Let MOM help you with your math | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Let MOM help you with your math

Write and edit equations as easily as with pencil and paper using this unique freeware.

Progress in upgrading math's tools has been uneven: blackboards have become whiteboards, but calculators and software have come up short in trying to replicate the speed and simplicity of pencil and paper. Math-o-mir is the result of the surprisingly difficult effort to develop a software-based equation editor to meet that need. It's a free tool with one goal, to make writing and editing mathematical equations as easy and natural as scribbling on a pad. It's not a math engine, design tool, or image editor, though it uses some of the same concepts, such as freehand drawing and the ability to insert expressions and expression elements into equations with a few clicks.

Math-o-mir's simple interface resembles many graphics editors, only its tools palette contains mathematical symbols instead of the typical brushes and color pickers. The blank main field includes an optional pegboard background, and the interface can be customized in various ways, such as font size and halftone rendering. Math-o-mir (or MOM for short) won't be difficult for the average math whiz to figure out, but those of us whose times-and-gozintas are a little rusty will want to download and examine the extensive PDF-based user manual. For example, we wouldn't have known to check Options/Keyboards to see if general variable mode, simple variable mode, or very simple variable mode was selected. The manual does a great job of starting users off by showing how to write Einstein's famous equation, E=MC2. We expanded the hand-drawing tools on the palette, which let us draw lines and vectors and insert a variety of basic shapes as well as objects such as question marks and checkmarks. We could copy and save equation images, copy MathML code, and access a virtual keyboard, too.

Math-o-mir is a unique program, and uniquely useful to people who need to scribble down equations, like teachers, students, engineers, and businesspeople.

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