The new 1.72 beta 2 release is downloadable from http://www.datafilehost.com/download-ad0263ea.html

I am in a constant quest to improve math typing speed. A friend of mine reasons that using keyboard for math typing might come overly clumsy. A person simply cannot master that many keys and key-combinations as it is needed to type math. A regular person cannot reach typing fluency when confronted with that many combinations. Therefore, a keyboard might be a dead end… He thinks that handwriting-recognition might be the way to go.

I could agree on the first part. I also agree on the handwriting-recognition part if we consider small-scale math noting (which should be enough for 95% of population).

The problem with handwriting-recognition is that it provides no real advance over pencil-and-paper. Of course, having documents digitally stored, searchable and exportable is a major progress over pencil-and-paper overall, but there is no real progress regarding math entry itself. I, on the other hand, am hoping to provide a tool that will make the same for math typing as the typewriter did for plain-text typing… And I know that only 5% of the population might ever need such tool.

Unfortunately I’m not too close to reach this goal. The math-typing speed of Math-o-mir software should be much increased to make me satisfied. So I am still experimenting and tuning. At the end, I hope, people will be able to choose from two options – 95% of them will choose an easy-to-learn solution and will enter their math at slow pace. The rest 5% (those in need) will invest time to learn high-efficiency-math-typing methods.

 

So, what is new in the 1.72 beta 2 version?

The dot key now has several new roles. It is basically used to convert what you typed into a function. For example, if you typed the letter ‘f’ and then immediately hit the dot, you will create f( ) function. This works for any single-letter function. It also works for several often-used functions like sin, cos, log, ln… (just type s i n and hit the dot). You can also convert:

  • d. – to differential
  • par. – to partial differential
  • e. – to exponent of base ‘e’.
  • lim. – to limes

I like the new dot key functionality. I think I will keep it in the official version. New ideas are welcome.

The spacebar key has new functionality – to type indexes. After you typed a variable (or function or parentheses) press and hold the spacebar while you are typing letters. Typed letters should go into the variable index. When you finished typing into index, release the spacebar. For some users, this might be a handier way to type indexes that using the underline key.

The lucky coincidence of the spacebar feature is that in some cases you can write lower integration or summation limit easier now. Enter the \int or \sum command and then hit the spacebar to execute it. Without releasing the spacebar you hit at least one letter and it will be typed directly into the lower limit box.

I didn’t like this feature that much. I am not sure if I will keep the spacebar feature in the official version. There are two problems – first, I am not sure if it works on all keyboards; second, it does not work in plain-text typing mode. Let me know how you value it.

The backspace key now works somewhat different. It should be easier to handle mistypes now. I hope. Let me know.

You can now enter ‘a)’ ‘b)’ ‘c)’… even in math-typing mode.

I added three new commands ‘\h1’, ‘\h2’, ‘\h3’. These commands can be used to insert headlines to your document. I hope that I will be able to implement better document navigation if you use those commands.

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