Monday, August 30, 2010

PDF By Hand

As my first official review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I had the opportunity to product test and discover the PDF By Hand software that could be used with the Wacom Digital Tablet.  

Now you can use a Wacom tablet for handwriting practice!

Peterson is proud to bring handwriting instruction and practice into the digital age. Open a PDF file in this software and use your pen to write on the pages. Print the page if you wish. Attach it to Email to send handwritten greetings and thank-you notes.

The software is available alone, or with preloaded E-workbooks for teaching and practice of handwriting at every level, print and cursive. Talk about going green. Imagine handwriting practice that does not require reams of practice paper. Save a practice page on day one, and compare it on screen with the next attempt to show progress. The workbook pages can be used again and again.

The software features  include selecting a PDF document from on of Peterson’s writing program to open it in the writing frame, printing the page if necessary, using the table to practice the movement sequences and improve motor control and much more. 

Our experience with PDF By Hand
I was looking forward to this product.   I thought it was ingenious and could have lots of possibilities.   You need to go on the road?  No problem,  you can bring your curriculum on your laptop.   The PDF By Hand is an interesting idea for kids who dislike to write with a pen.    However, it also require some patience and a learning curve to use a tablet in order to practice your writing.   Once you have passed over this learning curve I am sure that a person can improve his/her writing skills pretty fast.

image As much as I think this product has potential, I must be realistic and honest by telling you that not everyone will thrive with it.    At first, my son Alexandre enjoyed it.  After all it was new and fun.   But over time, he found it difficult to control the pen and to write on the tablet.    As I said previously, it is quite challenging to do so.    It takes practice.    And not everyone will like it.    After going through a whole level of cursive, we asked him what he preferred – writing on the tablet or writing on paper.    His answer was fast and totally honest, “I prefer writing on paper and feel it.”   Simple and direct.   So I will plan in advance from now on and print the pages so he can use them during our school time.    This will allow him to practice his cursive with less stress. 

Still if you have a child who is having difficulty it might be easier for him/her to use the PDF By Hand.    The installation of the software is done automatically on your PC so you don’t have to worry about shipping cost.    Everything is done electronically.   You can purchase PDF by Hand with the e-woorkbooks preloaded.   Your options are as follow; print levels only, cursive levels only, or all levels.

The folks at Peterson Handwriting are available to give you a demonstration online if necessary.    They can also answer all the questions you might have while doing the demo.

This review was possible because I received a free copy of PDF by Hand from Peterson Directed Handwriting while being a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.


  1. Ah.... A tablet review. I was interested to see how this worked. Thanks for sharing and for heading up the review on this one!

  2. I was curious about the tablet also, thanks for your review.