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Graffiti hints and tips

  • Write large. Feel free to use the full graffiti area. A large stroke provides more material for the Palm analyzer to study.

  • Write at a natural speed. Writing speed doesn't affect recognition. Writing slowly at first may help you form the character correctly.

  • Don't write at a slant. Try to keep vertical strokes vertical and horizontal strokes horizontal.

  • Use alternate strokes for characters if possible. Most alternate strokes are faster to write and increase accuracy. Below is a chart with alternate strokes and tips for making them.

  • Use a program to see each stroke as you write it. Having the visual feedback helps improves your graffiti by showing exactly why your stroke is not being recognized. RecoEcho is one such program.

  • Put tape on the Graffiti area. Using tape (Scotch #811 removable tape, for example) or some other screeon protector adds the feel of paper and it's not as slippery as writing on the glass. It will also decrease the wear and tear on the Graffiti area.

Alternate Strokes

Here is a chart of alternate strokes for the characters that have them. If a character is not listed, then there is no alternate stroke. To make each of the characters below, the dot represents where your stylus should begin the stroke.


Start at the bottom of the B, omitting the downstroke. For even more speed, make a 3 in the letters writing area.


The standard shape works fine, although adding a corner may improve accuracy.


Start at the bottom of the D, omitting the downstroke. Or make a lope starting from the bottom right, going clockwise, up and around. Or make a lower case L, starting at the bottom right.


Instead of the "backwards 3", make an E with straight strokes. Or make a loop from the top left to the bottom right.


For a faster stroke, write a 6 in the letters area. The standard stroke works fine, there is little to confuse this letter with.


Instead of a curve, make a corner, like a backwards L. But don't curl upward or you'll end up with a U.


Think fish. The larger you make the loop, the more accuracy and speed you'll get.


If your down stroke is perfectly horizontal, then your corner must be sharp. If your downstroke is slightly slanted to the right, the corner doesn't have to be as sharp.


Don't worry about precision, not much else looks like a N. You can round the corners. If you have trouble, slant your strokes to the right.


You can omit the initial down stroke which will save you time and increase accuracy. The top loop can be small.


If you're having trouble, it's most likely because the last stroke isn't pronouced enough. Closing the O isn't as important as the change of directions of the curlicue.


Like the P, omit the downstroke and the top loop can be small.


You can make a 5, a 5 without the top line, or a backwards Z.


Instead of the added line at the end of the V, start the V from the right and move left. This will increase your speed and the point is not essential, a U shape will work as well.


X is the only letter with two strokes, which is slow. Instead make a stroke similar to the K fish stroke, but starting from the left side.


You have two alternatives: just make a stroke with the bottom loop, or make a lower case R starting at the top left. These shapes tend to be more accurate.


A backwards Z will work, but sharp angles are't really important, so a backwards S will also work.


Making a C or L in the numbers area will work.


Sharp angles are't really important, an S stroke will work. A faster stroke is to omit the top line of the 5.


A backwards C in the numbers area will work for a 7.


For a faster stroke, making the bottom loop of a Y will work. For the fastest stroke, make a stroke downward from the top right that slants to the right and back in the numbers area.


For the apostophe and comma, the Palm uses position and slant to tell the difference. Make the comma low and slanted and the apostrphe high and straight.

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