Why will this Shortcut not display recognized text?

In this video, Matthew Cassinelli demonstrates pulling recognized handwritten text into a shortcut. Nifty.

I’ve been unsuccessful in trying to replicate. Here is the very simple shortcut I’m using.


The handwritten text is being recognized by Notes as demonstrated in the following search example

However, no text results are shown via the Shortcut.

I imagine I’m overlooking the obvious. Ideas? Thanks — jay

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Seems to work for me.

Even more mystifying :thinking:

Had to rub it in, did ya?? :wink:

Glad to know it can work… I’ll have to keep fiddling with it

Haha! Sorry. I just wanted to make sure you knew I tried to replicate as close as possible for you. Good luck!

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It doesn’t work for me either. All pieces are up-to-date. I can’t work it out.

For those having problems with this, please can you:

  1. Confirm the exact steps that you are using to enter the handwritten content?
  2. Confirm that the handwritten text has been converted to searchable text; it can be checked by, and will be visible in the search in Notes.


Per my comments above, the handwritten text was converted to searchable text. See screenshot I included.

Not sure what other info you are seeking in terms of “exact steps”. Create note, type some text, tap on the pen option in lower right, hand write with Apple Pencil, exit note and try to process with Shortcut.

Welcome any other tips or more specific questions — jay

Sorry - I’d missed the search you had entered on that first note. :persevere:

I’ve seen stuff incorporating diagrams/my bad handwriting, not get converted and I’ve definitely seen lines dropped when Shortcuts tries to pick the data out.

The step-by-step request was predominantly to ensure handwriting was being directly entered and not via a scan or image insertion.

Whenever there’s unusual behaviour, especially behaviour that isn’t universal, it is worth checking through a few standard things too.

  1. OS and app versions.
    • I’m sure the app version would match the latest release, but perhaps there’s an OS difference. It works for me but I’m running the latest public beta rather than the latest public release.
  2. Confirm the behaviour is consistent after a device reboot.
  3. Confirm the behaviour on different devices with the same Apple account.
    • For example, I’m always surprised how often account logout/login seems to affect issues that seem unrelated on Apple devices.

No worries!

If you are interested… here’s the demo

To your questions:

  1. iOS 12.2, Shortcuts 2.2
  2. Reboot doesn’t change behavior
  3. Same outcome on other devices. Just tested again on iPhone with finger text. Again, scribbled text recognized in Notes search but doesn’t show in Shortcuts

Still perplexed…

Anybody have luck sorting this one?

Strange. Even with notes that have typed text (no handwriting) I can ask ask for the Body of the note, or the Creation Date, or the Folder, but all that is ever retrieved is the Name of the note…

When I try this, the Notes search will find the search text in the handwritten note, but the found text is NOT displayed in the left pane of search results. The note is shown by it’s title, but the found words in the handwriting aren’t displayed. Any tips on how to “force” Notes to process the ink as handwriting?

That sounds like a display limit. The fact that it is finding the match is probably more important given your title is coming through okay.