How to Use Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac

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Parallels Desktop 12 Update 1 adds even greater support for Microsoft Ink. (You can read an overview of Ink on the Mac here.) In this blog post, I will specifically discuss the uses of Microsoft Ink in Word for Windows 2016 running on a Mac with the use of Parallels Desktop 12.

As outlined in my earlier blog post, my Ink setup uses the Apple Pencil, an iPad Pro, and the AstroPad iPad app (Figure 1).

Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac

Figure 1

Ink in Word for Windows 2016

If you have installed Word for Windows 2016 as part of an Office 365 subscription, then there are a number of different ways you can use Ink in Word, and Parallels Desktop 12 Update 1 will enable the Draw tab in Word (Figure 2) so that you can access all of these Ink uses.

Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac

Figure 2

Ink Annotation

Ink is an excellent way to comment on or review a Word document (Figure 3).

Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac

Figure 3

You can use the standard proofreader marks if you are sure that the individual to whom you will be sending the reviewed document will understand those marks (Figure 4).

Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac

Figure 4

As you can see in the Word Draw tab, there are three conversion tools: Ink Editor, Convert to Shapes, and Ink to Math.

Ink Editor

The Ink Editor tool gives you the ability to perform simple document editing tasks using Ink as gestures. Currently, there are only two gestures: encircling to select text, and scribbling out to delete text, both shown in Video 5. I suspect that more editing gestures will be added in the future.

Convert to Shapes

The Convert to Shapes tool gives you the ability to add shapes to your document. I was not able to use this Ink tool to enter all 160 of the shapes from the Shapes menu, but the simple ones worked as expected, and some of these are shown in Video 6.

Ink to Math

The Ink to Math tool gives you the ability to enter typographically-rich equations in your Word document just by writing them naturally with a pen. Word added an excellent equations editor several years ago, but it is a bit tedious to use. The Ink to Math tool—shown in Video 7—makes entering an equation extremely natural.

Ink Replay

Ink Replay, the last tool in the Draw tab in Word, provides you with a type of animation for your Ink sketches.

I have found the use of Ink in Word to be an excellent way to annotate and add content to a Word document. Remember that while you need Word for Windows 2016 (in an Office 365 subscription) to enter or edit Ink in a Word document, any recent version of Word will correctly display Ink. As one example, I have used Word for Mac 2011 to display Ink in a Word document without any problem (Video 8).

I hope you find Ink in Word to be as useful as I have.

Have you tried Microsoft Ink in Word on a Mac yet? Share your experience with us in a comment, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Kurt has been a Mac developer since before the Mac came out. Today he is the Senior Product Manager at Parallels where he works on both Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Access. Prior to Parallels, he was the Senior Mac Evangelist in the Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) at Microsoft Corp. Kurt is the author of three books and has lectured internationally on object-oriented programming, UI design, and virtualization. Kurt is also a Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS Accredited Support Professional for 2014 and 2015. Outside of work, Kurt has been a fencer for many years, has four times been a member of the US team at the world championships, and has also been the coach of the US team: http://www.naginata.org.