Unexpected Google Trick: Translate Bad Handwriting

Unexpected Google Trick: Translate Bad Handwriting

Taryn Williford
Feb 15, 2011

It's expected that Google would come to our rescue with sorting our e-mail and organizing our calendar. So where does all of this "Google Will Take Over the World" talk come in? Maybe it's things like this: Next time you get an undecipherable birthday card from Aunt Linda, just head over to Google—it knows enough to help you translate her chicken scratch.

Ever accidentally misspelled your search terms in Google? Notice how it offers up a "Did you mean...?" suggestion?

Well Lifehacker shows us that you can use that same auto-suggestion feature in Google to "translate" indecipherable handwriting.

Just type in a small bit of the letter that you're having trouble reading—whatever you can decipher, even if it's a nonsensical string of consonants—into the Google search bar. If you give enough context, Google should be able to offer up a suggestion.

We typed in a bit of the writing from the top image, "I have thro kids," and Google was able to get it right:

Knowing obscure Google tricks is as close as we'll get to having super powers. After a few cycles of translating holiday cards from Aunt Linda, you'll be Captain Chicken Scratch in no time.

via Lifehacker

(Top image: Flickr member fling93 licensed for use under Creative Commons)


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