Published On: Fri, Feb 19th, 2016

Microsoft Launches Plumbago, A Paper App Competitor That Lets You Sketch & Handwrite Notes

Microsoft’s Office apartment already has a renouned note-taking app with OneNote, yet currently a association is branch a courtesy to how note-taking should work on tablets that support stylus and touch-based input. The association has now released Plumbago, a digital cover focus for Windows 8.1 and 10 tablets that allows users to handwrite text, highlight, plus sketch and pull regulating possibly coop or pencil strokes opposite a device’s screen.

The app, like many of Microsoft’s new releases, is a latest to emerge from a company’s inner incubator, Microsoft Garage. And also like many Garage projects, it takes impulse from obvious apps already on a market. For example, in Plumbago’s case, a app appears to be an try to contest with Paper by FiftyThree, a tip note-taking and sketching focus for iOS devices.

Plumbago – whose name is Latin for graphite, in box you’re wondering – doesn’t simply capture and record your coop or pencil strokes, however. According to Microsoft’s announcement, a app also utilizes a record called “handwriting beautification,” which involves fit stroke-matching opposite thousands created by users. These strokes are averaged to furnish some-more unchanging and easier-to-read handwriting, Microsoft explains, ensuing in a some-more unchanging demeanour for your handwritten notes.

In addition, Plumbago supports “infinite paper” – definition your papers or drawings can camber pages.


“How do we naturally go from one page to another? With a notebook, we flip a page over. With Plumbago, we appropriate a aspect of a page as yet you’re flipping a genuine thing to navigate via a notebook,” explains Gavin Jancke, Microsoft Research’s GM of Engineering, who served as a user interface program operative for a app.

“It gives a clarity of fluidity relocating via a cover expelling a need of carrying to emanate pages manually and scrolling like a normal word processor, also permitting we to go directly to a page as we would by flipping a garland of pages in a turn notebook,” he added.

The pages can also be other hues besides white. For example, a app offers yellow ruled paper with a pinkish domain line, grid paper, song sheets, and more.

For inputs, we can select between pen, pencil or highlighter, that all respond as they would in a earthy world. That is, if we pull harder on a tablet’s surface, a sketch apparatus acts accordingly, laying deeper into a practical paper.

Plumbago users can also add, trace, prominence and explain images, as good as share their cover pages as images or with other apps, including Microsoft Word and OneNote. Unfortunately, though, Plumbago’s records don’t sync between inclination – a plea Paper also faced after debuting a iPhone version.

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Unlike some Microsoft Garage projects, that seem to be some-more infrequent endeavours, Plumbago has been in growth for around dual years. Its origination was a corner bid between Jancke; Larry Zitnick, who grown a scratch painting and ink digest technology; and others on Microsoft Research’s Advanced Development Team. However, not all of their time during Microsoft was spent building Plumbago – instead, they worked on it in further to their unchanging day jobs.

Jancke notes they chose to work within a Garage horizon since it authorised them to try something new and experimental, while also handling expectations associated to a app’s success.

Plumbago is a giveaway download on a Windows Store.

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