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dgreen02

Using a Tablet to enter mathematical notation.

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Hey guys, I was just wondering if anybody out there has any experience using a tablet - like a Wacom intuos3 - to enter/capture handwritten equations with the purpose of using it in a .PDF. The issue would be automatically converting the raw handwritten equation into some encoded character set that Adobe Acrobat could write into a .pdf file. Here is the exact model of tablet I'm talking about - Any help would be appreciated, thanks. - Danny

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I don't think it's possible, or at least it would be very challenging to do. Handwriting recognition works by not only looking at the forms of letters but the order in which they are written, so it can use a dictionary to guess badly recognised letters.

Equations are generally non-linear. They use not only the shapes (from a much larger set) but the 2D arrangement, size, and format (bold/italic) of letters and symbols to convey meaning in the smallest space possible. I can't see how it could be done with any degree of accuracy, unless the symbols and layouts possible were very limited.

I've used TeX when editing mathematical formulae for e.g. inclusion into PDF, and would recommend it for such, especially to a programmer as it's as much a programming language as a markup language. And as it's text based in theory you could use a tablet to input it, though as a programming language it would fox any dictionary based handwriting recognition system.

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Oops forgot about this thread...Actually my father was interested in this possibility...since I just got one of these tablets, he was curious if he could use it for his own purposes.

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll run this stuff by him and see what he things.

Thanks again.

- Danny

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i know there are is a program for the windows xp tablet edition software package that does exactly this. it's pretty awsome i use it all the time to generate equations which i then put into papers for research or just for note taking. it's the education package

here is the link to the free package. be warned it only works on windows xp tablet edition. i THINK it only needs a dll that comes with the os so if you can get a hold of that dll it should work...your guess on which one it needs i had it written down somewhere but lost it when i got my tablet and no longer needed to use it on my main comp

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9D346916-B526-487E-919D-0BCE568DEF39&displaylang=en

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