That’s the idea at least, but there are problems. First off, a graphics tablet isn’t the ideal tool for writing with. It may be fine for drawing and editing photos, but getting your handwriting neat while you look at a screen and write on the desk is about as easy as trying to find a small bar of soap in the bottom of a bath full of dirty water.
The other problem is that, despite the simplicity of its function, this is not the easiest piece of software to use. You soon find that there are plenty of things that begin to grate on the nerves as soon as you start to use it in anger. I tried using it to proof read and mark up this review, but quickly switched to my trusty old red biro instead.
The principal issue is that navigating documents is downright awkward. For reasons I can’t entirely fathom while in JustWrite mode, the software disables the cursor, Page Up and Page Down keys preventing you from nipping between pages and paragraphs with one hand, while making notes with the other. Using the scroll bars is no easier. Every time you try to use them there’s a short but irritating delay and a quick screen refresh.
But these are not the only niggles – JustWrite Office has plenty of other annoying foibles. The software ‘forgets’ which pen thickness and colour you were using last time you were in JustWrite mode. When flicking between JustWrite mode and back again, it changes the view, automatically zooming the page to full screen width, which causes you to constantly lose your place. It’s buggy too – it won’t let you use ALT-TAB to switch between applications while in JustWrite mode. And, finally, the yellow Post-it style tags simply sit on top of documents – they’re non-collapsible, can’t be made transparent and just get in the way.
The idea behind JustWrite Office is, essentially, a good one. Being able to hand annotate electronic documents and then send them via email is extremely appealing and it’s certainly a good paper-saving idea. At 20 quid it’s reasonably priced too. Unfortunately there are just too many ease of use issues and irritating niggles here and these, ultimately, are too much to give it anything but the thumbs down.