search to pick up your email results. Again, this problem seems to have been resolved in Vista.                                                              Desktop Search options under Windows XP.
  • Q: I've created a query in my notes by lassoing some ink and
       choosing the search command. What are the semantics if I
       open that query again at a later time?
  • Q: I used a highlighter and now I can't access my query since the
       highlighter covers it. How can I open the query again?
      A: 1. Use the lasso tool to tap-select the highlighting:
         1. Tap-select the highlighting
         2. Next use the Send to back command from the selection's green plus menu
            to place the highlighting behind the query icon.    2. Select Send to back from the menu    3. Now the query icon is back on top so you can get at it.    3. Now the query is on top.
  • Selection:

  • Q: How can I activate the lasso without moving my hand to the edge
          of the screen?
      A: You can use the pen's barrel button as a shortcut for the Lasso selection mode.
  • Q: How can I easily select a single stroke?
      A: Select the lasso tool, and then tap to select exactly the stroke that you
      want. You have to tap pretty close to it, and tap-select will select whichever
      stroke is on top if there are several nearby.
  • Q: How can I select a big bitmap without lassoing it?
  • Q: What's the rule the lasso uses to decide if objects are contained
          in the lasso or not?
      A: Ink strokes must be "mostly" in the lasso. For bitmaps, the center of the bitmap must be in the lasso. For hyperlinks, either the round icon or the center of the green title area must be in the lasso.
  • Q: How can I select a hyperlink or query to move it?
      A: Lasso it, or touch down on the link and stroke to the south-east to choose the Select command. You can also employ the other commands on the link to Open it, Remove it, or Cut / Copy it.
  • Q: I'm trying to select a small object, but I can't drag it around
       because there's no way to avoid hitting the resize handles on the
       selection. What can I do?
      A: Draw another "dummy" ink stroke nearby, and select both of them. Now the selection will be larger and you can grab the small object, and the dummy
      stroke, and drag them around. Just cut the dummy stroke when you are done.
  • InkSeine Tips & Tricks:

  • TIP #1: Drag & Drop files from Windows Explorer into InkSeine
       via the Open Folder command.
      HOW: You can drag links to files directly into InkSeine from any Windows Explorer folder. A quick way to do this is to use Open Folder in a highlighted personal search result to open Windows Explorer with the directory containing a file. Then you can quickly drag more stuff from the same directory into InkSeine. You can even select multiple files and drag them all in, where they appear as a tidy row of icons inside InkSeine.

      Any image files that you drag in will automatically import as bitmaps.

             Open Folder is handy for importing multiple files.

  • TIP #2: Rearrange Pages, create new blank pages, or delete pages.
      HOW: Drag the page tabs left and right to rearrange them. Tapping on the page icon creates a new page at the end of the note, which you can then drag to a different spot in your note if you want. Or drag a page to the trash can to delete it! Warning: No undo for page operations.
                 Drag pages around to rearrange them.

  • TIP #3: Drag & Drop any link or image from Internet Explorer into
       InkSeine while both applications are full-screen.
      HOW: From the Internet Explorer window, drag from any link or image to the
      task bar and hold your pen over InkSeine. The InkSeine window will come up,
      and you can then slide back onto the note page to drop the link or image in
      your notes.

      Images that are also links will only import as links, unfortunately, as the Windows Drag & Drop mechanism reports the link, but not the image, to InkSeine.
  • TIP #4: Create an empty search with filters to quickly access your
       recent notes.
      HOW: Write a single ink dot or squiggle and lasso it for search. Tap on Clear
      to remove whatever random character the recognizer comes up with for your
      ink. Tap on the ink notes filter in the right-hand column of the search panel.
      If you like, narrow it down further by selecting only recent categories from the
      date filters along the bottom of the search panel.

      Try using the other filters to quickly generate lists of other useful things, like
      all recent emails, office documents, etc.

  • Click here for the Install instructions.

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