Microsoft's OneNote will help you solve equations you've handwritten

Microsoft is adding a neat little trick to its OneNote app today: ink math assistant. Popular with students, OneNote is often used to jot down notes with a stylus, and the new ink math assistant is designed to help students convert handwritten equations into text, and teach them how to solve them.

It works by automatically detecting equations that have been digitally inked into a OneNote page, and allows you to circle the equation and get step-by-step instructions on how to solve it. Alongside the new math equation option, Microsoft is also bringing an ink replay feature to its Office apps for Windows 10. You can choose to replay exactly how a note was created in ink, which will be useful if your handwriting is particularly bad.

These app updates are available for Office 365 customers right now, and the ink replay will be available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows desktops soon. Microsoft is also announcing a new Office Insider fast ring today. Like Windows Insider, Office Insider lets people test new features before they're released broadly. The new fast ring will let Office testers get access to the types of builds that Microsoft employees have access to. The new Office Insider Fast option will be available for Windows and Mac in the coming days, and on iOS and Android later.

Comments

ink different

looking at that equation brings back too many memories …tests … homework … no shakes head i’m done with school..

Memories of S-Note two years ago for me …

I mean, the only new part here is that it solves the equation with step by step solutions. Everything else has been in Onenote since at least the 2010 version (i think)

Works better than I expected, but cannot solve for complex root yet. Requires precise penmanship.

I’ve been using this feature for a couple of weeks (I’m in Office Insider). It’s really neat, but it has a hard time differentiating between things like x and ×, or v and √. And your penmanship has to be quite precise, or it will mangle things like exponents and compound fractions.

Still, I wish I had this in high school.

Here too, although I’m not in Office Insider… just using an older version of the feature, I think. I was using it to do some simple calculation last week. I spent at least 2-3x more time scolding recognition than I would’ve spent doing it with Calculator and a scratch pad. Sometimes "none of the above" was the right correction so I had to rewrite the thing and run the recognition treadmill all over, often to just hit a different "none of the above." My handwriting on Surface Book is relatively neat… not sure what was so off. Recognition/correction needs to get way better before you get to the good stuff shown in this video.

OneNote is one of the most useful and productive free products available. Good to see it get continued support and new features across platforms.

Can you do this is the Onenote office 365 application or just in the app?

I believe it was already available in OneNote Desktop client but as external math plugin. And that plugin is even more powerful.

i’m amazed and can see it being even moe powerful and working for me if it integrates something like sage math or mathematica

ok. this is seriously cool Microsoft. I woudlnt have thought cool and MS in the same sentence would be used in 2016

View All Comments
Back to top ↑