Skip to main content

Handwritten input

MathType has a handwritten input mode. Writing equations by hand may be faster input for many users than shortcuts and clicking the toolbar. This section describes MathType handwritten input and how to use it.


To use handwriting mode, you can use a touch device, a digital pen or a mouse. The animation above shows its use on an iPad.

In the following link, you will find a gallery of accepted math expressions by the handwriting tool.

The handwriting interface

The interface works as you would expect it to: when you write a mathematical expression by hand, MathType interprets what you wrote, and presents a preview of it in the lower right corner:


MathType is watching for handwritten math input, so if it's possible for a symbol or an expression to have more than one meaning, MathType is likely to assume the mathematical meaning. A simple example is the two letter expression by. Two obvious meanings are 1) the English word "by" and 2) the mathematical expression consisting of the variable b multiplied by the variable y. This is how MathType will interpret that expression.

Correcting handwritten input

To remove a stroke or a symbol on the input workspace, there are 3 methods you can use. Two of these we'll cover below in the description of toolbar buttons, but probably the most common method is to scribble through it until it turns red.

You see a few examples of this type of correction in this animation:


At the end of the animation is another good example of MathType using its intelligence to know what you intended, even when at times it won't otherwise be obvious by what you wrote. At the end of the animation is the expression ddr \frac d{dr}, but the d in the numerator really looks more like the number zero than the letter d. MathType understood the meaning and rendered it correctly.

Toolbar buttons

There are only a few toolbar buttons on the handwriting interface:












Classic input mode

Switching between handwriting and classic input

This video shows switching between handwriting and "classic" input. There are several reasons you may decide to do this, which are covered in the next section.

Switching between the two authoring/editing modes is simple:


Note that after switching from classic to handwritten input mode, the handwriting is not your own; it is simulated. You may still add to the expression with your own handwriting.

Example - when will classic input be necessary?

  • When you need a bold non-italic letter (or another styling -- #3b above). Note that after applying the styling in classic input, the styling will be lost if you switch to handwritten input.