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Mathematical Characters (RR-785)

Can we have mathematical characters in VideoScribe so we do not have to do them as SVGs.

47 people like this idea

That's what I would like to find out? Is there any font in their system? 



Fonts are all imported from your computer and not from videoscribe, so you can import any font that you install on your computer.

-Mike (videoscribe user)


Mathematical formulae and a full featured mathematics library would be fantastic.

Completely agree.  The lack of such a resource is frustrating at best and a significant lost opportunity to improve communication, education, and comprehension in a wide range of areas.  

A similar thread related to this topic, authored by Andreas Wisnewski, is:  

Hi Josh and Rob,

I do not see a "like" button anywhere.  I have really looked!  I'm the one who complained that we could not even draw a line.  I'm trying to re-write dozens of math booklets starting with fractions.  My eyeballs are burning from looking through clipart that might meet my needs.  They don't.  Please, please get a math symbol library -- This would make Video Scribe a stellar program.  Thanks

I teach statistics to graduate students at UC Davis and stopped my subscription for not being able to scribe formulas and equations. The SVG solution is not good enough.

Hello, Vivian!  

Not to speak for Josh, but I'm pretty sure we both would love it if they would.  I can only imagine how difficult a good fraction process would be; one of the challenges is it's beyond just the characters, it's how to combine them in a way that renders well.  Nested fractions are even more fun.  

I had similar difficulty when someone said I needed to "like" a post; it's not obvious, at least to me.  I never found a button, and I finally realized that it's the link on the line at the bottom of the original post. I believe it will say something along these lines:  "Do you like this idea?"

That will change after you click on it; in the other topic, for example, below the idea, it currently says "You and 7 others like this idea";  I hope that helps! --Rob 

As Alberto said, making SVG files doesn't cut it.... To make Mathematical SVGs that are good for scribing, requires learning of the more complex Illustrator or Inkscape. However, if choosing to develop SVGs via CodeCogs as suggested by Sparkol Help, CodeCogs produces SVGs that sketch the outline of the SVG mathematics as if it were an image rather than writing, funny enough maybe this is because it is a Scalable Vector GRAPHIC and not text. Also additional data is often within the CodeCogs SVG, meaning we still need to use an additional program to remove the rubbish. Very sketchy!!!!!! A better alternative is needed.

Toolbars with Mathematics icons and characters is needed. Can a BASIC BASIC version of a MathType Equation Editor or MathMagic be put on the hit list for inclusion for a nearby future release?

I agree. I am really struggling with the lack of math symbols. Thanks for your post. Maybe coming soon?

Attached is an example SVG file generated from the recommended mathematics equation editor; CodeCogs.

1) Firstly when drawing it does a whole heap of dancing around at the beginning whilst starting to draw. There is nothing there to be seen, but it will do it for approximately one third of the drawing time.

2) It draws an outline of the SVG text, because it is an image and not text.

3) then fills.

It is absolute rubbish....   But I am sure that it is able to be edited so that it will scribe well....

Can you give step by step methods in INKSCAPE to make this image draw as if it is being written.

Including separating parts of the equation to layers so that it will scribe some what naturally???

Looking for your help please, Sparkol Help....

This is an SVG produced by MathMagic (a paid for program of mine). They look fine in Inkscape, but when imported look crappy in Videoscribe. Can you tell me SPARKOL help, step by step how I convert these SVG images into left to right scribable images using INKSCAPE?

Yes, Alberto is quite right.  It's not about the fonts at all, and it really hasn't much to do with the individual characters.  I think that's part of why it's not clear to everyone that the SVG "solution" isn't much in terms of a solution.  Even someone as helpful as Mike Metcalf, whose posts have been excellent resources for me in many areas, didn't seem to quite get the underlying question in his response (to be fair, that was a year ago and probably because of the way the initial question and earlier posts were phrased; it was a correct answer to the question as it was).  That's why I tend to prefer the statement of need in this thread:

Direct input of math formulas  

To your question, Josh, it's neither a straightforward nor easy process.  I ended up avoiding doing some of the things I needed in Videoscribe because of the difficulty.  It was actually a series of answers by, well, Mike Metcalf that made me able to do a couple of the things I wanted to do: 

Mike Metcalf and Michael Shannon's Elaboration on rendering

I started putting a step-by-step example together for you using a reasonably straightforward example, but after about 3 hours I realized I was more than a little rusty on it and wouldn't get it for you today.  With Mike's method and Michael's pointers, one thing to note is that you don't necessarily need the expression to be produced as an SVG; essentially, whatever you use on the first layer you trace over in a a second layer set to transparent, which makes it reveal as you go.  I'll see whether I have some notes from back when I successfully did it that could help.  

Yes you are totally correct, Rob.... The SVG is a poor solution, as it fails to take into account setting out and that the text is meant to be text not a graphic. Hence my SVG requests really is only a band aid for the gaping wound of mathematical input.

The characters do have to be recognised, but the ability for it to scribe properly will come with the input and layout method of LaTeX; a system that has the mathematical setting out as well as the mathematical characters.

However, I would love to read / hear / watch any solution you have on the SVG, as I am unable to solve mine. I also searched for the elaboration mentioned above but did not find it. Was it meant to be a link?

I would also have to agree with you on Mike Metcalf... ...he should head up the official Sparkol Help team.

Thanks for your help to Rob, and again the SVGs are really more for the overall idea of putting in Mathematical formula.   For those that are following this thread please click on this link and click on "Do you like this idea?" immediately under the opening post.

As a math teacher, I also look forward to being able to input math items (equations, matrices, function-representing graphs, ...) :


1) in a convenient and quick way : a teacher needs to focus on the content and doesn't care about editing svgs so that they may render properly ;


2) in a standard way : LaTeX is by far the most used standard to write maths objects. What's more there is plenty of free & opensource software to create .tex files.


Please make Videoscribe natively support .tex files and I will for sure subscribe.



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