Use Math Input Panel to write and correct math equations

If you use your computer to solve math problems or to create documents or presentations that have typed mathematical expressions in them, Math Input Panel makes the process easier and more natural.

What is Math Input Panel?

Math Input Panel uses the math recognizer that's built into Windows 7 to recognize handwritten math expressions. You can then insert the recognized math into a word-processing or computational program.

Picture of Math Input Panel
Math Input Panel

Math Input Panel is designed to be used with a tablet pen on a Tablet PC, but you can use it with any input device, such as a touchscreen, external digitizer, or even a mouse.

To use Math Input Panel

  1. Open Math Input Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Math Input Panel, and then, in the list of results, tap Math Input Panel.

  2. Write a well-formed math expression in the writing area.

    The recognized math is shown in the preview area.

  3. Make any necessary corrections to the math recognition. (To learn how, see "To make corrections" later in this topic.)

  4. Tap Insert to put the recognized math into your word-processing or computational program.

    Note

    • Math Input Panel can only insert math into programs that support Mathematical Markup Language (MathML).

To make corrections

If your handwritten math is misrecognized, you can correct it either by selecting an alternate or by rewriting some of the expression. Here's how to correct an expression:

  1. Hold down the pen button (or perform another right-click equivalent) and draw a circle around the part of the expression that was misrecognized. To select an individual symbol, perform a right-click equivalent while tapping the symbol.
    –or–
    Tap the Select and Correct button, and then tap the symbol or draw a circle to select the part of the expression that was misrecognized.

  2. Tap an alternate from the list.

    If what you wrote isn't on the list of alternates, try rewriting the part of the expression that you selected.

  3. Tap Insert to insert the recognized math into the active program.

    If you tapped Select and Correct but want to continue writing in Math Input Panel, tap Write to continue writing.

Tip

  • It's more likely that your math expression will be recognized correctly if you complete the whole expression before making any corrections. (The more of the expression that you write, the better the chance that it will be recognized correctly.)

To use the History menu

With the History menu, you can use an expression that you've already written as the baseline for a new expression. This is useful when you need to write similar expressions several times in a row—for example, when working out a mathematical proof. To do this, tap History, and then tap the expression that you want to use. Your handwritten expression appears in the writing area, where you can make changes. After you make changes, the expression is recognized again, and you can insert it into a document, presentation, or computational program.

To convert handwritten math from your notes

If you use a note-taking program such as Windows Journal to take handwritten notes on a Tablet PC, you can convert the math from your notes so that you can use it in a word-processing or computational program. To convert notes from Journal, do the following:

  1. Open Windows Journal by tapping the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing Journal in the search box, and then tapping Windows Journal in the list of results.

  2. Open your math notes and the program that you want to insert the recognized math into.

  3. In Journal, use the selection tool to select the expression that you want to convert.

  4. Open Math Input Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Math Input Panel, and then, in the list of results, tap Math Input Panel.

  5. Drag the selected math expression from Journal into Math Input Panel, and then make any necessary corrections.

  6. In the program where you want to put the recognized math expression, tap Insert.

For more information, see Math Input Panel: frequently asked questions.