by Paul F. Watson

__ Introduction:__ I've recently been
working on a project that requires equations inserted into text documents.
On Mac, I use either Apple Pages, or NeoOffice as a word processor and on
PC I use Softmaker Free-Office; but neither of these (as installed on my
computers) provide an equation editor. I am loath to spend a lot on my
current short term project, so I prefer to use either an affordable or
free equation editor.

Equation representation methods have consequences:

- Import of graphic equation representation degrades with changes of image size.
- Import of a vector equation representation enables resize without degradation.

**Daum Equation Editor**** for Mac**:
For the Mac, I purchased the** Daum Equation Editor** before it
was free. I have used it to create graphic equation images that include
Greek symbols, numbers and math symbols. These are typed into modular
mathematical templates which can be combined to form a single,
fairly complex equation. Created equations are often fairly large thus
providing adequate quality when shrunk down to a size suitable for
inclusion in text documents. The figure below shows the user interface .

Figure 1: Daum Equation Editor

Intuitive user templates for the Daum Equation Editor are in the upper row. When "hovered over," each expands to offer alternatives which may be "dragged" down into the equation development field. Operators such as "*" (e.g. multiply) can be inserted between. I have added arrows to Figure 1 illustrating program operation. The lower portion of the screen provides text coded forms of equations.

Using the Daum Editor, it is common to develop multiple equations for a project "stacked" one over the other. These are saved into a common file allowing "copy" and "paste" of a desired equation into a text document.

__Disadvantages:__ Because a project
equation set is saved within a "stacked collection of equations" in
graphic form, a common method of use is to "copy" an equation out of the
common equation graphic. When the intended word processor does not include
"resize capability", Daum generated graphic equations may need to be
resized prior to paste. Ease of use for Daum is thus dependent on
capabilities of your word processor, and whether you take full advantage
of "text defined" equation mode of the lower screen.

__Daum Conclusion:__ Daum Equation Editor
does provide a viable method for creating usable and fairly complex
equations suitable for inclusion in text documents. The program has a
simple user interface and is essentially a "zero learn time" program at no
cost.

**Grapher Application ****for Mac**:
Mac computers even before High Sierra included the** Grapher
Application** which is within the Applications/Other folder.
While intended to produce high quality 2 and 3 dimensional graphs, it
includes an equation editor. Equations may be entered using intuitive
methods including parenthesis, ^, * and / symbols etc. Equations are
created as vector images, and when inserted into the Apple Pages word
processor, enable zoom shrinking or expanding without image degradation.
When equations are pasted into NeoOffice, they are converted into graphic
images and vector advantages are lost. While Grapher equations are created
by vector representation, insertion into a text document as either vector
or image is thus word processor dependent.

** Windows PC:** For PC computers, a
number of equation editors were surveyed. At considerable cost, some are
very powerful; however, free alternatives exist.

__ MathCast for PC __is
downloadable from multiple web-sites without cost including
math.sourceforge.net. MathCast operation is simple, with a column of
command buttons (not shown) at the left which enable creation of a new
equation, saving of all equations etc. MathCast is released under GNU
General Public License version 3.0 (GPLv3) allowing both private and
commercial use.

Equations are created by typing characters or selecting operator symbols (such as roots) from the drop-down 'Math' menu organized by subject (algebra, calculus, trig, Greek symbols etc.). The user interface is shown by Figure 2. After entry, finished equations are added to the display area also shown in Figure 2. Equations may be "click selected" to edit, modify font or for "paste" into text documents.

Figure 2: MathCast User Interface with Examples

The "save" command allows equation sets to be saved as image, MathML, Office Image or as OpenOffice formats per the "settings" panel Figure 3.

Figure 3: MathCast Settings Panel

Once equations have been developed for a project, they can be high-light selected (individually) before "copy" and "paste" into text documents. Figure 4 below shows an "image" based equation "pasted" into SoftMaker Office which allows moderate scaling prior to image degradation.

Figure 4: SoftMaker Office with "pasted" graphic MathCast Equation

__MathCast Conclusion:__ MathCast is an
effective "zero learn time" program that gives results. Some reviewers are
critical of the entry system; but, I found it effective. For
example, equation size can be increased by "right click" selection before
integration into text documents. MathCast use is appropriate for educators
and writers of technical articles. The program can be used for
mathematical as well as scientific purposes as it includes a range of
scientific symbols. Commercial use is allowed under GNU license.

** MathEditor: for PC** is a "5 minute
learn time" free Math Editor distributed under GNU General Public License
version 3.0 (PGLv3) allowing both private and commercial use. It may be
downloaded free from https://sourceforge.net/projects/eqtype/ and is
available for Win32 PC based computers (also runs well on my Windows 10
based PC). The intuitive user interface is shown in Figure 5 along with
example equations.

Figure 5: MathEditor Control Screen

MathEditor equations are vector represented, and may thus be copy/pasted into compatible world processors with fully scalable results as shown within SoftMaker Office below in Figure 6.

Figure 6: SoftMaker Office with MathEditor
Vector Equation

__Conclusion:__ MathEditor is a modern, free
download application available from https://sourceforge.net. It produces
quality vector images that may be pasted and resized in compatible word
processor software (e.g. SoftMaker Office). It is freely available for
both personal and professional use under a GNU license. It is compatible
with older 32 bit windows systems, but was tested successfully on my
Windows 10 system. This highly recommended software should not be confused
with MathEditor from github.com a WYSWYG editor for math formulas on IOS.

**Formulator (also known as MathLM Weaver) for
PC** is a "5 minute learn time" Math Editor with a modern mouse driven
interface. The program is released both in free and alternative paid
versions.

- The free version is downloadable from sourceforge.net with license that prohibits commercial use.
- The paid version is available from Hermitech Laboratory, Ukraine. See license regarding commercial use.

The program produces professional results suitable for educational use or professional journal articles.

Individuals with an interest in quality
education related math software should review the following article:
https://www.allassignmenthelp.com/blog/free-mathematics-software/ that
includes topics beyond equation editing.

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