Import and export

This page drives you through available possibilities to import content into iink SDK or to export it for external usage.

Interactive Ink SDK differentiates serialization/deserialization (storage of the full content of the model in a fast and space efficient manner for future reuse by the SDK) and import/export (as a way to exchange iink content with other applications).

Importing content

Import into a block

This part describes import behavior for all cases but text data import from JIIX, which is described here.

You can import data into content blocks. For example, the following code will import the “Hello iink SDK” text string into a “Text” part:

var textPart = ... // Get the part
editor.Part = textPart;
editor.Import_(MimeType.TEXT, "Hello iink SDK", editor.GetRootBlock());

In this case, you could have omitted to specify the block. As the part only hosts a single root block, iink SDK can figure by itself where to import the content:

editor.Import_(MimeType.TEXT, "Hello iink SDK", null);

For parts that can host multiple blocks, such as “Text Document” parts, you need to explicitly specify the target block. If it does not exist yet, you can call AddBlock() and directly pass the data to import.

The list of supported mime types for a given block can be obtained by calling GetSupportedImportMimeTypes() on the editor. For instance:

var supportedMimeTypes = editor.GetSupportedImportMimeTypes(block);
Importing content is “destructive”: Pre-existing content will be cleared and replaced (except for text data import from JIIX).

Text JIIX import

When it comes to textual data, JIIX import is so far limited to text words or characters candidate changes. More import capabilities will be provided later on.

To change the text candidates within a given Text, Raw Content or Diagram block:

  1. Export the block to the JIIX format.
  2. Replace the label of the target word (or character) with another word (or character) from the candidates list.
  3. Import the modified JIIX data back to your block.
Importing JIIX data is only possible if the target block was not modified since it was exported. For more information, refer to this page.

JIIX import into Diagram and Raw Content parts

When importing JIIX into “Diagram” and “Raw Content” parts, the performed action depends on the configured properties diagram.import.jiix.action and raw-content.import.jiix.action. So you should tune them according to your need:

  • When the property is set to update, iink changes the text candidates as described above. This is the default action for “Diagram” parts.

  • When the property is set to add or replace, iink imports the ink data: strokes, glyphs and primitives. Note that this does not reinject recognition results and iink triggers a new recognition.

The remainder of this paragraph applies to add and replace actions. The difference between both actions, is that in the replace case, iink performs a clear, this removing all content from the part, before importing the ink data. The default action for “Raw Content” parts is add.

In order to ease the import of the ink data at a given position, you can add a “transform” key into your jiix to apply this transform on the jiix data. The json syntax is “transform”: [xx, yx, tx, xy, yy, ty]. You can see the Transform API for details on the transform components.

Only translate and positive scale are allowed in the transform for now, so xy and yx should be set to 0 and xx and yy should be > 0

Let’s take as an example the following use case. Imagine you want to double the size of one text node into a “Diagram” part. Here is how to proceed:

  • Export the “Diagram” part to the JIIX format.
   "type": "Text",
   "parent": 183,
   "id": 190,
   "bounding-box": {
    "x": 58.4949799,
    "y": 31.677475,
    "width": 10.9569321,
    "height": 5.24174881
   }, ...
  • Insert the transform object with a 2 scale factor (xx and yy) into the node you want to enlarge. The scale factor is done compared to (0,0) so don’t forget to compute the translate values (tx and ty) if you want your text to remain centered at the same location. Keeping the previous sample, the modified node would be:
   "type": "Text",
   "parent": 183,
   "id": 190,
   "transform": [ 2, 0, -63.973446 , 0, 2, -34.298349],
   "bounding-box": {
    "x": 58.4949799,
    "y": 31.677475,
    "width": 10.9569321,
    "height": 5.24174881
  • Import the modified JIIX data back to your part.
When applying scale to typeset nodes, keep in mind that the typeset size might be modified by iink on further convert

Raw ink import

To import raw ink content, instantiate an editor and pass it an array of pointer events. Note that in this scenario, except if you are working on a “Drawing” part, the recognition engine will automatically process the new strokes. This approach is documented in the Editing part of this guide.

Exporting content

Make sure that recognition is complete

Recognition can sometimes take a certain time to complete, especially if you send many strokes to the editor at once.

If you want to make sure that you export the final recognition results, you have to call WaitForIdle() before Export_().

Select what you want to export

Export operations are made on content blocks. For instance, this allows you to export a specific diagram from a Text Document part).

You can retrieve the list of supported export mime types for a given block by calling GetSupportedExportMimeTypes() on the editor:

var supportedMimeTypes = editor.GetSupportedExportMimeTypes(block);

To export content, call the Export_() method of the editor object, passing it the block to export and the desired mime type:

// Export a math block to MathML
var result = editor.Export_(mathBlock, MimeType.MATHML);

// Export a text document to docx
editor.Export_(textDocBlock, "export.docx", MimeType.DOCX, imageDrawer);

The API provides a convenience method that lets you omit the mime type if iink SDK is able to guess it unambiguously from the file extension:

// Export a text document to docx
editor.Export_(block, "export.docx", imageDrawer);
You can call the MimeTypeF.GetFileExtensions(MimeType mimeType) method to get the extensions supported for a given mime type.

Image drawer

Certain formats require you to provide an object implementing the IImageDrawer interface to let iink SDK generate images from the content. This is expectedly the case for png and jpeg exports, but also for formats such as docx.

A default, ready-to-use, image drawer implementation is provided by MyScript as part of the UI Reference Implementation.

If the format does not require an image drawer, you can provide the export method with a null pointer instead.

To know which formats require an image drawer, refer to this page.

Textual vs. binary exports

Textual format exports are returned as a string that can then be programmatically manipulated. Binary formats, on the other hand, are saved as files on the disk at a location you can specify.

var imageDrawer = new ImageDrawer();
imageDrawer.ImageLoader = UcEditor.ImageLoader;

editor.Export_(editor.GetRootBlock(), "out/export.docx", imageDrawer);

You can call the MimeTypeF.IsTextual(MimeType mimeType) method to know whether a format is textual or binary.

Apply a specific configuration

Some export functions let you temporarily “override” the current editor configuration for the need of a specific export. This is useful if you want to tune the export parameters (like the type of information to export to JIIX) without impacting your global or your editor configurations.

The following example shows how you can export a block recognition result as JIIX without including original ink information:

// Create an empty parameter set
var params = editor.Engine.CreateParameterSet();

// Set the appropriate configuration to exclude strokes from the export
params.SetBoolean("export.jiix.strokes", false);

// Export a block with the new configuration
var jiix = editor.Export_(block, MimeType.JIIX, params);

Apply an image export configuration

Image export can apply to a part only of the page or more than the chosen block extent. You can also choose whether guides appear or not in the image. For details about the image export properties, refer to the configuration page

In order to export image, an image drawer object is necessary as described in this section

The following example illustrates the export as a PNG image of a viewport. The guides are visible:

// Create an empty parameter set
var imageParams = editor.Engine.CreateParameterSet();

// Set the appropriate configuration to tune the viewport to export
float originPx = 0;
float widthPx = 100;
float heightPx = 200;
imageParams.SetNumber("export.image.viewport.x", originPx);
imageParams.SetNumber("export.image.viewport.y", originPx);
imageParams.SetNumber("export.image.viewport.width", widthPx);
imageParams.SetNumber("export.image.viewport.height", heightPx);

// Set the appropriate configuration to enable the guides into the exported image
imageParams.SetBoolean("export.image.guides", true);

// Create the image drawer
var imageDrawer = new ImageDrawer();
imageDrawer.ImageLoader = UcEditor.ImageLoader;

// Export the image with the customised parameters
editor.Export_(editor.GetRootBlock(), "out/ImageFileName.png", MimeType.PNG, imageDrawer,imageParams);

Supported imports/exports

Exchange format

Interactive Ink SDK defines its own format, called JIIX (short for JSON Interactive Ink eXchange format).

This format provides a consistent representation of the different types of content that are supported, covering semantics, positions, styling and ink-related aspects.

Thanks to its JSON syntax, it stays readable and can be easily parsed, making it appropriate to exchange information with the host application or as a transitory representation to support custom export formats.

The complete JIIX reference can be found here.

Other formats

Interactive Ink SDK allows you to import and export some commonly used formats, such as LaTeX for math content or Docx in the case of Text Document blocks.

The full list can be found here.

Back to the example

For the calculator example, you already wrote some code that could let you save the history to the part metadata and retrieve it later. Let’s now see how you can populate the history string list using the export functionality.

Here, you will want to append a new item to the history after each computation that result in a new state (pressing “=” several times will just register a single state). You can thus improve the Solve() method:

public void Solve()
  // Convert the content of the part
  editor.Convert(editor.GetRootBlock(), ConversionState.DIGITAL_EDIT);

  // Add the item to the history if there was a change
  var latexStr = editor.Export_(editor.GetRootBlock(), MimeType.LATEX);
  if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(latexStr) && (history.Count == 0 || history.Last() != latexStr))
As you are considering the full content of the part, you could have passed a null pointer to the first argument of the export method instead of the root block.

That’s it! You now have a persistent computation history that you can refer to at any time!

The next part of the guide will talk about zooming and scrolling.

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