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I just found out about the Math Input Panel in Windows 7,and now there is commercial software using it for LaTex writing. For example Inlage. If you have a look of their first demo video, you know what I am talking about: http://www.inlage.com/videos

I had a try with the Math Input Panel myself, and it seems you can basically write all math stuff, integration, super(sub) scripts, tensor, arrows (even with labels over them!), and matrix! The only big problem is there is NO commutative diagram. And it probably has trouble recognizing some math fonts, like \mathfrak or \mathcal. But in all, it really recognize handwritings pretty well. I don't have a writing pad, so I just tried writing with a mouse.

I know there are people taking math notes using a tablet PC. Won't this tool drastically improve the quality of our note-taking? It basically changes all handwriting into TeX files!

Maybe I am too late on this, are there more mature product for such purposes? I think handwriting math could actually be slower than typing LaTeX codes. But one good reason for doing handwriting is because sometimes I just don't like to make math writing into code writing (or something like programming). I would like to hear about your comments. Thank you!

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the main question, is to see if anyone here has such kind of experiences, namely, handwriting TeXing... –  bas Oct 4 '10 at 6:56
The math panel is really cool, like all of Microsoft's math stuff. However it is still quite new, and I don't know anybody that uses it right now. Concerning speed, I think some people are faster with linear input, some are faster with handwriting recognition. See e.g. this post by Murray: blogs.msdn.com/b/murrays/archive/2009/05/07/… –  Philipp Oct 4 '10 at 8:32

3 Answers 3

I'm the developer of Inlage and I think the Windows 7 MIP is a great tool but it can't handle a many special things. But the possibilities are good for doing a lot of math stuff. For testing that tool I tried to write a 2 hour lecture of relativistic quantum mechanics down with a graphic tablet. It was possible but I had some problems. So I just replaced some symbols it couldn't handle. But natural it wasn't faster than handwriting...

But I think another nice idea to use the MIP is if you dont know the latex command of a symbol you can easily write it down (only the symbol, with mouse) in the MIP and get the command.

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TexTablet performs the main feature of the program mentioned above: translates handwritten math into LaTeX. It's based on the Windows 7 Math Input. You hand-write the formulas on the Math Input Panel, but the results get translated into LaTeX.

Also, it's free of cost.

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I should add that I really like this product and yet I never use it. I almost always just type the LaTeX. I have never stopped typing out a LaTeX project to write out a particularly complicated formula using this product instead. –  Henry B. Oct 26 '10 at 15:30
So then you don't find it useful, do you? –  Hendrik Vogt Oct 27 '10 at 8:17
@Hendrik. It seems useful in theory, but rarely (for me) in practice. I modified my answer. –  Henry B. Oct 27 '10 at 9:38

I'm not totally sure I understand your question. I've never tried hand writing TeX; that seems odd to me.

I have taken notes in LaTeX before. My general strategy was to invent macros as needed while taking notes. The first time I needed a "set x to be a uniformly random element of set S" macro, I just wrote \rgets. At the end of the class, my notes didn't compile, but I'd just go through and define the macros I had invented during the note taking.

I never tried it with a math class like algebraic geometry (I just used pencil and paper for math classes), but that strategy worked quite well for an advanced crypto class I took in grad school.

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