How can we help you today?

Convert handwriting to digital text - OCR vs ICR

Nebo seamlessly transforms your handwritten notes on the go. This means that Nebo interprets the handwriting captured by your digital pen and converts it into a digital format.

Nebo can interpret text, math equations, and shapes with precision.

A. Let us provide some differences between OCR versus ICR.

The only way you can transform printed text into computer-editable text is with ICR or OCR software solutions.

What is OCR?

OCR software scans images containing textsuch as printed sheets, books, or magazines, and converts them into machine-encoded text for editing in various applications like word processors. OCR technology is commonly found in scanning devices like Adobe Acrobat online services and the Adobe Scan mobile app.

What is ICR?

ICR software, like Nebo's MyScript Handwriting recognition, goes beyond OCR by not only recognizing typewritten letters but also various fonts and handwritten text. The "intelligent" aspect of ICR enables it to decipher different styles of writing. 

B. Nebo's Handwriting Recognition

Nebo employs MyScript Handwriting recognition ICR technology to precisely interpret your handwritten text, math formulas, and diagrams.

It's worth noting that Nebo excels in ICR for analysing handwritten content and does not currently provide OCR support for extracting text from images.

The MyScript engine requires the selection of a language for recognition. On a single page, only 2 languages can be recognized at the time (English plus another language from the Supported languages).

Using ICR on Nebo

Keep in mind, Nebo features 3 distinct pages (Note, Document, Imported PDFs). Explore this article for a clearer understanding to convert text depending on the kind of page you are: Quick start

A. On a document page, 

  • Text: to convert your text, handwrite the text between the lines then double-tap anywhere on your text block or object, or tap  at the right of the screen, then select Convert all.

  • Math: to convert your math equations, add a Math block (Select on the Menu the + and add a Math object) handwrite the equation inside the box then double-tap anywhere inside the box, or tap  at the right of the screen, then select Convert all. Explore detailed information in this article Math
  • Diagrams: to convert your Diagram, add a Diagram block (Select on the Menu the + and add a Diagram object) handwrite the diagram inside the box and add the text needed for your diagram then double-tap anywhere inside the box, or tap  at the right of the screen, then select Convert all. Explore detailed information in this article: Diagrams

B. On a Note page, Note section or PDF document, 

  • Text conversion: use the lasso tool to select the text you wish to convert, subsequently a menu will appear, allowing you to choose the conversion option.  

           - You can read more about this here: Handwriting on a Note page or Keyboard and text conversion on a Note page

  • Shapes conversion: Explore detailed information in this article: Creating shapes on a note page
  • Math conversion: There is not math recognition on Note pages. 


  • If you convert some text accidentally, tap  in the top right to undo the conversion.
  • The math recognition feature is exclusive to Document pages.
  • Nebo offers ICR recognition technology. Nebo does not offer OCR recognition technology. 
Does it answer your question?
Yes No

For technical support or specific Nebo-related inquiries, please click here: Submit a ticket

To enhance the article, please share your overall feedback with us (without specifying a particular issue). This will enable us to maintain clarity and quality in our articles. We cannot provide responses to questions or support requests submitted here.

Thanks for your review !

Your say on MyScript apps

Want to get involved in improving MyScript products with our user experience team? Take a few minutes to tell us about yourself, and we’ll contact you when your profile matches one of our research projects.

Get involved