leafdigital Kanji draw is a simple application that lets you draw Japanese characters (kanji) using the touch screen. It is intended for Japanese language learners who might need to enter characters in order to look them up in a dictionary or enter them on a website.
Open source software. Free and no ads.
It identifies the character you have drawn using a special form of handwriting recognition. You can select the correct character from a list. After entering one or more characters, you can copy them into the clipboard as text for use in a dictionary.
Note that this will NOT work – at all – if you don't know basically how to draw kanji. If you just draw something any old way that looks like it, it certainly won't be recognised. You have to draw characters basically the official way.
That said there are two forms of recognition: exact (you must enter the character with the correct stroke count, stroke order, and direction) and inexact (you must draw basically the correct strokes but can use any order and direction). If the inexact search doesn't find it, you can try searching for characters with 1 stroke more or fewer than you drew.
This might sound complicated but the interface is easy; you get exact results straight away, if it's not there then hit the button and wait for inexact results (this takes several seconds, there's a progress bar), and if it's not there either, you can go onto the +/- 1 results.
– If you've drawn a character and the 'Done' button is still greyed out, this is because it's still loading the data file. It usually only takes a few seconds, so please wait. This only happens the first time you draw a character after starting the app.
– Some characters don't work very well if you draw them in the normal handwriting style. The data is based on print style. If you have difficulty getting a character recognised, try drawing it like the print version.
This program is released under GNU Public License version 3. It's based on the leafdigital kanjirecog library, which is already released under that license. https://github.com/quen/kanjirecog/tree/android
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – Uses kanji drawing database derived from the SVG kanji stroke order images produced by the KanjiVG project and released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. See kanjivg.tagaini.net.