Handmarkings or handwritten editing marks can be used as direct editing commands to an interactive computer system. Five exploratory experiments studied the potential value of handmarkings for editing text and pictures, as well as for some specific results. Circles are the most frequently used scoping mark, and arrows are the most frequently used operator and target indicators. Experimental comparisons showed that handmarkings have the potential to be faster than keyboards and mice for editing tasks. Their ultimate value will, however, depend on the style and details of their user-interface implementation. © 1987, ACM. All rights reserved.