Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Typically if you've forgotten or have never seen a symbol in a math equation before you are forced to read a large part of the context you found it in and guess which name that symbol has. That is too time consuming for me and my picture memory sucks so I forget the meaning of these symbols all the time. Comparing the symbols with a reference list is also rather time consuming, since you need to have the right list and you need to compare each symbol linearly.

In a perfect world people would stop using pictures and use Unicode in their math-equations but nope that's not the kind of world we live in. I was thinking I could program this as an exercise after I've completed my course in Image Recognition but wondering if there already is any software like this.

Does anyone know of software that can identify symbols in math images, or some other easy way?

share|improve this question
Google Images accepts imports to compare to, probably a very good resource. – nerdwaller Jan 17 '13 at 20:13
cool didnt know google had made that. it works quite good actually. all they need now is some way to automate that directly on the page :D its a little bit tedious to print screen the math symbol and edit with paint right now. – ColacX Jan 18 '13 at 16:18

MS Word (and other Office products) have an equation editor w/ tons of symbols, with the names. if you really want to stay away from the Comparative approach, you can try nerdwaller's comment about Google Images, I've had success w/ basic bitmaps and other images. MS also has mathematics software as well, though it sounds like your more going for the image recognition route.

enter image description here

If you mouse over the symbol it will display the name.

share|improve this answer
err yes. but for example when reading an math-equation in wikipedia. there's no way to know what the math symbols mean. example:… it does seem that they are using MSEquation or whatever its called. – ColacX Jan 18 '13 at 16:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.