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In this paper we discuss the use of SVMs to recognize handwritten numerical strings. Such a problem is more complex than recognizing isolated digits since one must deal with problems such as segmentation, overlapping, unknown number of digits, etc. In order to perform our experiments, we have used a segmentation-based recognition system using heuristic over-segmentation. The contribution of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we demonstrate by experimentation that SVMs improve the overall recognition rates. Secondly, we observe that SVMs deal with outliers such as over- and under-segmentation better than multi-layer perceptron neural networks.