Handwritten Math Recognition in Windows 7

Handwritten math recognition for the Wolfram System is available for Windows 7 only. As of this writing, this feature has been tested in the general public beta release of Windows 7.

What Is Math Handwriting?

The Wolfram System uses the Microsoft math recognizer that is built into Windows 7 to recognize handwritten mathematical expressions. This allows you to enter handwritten standardized mathematical notation into a Wolfram System notebook in TraditionalForm.

Math handwriting input 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 digitalizer, or even a mouse.

Enter a Mathematical Expression

1.  Open a Wolfram System notebook and hover the pen near the insertion point. When the icon or "handwriting input hover target" icon appears, tap it. Equivalently, you can choose Window Show Handwriting Input.

2.  The Math Handwriting Input window will appear.

3.  Use your tablet pen to write a well-formed mathematical expression in the writing area. (The area will automatically expand as you write.) The recognized math is shown in the preview area.

Note: If your handwritten math is misrecognized, you can correct it either by selecting a suggested alternative or by rewriting the misrecognized part of the mathematical expression. See "Editing Math Handwriting in the Wolfram System" for more information on making corrections.

4.  Tap Insert to enter the recognized math into the Wolfram System notebook in TraditionalForm.

Editing Math Handwriting in the Wolfram System

If the Windows math recognizer does not correctly recognize your handwritten math input, you can erase all or part of your handwriting, undo or redo the last recorded pen stroke, or circle portions of the mathematical expression and get a list of possible interpretations.

Selecting and Correcting Math Handwriting

Using the workflow described in "Enter a Mathematical Expression", enter a well-formed handwritten mathematical expression into the Math Handwriting Input dialog.

Tap the Select and Correct button to begin the editing process.

1.  Draw a circle around the input that was misrecognized. Your selection can include the entire mathematical expression or any of its parts.

2.  Tap an alternative from the list that appears. If what you wrote is not on the list of alternatives, try reentering the selection by writing within the selection's bounding box.

Tip: If your symbols are too close together, you may need to leave more room between them. Select all or part of the expression and then drag the selected handwriting to another part of the writing area. (To drag, use the move handle that appears when the cursor is on the edge of the selection box.)

3.  Tap Write to continue writing, or, if you are finished entering the mathematical expression, tap Insert to insert the recognized math into the Wolfram System notebook

Tip: For best results, it is recommended that you write the whole expression before starting to make corrections.

Math Handwriting Conventions

Italicized and Non-Italicized Letters

The Windows math recognizer uses italics for recognized individual variables and roman text for recognized mathematical constants. For example, "" represents the multiplication of the variables "", "", and "", but "sin" (without italics) represents the sine function.

The product of the variables "", "", and "":

The sine of :

Math Handwriting Input Conventions

  • For expressions like to be treated as multiplication, the multiplication sign must be explicit as in .
  • Use one-character function names only; for example, . The math recognizer would interpret as .