The Kindle Scribe is the first member of Amazon’s Kindle family that’s designed as much for taking notes as it is for reading. With a 10.2 inch E Ink display it’s a little smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, but much larger than any other Kindle. And the Kindle Scribe comes with a pen that you can use to jot handwritten notes, draw pictures, or highlight and annotate documents.

But when the Kindle Scribe launched last fall, the $340 device lacked some of the features found on similar devices from reMarkable, Kobo, Onyx, and Bigme. So the company promised to continue adding features through software updates. And the latest update brings a pretty big one: the Kindle Scribe can finally convert handwritten notes to text.

Amazon says the new update is rolling out now to Kindle Scribe devices, and adds two new ways to convert handwritten notes to text when you export them. From the Share menu you can now:

  1. Convert to text and quick send
  2. Convert to text and email a .txt file

If you choose the second option, you’ll have a chance to preview your converted text and make edits before sending it by email to up to 5 addresses.

Other new features included in the latest update include:

  • Lasso Select Tool: Circle handwritten text or pen strokes to move or resize your selection in a notebook, sticky note, or PDF. This tool works in any area where you can write.
  • PDF Reading Improvements: You can now switch between portrait and landscape viewing modes, crop margins to increase font size, or select text to make highlights with a finger or pen, add notes, or look up definitions. This works with PDFs uploaded to your Kindle library.
  • Write-On Content: Amazon now offers the ability to write on the page for selected books and other items available from the Kindle Store, including “guided journals” and “word games like crosswords and sodukus.”

Other recent updates include support for sending documents to a Kindle directly from Microsoft Word (if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription), a Notebook Overview mode for navigating and organizing your notebooks, and a 2-column layout setting for reading eBooks in landscape mode.

All of the new features are baked into Kindle Scribe software version 5.16.2, which is now available via an over-the-air update, or for download from Amazon’s Kindle software update page.

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