Formula editor

A typeset mathematical expression

A formula editor is a name for a computer program that is used to typeset mathematical works or formulae.

Formula editors typically serve two purposes:

  • They allow word processing and publication of technical content either for print publication, or to generate raster images for web pages or screen presentations.
  • They provide a means for users to specify input to computational systems that is easier to read and check than plain text input and output from computational systems that is easy to understand or ready for publication.

Content for formula editors can be provided manually using a markup language,e.g. TeX or MathML, via a point-and-click GUI, or as computer generated results from symbolic computations such as Mathematica.

Typical features include the ability to nest fractions, radicals, superscripts, subscripts, overscripts and underscripts together with special characters such as Mathematical symbols, arrows and scalable parentheses.

Some systems are capable of re-formatting formulae into simpler forms or to adjust line-breaking automatically, while preserving the mathematical meaning of a formula.

Available systems

Keyboard input GUI input Handwriting recognition TeX support MathML support Raster export Automatic expression layout Computation support Notes
Aurora Yes No No Yes No Yes No No Microsoft Office addon. Renders using TeX.
CodeCogs Equation Editor Yes Yes No Yes Beta Yes Yes No Produces HTML and graphics for inclusion of equations in any website. Can download graphics in various formats for use in reports and publications. Plugins for CK Editor, Tiny MCE, etc
Daum Equation Editor Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Math equation editor for Chrome_browser
DragMath Yes but limited Yes No Yes Yes No No No Java applet. Open source. supports AsciiMathML.
Expressionism[dead link] Yes No No No Yes No No No Browser-based WYSIWYG editor.
EqualX Equation Editor Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Easy to use for beginners and advanced users. Highly customisable interface.
Formulator MathML Weaver Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No Dual-licensing (Open source and commercial). There is a special edition that works within a browser (using Silverlight plugin).
Jex No Yes Yes No No Designed to insert and edit equations in Openoffice
KFormula Yes No No No No No
LyX Yes Yes No Yes No No
Maple Yes Yes characters only export only export only Yes Yes Yes
MathEditor Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No Javascript, WYSIWYG, Open Source, Content and Presentation MathML editor
Mathematica Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MathQuill Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No WYSIWYG DHTML LaTeX math editor in the Web browser. Currently only supports IE8+ and other modern browsers.
MathType Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Works with Microsoft Office, Apple iWork '09, Google Docs, Maple, Mathematica and over 350 other applications and websites. Math-To-Speech supported via MathPlayer, its Internet Explorer browser plugin.
MathFlow Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Math-o-mir Yes Yes No No export only Yes Yes Yes Intended to be used as math notepad. Freeware.
Microsoft Equation Editor 3.0 Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Deprecated editor included in Microsoft Office products, based on limited version of MathType. Math Yes Yes No Yes No No
MathMagic Yes Yes Windows only Yes Yes Yes Yes No Also supports Microsoft Word equations, Google Docs equations, MathType equations, Wiki equations, AsciiMathML, and Text-To-Speech to speak math expressions. Personal Edition is for general purpose use. Pro Editions mainly used with Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress for desktop publishing. Mac OS X and Windows. Comes with many math symbol fonts, Greek fonts, text body fonts in OpenType and TrueType format.
MathCast Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No Open source
MiraiMath Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Java WYSIWYG Editor, Open Source. Can be used as alternative front end to GNU Octave
Publicon Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Mathematica-based technical document system
Microsoft Word 2007 Yes Yes No partially Yes Yes Yes No A graphing-calculator plug-in is available for simple calculations and manipulations
LaTeXiT Yes No No Yes No No No Mac OS X unofficial universal binary. Open source.
Rapid-Pi Yes No No No No No No Microsoft Word plugin
Scientific Word Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No WYSIWYM LaTeX editor
Scientific WorkPlace Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes WYSIWYM LaTeX editor with symbolic math and plotting
TexPoint No Yes No Yes Yes No No No PowerPoint plugin for inserting LaTeX equations
MyTexPoint No Yes No Yes Yes No No No a small free program for inserting LaTeX equations into PowerPoint with a screen-shot tool
IguanaTex No Yes No Yes Yes No No No Free PowerPoint plugin for inserting LaTeX equations
TeXPPT No No No Yes No No No No Free PowerPoint plugin for inserting LaTeX equations
Texify Yes No No Yes No Yes No No An online LaTeX equation writer. Based on open source mimeTeX library.
EditLive! WebEQ Equation Editor Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No
MathDox formula editor Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No JavaScript editor for creating OpenMath, Computations are now possible via external web services, but integration of these web services is under construction
Sentido Yes Yes No No Yes No No No JavaScript editor for creating OpenMath
WIRIS editor Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No WIRIS editor
MEEL Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes .NET_Framework component Math Expression Editor Light

See also

  • TeX, a typesetting system designed and mostly written by Donald Knuth
  • LaTeX, a document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program
  • MathML, an application of XML for describing mathematical notations and capturing both its structure and content. It aims at integrating mathematical formulae into World Wide Web pages and other documents. It is a recommendation of the W3C math working group

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