Digital Math - How to Create and Edit Digital Math with EquatIO


EquatIO is multi-platform software for digitizing math and chemistry expressions and equations. 


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EquatIO platforms and features

EquatIO runs on your desktop, as a Google Chrome extension, in Canvas, and on mobile devices. Different platforms have different EquatIO features. 

EquatIO Feature


Desktop Application

Google Chrome Extension

Canvas External Tool

EquatIO Mobile*

Digitize Math, Physics, and Chemistry Expressions Digitize equations and expressions from multiple disciplines  
Equation Editor Digitize typed-out math  
Equation Editor Predictions Predict typed-out math  
Insert MathSpace Drawings Insert MathSpace Drawings    ✔    
LaTeX Editor  Digitize math using LaTex markup    
Handwriting Recognition  Digitize photos of handwritten equations
Digital writing Recognition Digitize math written with a mouse or tablet  
Screenshot Reader  Digitize math screenshots    
Camera-to-Math Digitize photos with math      
Speech Input  Digitize spoken math
Graph Editor Enter equations to create graphs  
Screenshot Reader  Read aloud math in screenshots    

*EquatIO Mobile functions differently from the other platforms and is described separately. 

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Getting EquatIO

The Accessible Technologies group provides EquatIO to Virginia Tech affiliates - faculty, students, staff, and alumni - at no cost. 

Download and install the desktop application

  1. Go to Texthelp EquatIO and click your operating system. 

    Operation systems circled in webpage

  2. Open the downloaded application. If prompted, allow the installation. 
  3. Click Accept and Install.
  4. Open EquatIO by clicking its icon on the desktop:  
  5. You will be prompted to authorize EquatIO. Click Google

    Google circled out of the options

  6. Enter your VT email address (not your PID) and click Next.
  7. Log in using your PID, PID password, and second factor. A confirmation message will appear. 
  8. The EquatIO bar will appear at the bottom of your computer screen, above Windows or MacOS toolbar.

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Add the Google Chrome extension

  1. In Google Chrome, go to EquatIO - Math made digital and click Add to Chrome.

    Add to chrome button circled in the store

  2. Click Add Extension.

    Add extension circled in the pop-up

  3. The extension will be added and you'll go to an introductory screen. Click StudentTeacher, or I'd rather not say...
  4. You'll go to a new Gogole Doc.
    • The EquatIO bar will appear at the bottom of the doc
    • The extension icon will appear in the search bar. 

      equatio extension circled in google navigation bar.

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Access the Canvas external (LTI) tool

  1. Go to Canvas' Rich Content Editor in the Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, or Syllabus tools. 
  2. Click the EquatIO icon in the Rich Content Editor.


  3. The Insert EquatIO Equation window will open, with a limited version of the EquatIO toolbar at the bottom.

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Access EquatIO Mobile

EquatIO Mobile is a limited version of EquatIO. It can only access EquatIO math in documents you have created with EquatIO and a Microsoft 365 application. To use it, you must: 

Open and log in
  1. Open EquatIO on your desktop. EquatIO mobile will not work on your phone without the desktop version.
  2. Go to EquatIO Mobile in your mobile browser or scan the QR code from the EquatIO bar.

    Mobile icon circled in desktop toolbar

    Website page with QR code

  3. Tap Sign in with Google and log in with a Google account. 

    Sign in with Google circled in the mobile options Sign in options if you have accounts linked on your phone
  4. You will be redirected to your Microsoft 365 Active Documents
Resources for EquatIO Mobile

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Setting up EquatIO

To access EquatIO options: 

  1. On the EquatIO bar, click EquatIO -> Options. In the Options window, click:
    • Math Options to set font size and turn on/off predictive help for math and chemistry equations and for formulas. 

      Math options in the options navigation

    • Toolbar Options to enable and disable EquatIO features on the toolbar.

      Toolbar options tab circled in options navigation.

    • Desktop Options to insert math as a Microsoft Word equation. 

      Desktop options tab circled in options menu navigation

  2. Save changes on each options screen. 

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Typing to Create Digital Math


Predictive Text

Prediction will offer suggestions for a symbol as you type in Equation Editor. For example, if you type "add," it will insert "+."

Math predictions are enabled by default, but you can also turn on predictions for chemistry and formulas. To change your prediction options: 

  1. Click EquatIO -> Options.
  2. Click Math Options, and under Predictions, click the sliders to enable/disable predictions for math, chemistry, and formulas.
  3. Save. 

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Type out equations to create digital math

  1. Open EquatIO desktop application, the Canvas external tool, or the Google Chrome extension to display the EquatIO toolbar. 
  2. In the EquatIO bar, click the edit equation icon.

  3. Type in your equation.
  4. Prediction will recognize words and show a list of related symbols. Click a symbol to insert. 

  5. To insert a symbol directly, click the More icon at the top right of the toolbar then click the Symbols icon.

  6. When you're done composing your equation, you can insert it by: 

    • On the bottom right of the toolbar, click Insert Math. The digital math will appear in your document.  


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Writing Equations with a or Mouse or Touchscreen to Create Digital Math


Watch EquatIO®: How to Use Handwriting Recognition

Write equations on screen to create digital math

  1. In the EquatIO toolbar, click the pencil and letter icon.

    Writing to text circled in desktop navigation

  2. Use your cursor or stylist to write your equation in the grad space under Handwriting.
  3. The Math side will display the digital math.

  4. Click Insert Math to insert the math into Canvas.

Video by TLOS: Professional Development Network


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Converting Speech to Digital Math


Watch EquatIO®: How to Use Speech Input

Speak to insert digital math

  1. In the EquatIO toolbar, click the click the microphone icon.

  2. Click the red and white record button on the Speech side to begin recording.

  3. Say your equation. EquatIO will display what you've said. 
    1. In the Canvas external tool and the Google Chrome Extension, EquatIO will automatically convert your speech to math.
    2. In the desktop app, EquatIO will display your speech as words until you click pause. Then it will convert your speech to math (screenshot shows desktop application). 

  4. Click the record button again to stop recording.
  5. EquatIO display the digital math. You can use the More icon to insert numbers and symbols (screenshot shows Canvas external tool).

  6. Click Insert Math to insert the math into Canvas.

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Converting between LaTeX and Digital Math


Convert between LaTeX and digital math in EquatIO

  1. In the EquatIO bar click LATEX (it's only in the desktop app and the Canvas external tool). 

  2. A LaTeX editor will appear on the left, and the EquatIO Equation Editor on the right.
  3. Anything you enter on either side will be converted in real time to the other form. 

    Latex and Math sections circled

  4. Click Insert Math to insert the digital math into your document. 

Convert LaTeX in digital math in Microsoft 365 applications

  1. Copy a LaTeX equation to your computer's clipboard. 
  2. In the Word document, click InsertEquation.

    Insert tab selected in word. Equation option circled

  3. Right click the equation box. Under Paste Options, click the [A] to paste the LaTeX markup as text. 
  4. The LaTeX equation will appear in the equation box.

    LATEX equation circled

  5. In the upper left click LaTeX then Convert.
  6. Click All - Professional.

    In the equation menu, Latex is selected. In the convert drop-down, All-Professional is selected

  7. Your LaTeX equation will be converted into a math equation.

Convert LaTeX to digital math in Canvas 

  1. Copy a LaTeX equation to your computer's clipboard. 
  2. In the Canvas rich content editor, click Insert then Equation to open the Canvas equation editor.

  3. Click Switch View to Advanced.

    Switch link circled in pop-up

  4. In Canvas equation editor, paste the LaTex equation. Canvas will convert it into a digital math. 
  5. Click Insert Equation.

    Equations comparison circled

  6. The equation will appear in Canvas.

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Graphing Digital Math


Watch EquatIO®: How to use Graphing

Create and insert a graph

  1. Compose a graph-able equation using any of EquatIO's methods - typing, speech, handwriting, or conversion from LaTeX. 
  2. Copy the digital math. 
    • In the desktop app, click the copy icon.
    • In the Canvas external tool and Google Chrome extension, select the digital math and copy it to your clipboard. 
  3. In the EquatIO toolbar, click the graph icon.

  4. The Desmos graphing tool will appear. Equations are inserted on the left, and graphs generated on the right. 
  5. If your equation doesn't automatically appear, paste it into the left side of the screen.
    • You can also click the + under Graph to use the Desmos equation editor, but EquatIO's equation editor is better. 

  6. Click Insert Graph to insert the graph in your document.

Video by TLOS: Professional Development Network


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Using EquatIO Mobile

EquatIO Mobile is a limited version of EquatIO supporting speech recognition, stylus-written equations, and camera/photo recognition of equations. It functions differently from the EquatIO desktop application, Canvas external tool, and Google Chrome extension, so it is described separately here. 

Open EquatIO Mobile

  1. In the EquatIO Mobile app, open an active document in your Microsoft 365 account.

    Word document is open and appears as an option under active documents

Digitize an equation

Hand write an equation
  1. Click the pencil and letter icon.
  2. Draw your equation in the grid space.

    Write tool circled in toolbar Drawn equation in mobile version
  3. Click the check-mark to save your equation as math or as an image. Save as math is shown below. 

    Save options circled
Speak an equation
  1. Tap the microphone icon.
  2. Tap the red and white record button.

    Speech option circled in mobile toolbar Record button circled on record screen
  3. Allow use of your microphone if your haven't already.
  4. Say your equation and EquatIO will convert it to math in real time.
  5. Click the record button again to stop recording.
  6. Click the checkmark -> Save as math.

    Allow circled in pop-up Save as math circled in the finished recording screen
Take a picture of an equation
  1. Tap the camera icon.

    Camera circled in mobile toolbar Allow circled in camera permission pop-up
  2. Allow use of your camera if your haven't already.
  3. Click the blue and white button to take a picture of your equation, then drag the square around the equation in the picture. 

    Capture button circled Cropping image
  4. Click the check-mark to save your equation as math or as an image.

    Save options circled

Insert an equation into Microsoft Word

  1. Click the blue export icon in the bottom left to copy your equation into the Microsoft Word document.

    Upload button circled

  2. The document will open with your equation.

    Equation in word

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Can't register EquatIO

  1. Make sure you have access to EquatIO through Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech affiliates - faculty, staff, students, and alum - can use EquatIO for free through Virginia Tech. Others cannot. 
  2. Try registering EquatIO on another platform. Choose from the desktop application, the Google Chrome extension, or EquatIO mobile. 
  3. If you still can't register EquatIO, go to, log in, and click Get Help. Explain your problem and submit. 

Trouble using EquatIO

  1. See Texthelp (the makers of EquatIO) EquatIO Documentation.
  2. Contact Texthelp Support

Can't convert to LaTeX in Microsoft Word

Only the Microsoft 365 version of Microsoft Word supports LaTeX conversion. Active Virginia Tech affiliates have access to Microsoft 365.


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