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Creative Consulting & Development Works

We are a research, evaluation and communications consultancy, servicing nonprofits, governments and donors with innovative solutions within the development context.

Product Review: The C-Pen

25 February 2014
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C-Pen 3.5

By Paul Dube

In the context of research analysis time is of the essence. As a result, research professionals are always looking for means to work efficiently, producing outputs in the allocated time frame. Technology has played a great part in assisting researchers as innovative gadgets continue to increase efficiency in numerous research processes. One of the innovative gadgets to date is the C-Pen Digital Highlighter.

The C-Pen will highlight any text (hand written and typed) and instantly insert the text in applications such as Word as if you would have typed it yourself using the keyboard. This means that one can specifically highlight a text from a physical document, book, magazine, just about anywhere and the text will be transferred into the electronic document. This is great for extracting quotes without having to type the quotes directly.

The C-Pen can also be used to make important notes from hard copy text sources into a soft copy document. This simply means we can say goodbye to using highlighters first then typing the information we wish to extract from hard documents. Think of the C-Pen as a scanner in a pen. Amazing isn’t it?

As a researcher, using the C-Pen to capture written data from completed survey questionnaires into electronic format for further processing saves time when capturing hundreds of completed questionnaires. The only limitation however, is that one has to write legibly for the C-Pen to recognise the alpha-numeric text. Value-add of the C-Pen is that it can make use of the “text to speech engine” that allows you to listen to the selected text as well translation features.

Having made use of the C-Pen at University, I found it to be a great tool to use for extracting key notes from textbooks and journals with numerous chapters. What would have been a week’s work of transferring these key notes from hard copy textbooks and journals to a digital format, only took a day. In the final moments of research for my thesis, using the C-Pen was effortless and a definite time-saver.

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