Windows Journal is a notetaking application released in 2002 for the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. It is designed for taking handwritten notes and drawings using a stylus or pen on a tablet PC. The old version of this application is still functional on Windows 10 and can be installed from here.
Once I poked around its old UI and figured out where all the knobs are, I found this application to be perfect for taking handwritten notes.
Features of note:
- You can create any number of notebooks. Every notebook is saved to a
.jnt file in any directory you want. I found these files to be incredibly small for the content they hold. This makes it easy to either backup or maintain them in Git.
- Notebooks can be exported in color to a
.mht file (which only Internet Explorer can open) or in monochrome to a
.tiff file. In 2020, these are both useless export options.
- Thankfully, you can use the print option to export to a PDF file. This is adequate for me since I can share PDF to others or further convert that to image formats.
- A notebook starts off with a single page. Any number of pages can be added using the Insert -> New Page option. The most disconcerting feature of this application is that a new page is always inserted before the current page!
- The File -> Page Setup option can be used to set the page size (A4, Letter or custom), page orientation (portrait or landscape) and page style (plain, ruled, grid, or custom). Compared to all the other notetaking applications I tried, just this flexibility to set page size and style was the most enticing feature to me.
- To write you get a pen and a highlighter. The stroke thickness, tip style (point or chisel), color and use of pressure can be set for both.
- The eraser can be set to erase either strokes or just the area under it.
- I found the stroke conversion to be perfect. It is not as beautiful as say Bamboo Paper, but adequate for notetaking. You can see your original jittery stroke while you have not yet lifted your pen. Once you lift the pen, you can see how it smoothens that to a beautiful stroke.
- A textbox can be inserted using Insert -> Text Box. Here you can type text in the font size chosen in the settings. While text of varying fonts and sizes are not allowed, you can still use bold, italic and color formatting on the text. To pick an existing textbox (to edit its text), choose the lasso tool and click on the textbox. If handwritten strokes and text overlap, the text is always lower in the stack and thus hidden under the strokes.
Tried with: Windows Journal 10.0.237 and Windows 10