Formula Editor for Google Docs


NOTICE:

Formula editor is currently not working and might take a while to get fixed. I recommend that you try using gMath as it now implements everything that Formula Editor had and more. 

Formula Editor

is a Google Docs add-on that lets you write equations using an interactive MathQuill text box and/or a LaTeX text box and to Insert these equations into your document as images. Equation images in a document can then be Edited and reinserted back into the document.

Writing mathematics using MathQuill

The easiest way to enter maths is to just write almost plain text into the top text box. 
  • Fractions → forward slash / 
  • Subscripts → underscore _ 
  • Superscripts/Powers → caret ^ 
  • Square roots → \sqrt 
  • Trigonometric functions → \sin, \cos, \tan, etc...
Other symbols can be entered using LaTeX-style names:
\div ÷, \times ×, \forall ∀, \cdot · , etc...

Greek letters are entered using \alpha, \beta, \gamma, \Gamma, \delta, \Delta, etc..

A good summary of LaTeX symbol names can be found on the Art of Problem Solving help page. For a more comprehensive list, see this list from CTAN.

Writing Mathematics using LaTeX

For equations that require elements like aligned, multiline equations, the maths will need to be entered using LaTeX. A good quick resource for symbol and formatting commands is the Wikipedia help page: Formatting using TeX. The CodeCogs equation editor is a useful graphical interface for producing LaTeX expressions.

Acknowledgments

Formula editor was inspired by Johan Falk's gLaTeX project and g(Math) by John McGowan. It also owes a debt to the reviewer at Google who pushed it to become a lot more polished than it otherwise would have been.

The WYSIWYG math editing is created using the MathQuill JavaScript library.  The Mathquill library is also used in the excellent Desmos graphing calculator and in the Perseus exercise framework of Khan Academy. Formula editor renders its mathematics using the excellent free services provided by: Google Charts, CodeCogs and Texify.


Bugs and limitations

The formula editor is a work in progress and there are some known bugs and limitations. Please contact me if you think you have found any bugs other than those listed below. Especially contact me if you know how to work around the limitations or fix the bugs listed below!

Limitations

  • Inline math formatting only works with CodeCogs
  • Font sizes do not work with CodeCogs  
    • (31/08/2014) there is now a work-around in place

Bugs

  • Selecting text in the MathQuill box and then typing converts the expression into its LaTeX representation. It should behave more logically than that: see the demo at http://mathquill.com/.
  • Copying and Pasting does not work in the MathQuill box.

8 comments:

  1. Just throws JavaScript errors since yesterday :-( I need that tool! Please, please fix it up again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My company is assessing the privacy of your Chrome add-in for use in U.S. schools.

    Does your Chrome add-ina collect any personal information from users?

    Best,

    Jim Onstad

    ReplyDelete
  3. The app was working fine and then suddenly just stopped. No idea why.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This just isn't working at the moment - do you know why?

    ReplyDelete