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math writing software, symbols and fonts

Posted on 2005-04-12
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Hello,

I am paralyzed due to quadriplegia and getting ready to take a calculus class.  Because of the paralysis, I can't write using a pencil and paper.  I can however, with the help of adaptive typing aids, use a computer keyboard and mouse.

I am interested in finding a software package that will enable me to write out math hoemwork problems, etc., on my computer screen.  I am aware that there are math font packages available that have all the symbols, etc., but what I really need is some software that enables me to write things just like I was doing it on paper.  For example, if I'm simply using math fonts in MS Word and want to write a fraction, I have to write the top of the fraction (numerator) first, underline it and then go to the next line, tab over several times then hit the space bar several times before writing the denominator.  And even then, the spacing is all messed up.  I've tried using MS Excel where you can move up and down with the arrow keys but Excel has other limitations that make impractical.

Is anyone aware of the kind of software I'm describing?

Thanks,

Steve
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Question by:Steve_Brady
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14 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 13767038
WordPerfect has a very good Equation Editor that automatically formats many constructs properly.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 13767597
You MUST look into MatCad. I think that it is JUST what you need.
It does all math. It writes symbols, It creates symbols with just point and click. It prints beautifully with no extra work. It translates well into html automatically. It permits easy rearrangement on the screen (and printed page) (drag and drop) It is not a drop- n but a complete math program. It is available in a (relatively) inexpensive student version. It draws beautiful graphs. ect ect GET IT.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 13767616
The program is MathCad, not MatCad
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:bingie
ID: 13769013
I find MathType the best.

http://www.chartwellyorke.com/mathtype.html

30 Day trial - program still works fine afterwards, some small functionality removed.

0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:mathbiol
ID: 13769038
Steve,

Mathcad can be used for calculating and graphing as well as typing mathematical expressions.  But I think Mathtype would be enough for doing your homework.

Mathcad costs about $400.  Mathtype costs about $100, with a 30-day free trial.  You may even  find Lite mode, which is free, suitable.

Mathtype is compatible with MS Word.  You can copy and paste from Mathtype into Word, in case you want to combine equations and text.

Tht Mathtype homepage:
http://www.dessci.com/en/

Try MathType 30-day under Free Downloads.

mathbiol
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:bingie
ID: 13769050
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Talmash
ID: 13770310
hi,

my brother was working as a pizza messenger, and the pizza manager was blind.
then my brother wrote a fine SW to manage the pizza invitation/schedule etc.. for the blind manager

he was talking to the computer, the PC first recorded the commands and responded with an operation.

I would suggest, to use voice2text commands/SW. intel & ibm has great products, I am sure there r plenty more.

tal

0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
Santosh_Dev earned 1500 total points
ID: 13771956
Hi, if you are using MS Office then you may be having an Equation Editor. Try it out ....
All you have to do is ....

go to
[START]-->[Find]-->[Files and Folders]

At [Named] field type "eqnedt*" and in [Look In] field set [My Computer] and press [Find Now] button.

The file whose [Type] is [Application] is the required application. Right click on it and chose [Send to]-->[Desktop(create shortcut)].

The link to the application will be placed on your desktop. select the icon and press [F2] key on your keyboard. Then keyin a name you would want to identify this application as.. say "equations" and press [ENTER] key. That should do it. Now double click to open the application. The formulae typed using this can be copied in to WORD or EXCEL.

Bye.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:PaulCaswell
ID: 13774053
The Office Equation Editor does not (I think) get installed in the standard install. If you dont find it, run the office installer and select 'Custom', it should be in there. Its well worth a try, it can do fractions, integrals, sums, products, matrices etc etc.

Paul
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:mathbiol
ID: 13799407
Steve,

The Office Equation Editor is the precursor of MathType.  I guess it's equivalent to MathType Lite.  You can use either one, whichever installation is easier for you.

mathbiol
0
 

Expert Comment

by:bleneak
ID: 13802628
It's curious why no one mentioned Latex yet, as that is the most "guru" way of writing math by keyboard. It is not a "what you see is what you get" editor; instead you write and compile. It takes a while to get used to but it is very practical when you do.
http://www.latex-project.org/

If you are working under windows, then you can use winedt for latex: http://www.winedt.com, or texniccenter, a free alternative.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 13803363
Thanks for all the great suggestions.

I found something called MathTalk which is designed to work with Dragon NatrurallySpeaking voice recognition software which I use every day.  The problem is that they have no phone # on their web site and I can't get a response to my e-mail.  Anybody familiar with them?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:DavidBirch2dotCom
ID: 13827819
>>[START]-->[Find]-->[Files and Folders]
or just go to ;)
"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Equation"
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:mathbiol
ID: 13832602
Steve,

I was not familiar with MathTalk, but I took a look at their site and got a good impression.

I agree that it looks like a better bet for you than what various people at Experts Exchange suggested.  It looks like it's a small family business, which may be why you haven't gotten a response.  But it seems to be the right product for you.  I think you've answered your own question.

If you have trouble installing or using it, and still don't get answers directly, maybe Dragon NaturallySpeaking people can help, or I wonder if there's a site where other people with similar needs to yours compare notes with each other -- the key would be to find someone who has used MathTalk.

Sorry we weren't much help to you on this site.  Good luck with your calculus course, and write back when you have calculus questions!

mathbiol
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