How to do math with the Math Input Panel in Windows

Math Input Panel is a great little application from Windows which lets you use input devices such as touchscreens, external digitizers or even a mouse, to write mathematical formulas that are automatically recognized and can be inserted into different types of documents. The formulas you write in Math Input Panel are pasted into documents in a completely editable form so that you can work with the output as you would edit any type of text. This can improve your productivity when creating documents or presentations with lots of mathematical formulas. In this article we will share with you applications that work with Math Input Panel and we will also tell you where to find Math Input Panel, how to use it in conjunction with other applications, how to correct a formula or equation and how to configure the app to your liking.

Types of math and applications with which Math Input Panel works

Math Input Panel works very well with US high school and college-level mathematics. This means it’s great for: arithmetic, calculus, functions, sets, set theory, algebra, combinatorics, probability and statistics, geometry, vectors, 3D analytic geometry, mathematical logic, axioms, theorems, definitions and applied mathematics. It doesn’t work with other types of math nor with formulas from other domains such as chemistry.

Math Input Panel can insert mathematical formulas only into programs that support the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML). MathML is supported by major office products such as OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365, as well as by mathematical software products such as Mathematica. As a result, Math Input Panel works with all these programs.

How to open Math Input Panel in Windows 10

The fastest way to find and open Math Input Panel in Windows 10 is to use Cortana. Click or tap on the search field from your taskbar and enter the word math in it. Then, from the list of results, click or tap on Math Input Panel.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Of course, if you like talking to Cortana, you can also ask her nicely :) to “open Math Input Panel”.

Math Input Panel, Windows

If you are a traditionalist, you can also find a shortcut for Math Input Panel in the Windows Accessories group from the Start Menu.

Math Input Panel, Windows

If you prefer, you can also choose to use the old Run window in order to launch Math Input Panel. The fastest way to do open Run is to press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. Do that, and then enter the command mip in the Open field. Press Enter or click/tap on OK and the Math Input Panel will launch.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Regardless of the method you choose to follow, when launched, thee Math Input Panel should look like this:

Math Input Panel, Windows

How to open Math Input Panel in Windows 7

In Windows 7, Math Input Panel can be found by opening the Start Menu and going to All Programs -> Accessories -> Math Input Panel.

Math Input Panel, Windows

For those of you who prefer the command line, you can start the application by running the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Ink\mip.exe” file. Once you start the application, you will see a window similar to the one below.

Math Input Panel, Windows

How to open Math Input Panel in Windows 8.1

The Math Input Panel looks are a bit different in Windows 8.1 when compared with the one in Windows 10 or Windows 7, because of the missing transparency of the interface in Windows 8.1. All the menus have the same options and the features included are the same as in Windows 10 and 7.

Math Input Panel, Windows

To open Math Input Panel in Windows 8.1, first switch to the Start screen. Then click or tap on the small arrow button from the bottom left corner of the screen.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Then scroll horizontally until you get to the Windows Accessories section. In it, you will find the shortcut to the Math Input Panel.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Alternatively, you can also search for the word math while on the Start screen and then click or tap on the appropriate search result.

Math Input Panel, Windows

NOTE: Albeit a few minor visual differences, the versions of the Math Input Panel application from Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 are the same. Thus, the next sections of this article will refer simply to Math Input Panel, regardless of the operating system version that you are using. And, to keep things simple, we will use screenshots taken only in Windows 10.

How to use Math Input Panel

In the middle of Math Input Panel, where it says “Write math here”, start writing your mathematical formula. Once you start writing, you can use the tools from the menu that appears on the right side of the window.

Math Input Panel, Windows

When done, click or tap Insert and the formula is automatically pasted in the document where you want to use it.

Math Input Panel, Windows

If the formula is not automatically copied to the application where you need to insert it, don’t worry. By default, Math Input Panel saves formulas in the clipboard. Use Paste (CTRL + V) in the other application and it will be inserted immediately.

If you write multiple formulas in one session, you can go back to any of them using the History menu. Click or tap on History and select the previous formula you want to edit or insert again into the document.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Once the formula is loaded by Math Input Panel, edit it if you need to, and click or tap on the Insert to have it pasted in your document.

How to correct formulas

When writing a formula, don’t hesitate to use the tools available on the right side of the application. If you made a mistake, you can easily fix it using the Erase tool. Click or tap on it to erase the mistake.

Math Input Panel, Windows

There are scenarios when Math Input Panel doesn’t recognize very well what you write. You can correct the way it interprets your writing by clicking or tapping on “Select and Correct”. Then, select the character you want to correct. A drop-down menu with possible correction options is shown. From that menu select the correct interpretation and resume your writing by clicking or tapping on Write.

Math Input Panel, Windows

How to configure Math Input Panel

Math Input Panel also offers few configuration options. All of them can be accessed from the Options menu. The options are self-explanatory and allow you to do things such as changing the position of the buttons, turning on and off the grid or showing on-screen keyboard buttons.

Math Input Panel, Windows

Check the options that you want enabled and uncheck those you don’t.

Conclusion

As you can see from this tutorial, Math Input Panel is a tool that’s simple and easy to use. It's main benefit is the fact that it speeds up the process of working with mathematical formulas. Instead of using the Microsoft Office Equation Editor and spend quite some time inserting and editing mathematical formulas, you can simply draw them in Math Input Panel and insert them in any document you need to. If you have some cool tips or usage scenarios for Math Input Panel don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below.

 

About the Author: Codrut Neagu
Codrut is a Senior Editor on Digital Citizen. He's passionate about technology and he is fluent in working with several operating systems, including Windows and Linux. He likes to test security products and he feels like at home when digging through the registry, optimizing things or having fun on Telnet.