How to use the iPad to quickly hand-write LaTeX formulas on your computer

When viewing a reference on a computer, if you see the formula you want to write down, we can use
Mathpix to
easily capture the image and convert it to a LaTeX formula. However, when I need to input a lot of my own formulas for the current two weeks, I am guilty: even if there are Detexify and MathKey on the Mac that support handwriting formula recognition, writing formulas through the touchpad is a very anti-human process; iPad + Apple pencil combined The formula input experience of MyScript MathPad is relatively natural, but the writing process of the whole article is still difficult for a small iPad.

In the end, I found a solution: MathKey iPad writing and Remote Keyboard function sent to the web page, using the smooth handwriting on the iPad, freely writing LaTeX on the Mac, and reducing the split of the iPad sent to the Mac.

Steps for usage

First download the
from the App Store on the iPad and open it to see the eye-catching Remote Keyboard feature.

MathKey iPad main interface

Remote Keyboard function interface

We can enter the URL and QR code of the Remote Session in a prominent position by entering the URL

on the computer .

Remote Session encoding

Enter the code on the web side of the iPad, and our iPad and computer pages are connected.

Remote Keyboard in connected state

At this point, we can write our formula on the iPad side. We can write with both hands and Apple Pencil (of course Apple Pencil will be much more accurate). The function of the mobile terminal is relatively simple. In addition to the large area of ​​the writing space, the entire interface has three functions of undoing, erasing and deleting in the top bar. After writing the formula we want, you can click Send in the lower right corner to let MathKey identify and send it. After the conversion is complete, the converted image, LaTeX and MathML will be displayed on the web page. The web page will also keep the records converted before this session, so that we can use it again.

Entered formula

Converted image and LaTeX

It should be noted that the recognition of MathKey is relatively more suitable for writing habits in Europe and America , and the results of complex formula recognition for Asians may not be as satisfactory. As shown in the above figure, some of the symbols in the formula have some problems with the case (maybe I write too bad QAQ), but compared to the complicated LaTeX input, MathKey has done most of the work for me, even if minor repairs are needed. Xiaobu also saves a lot of formula input time.

Think about it

In fact, I feel that MathKey’s iPad writing sent to the computer feels a bit more of a SideCar taste, and it gives me more expectations about how much productivity the Mac + iPad combination can increase. 🤔


MathKey’s Remote Keyboard feature allows us to take advantage of the iPad’s excellent handwriting experience and realize the need to quickly enter LaTeX formulas on the PC.

Finally, I hope that such a small tool will make everyone feel less anxious when writing LaTeX formulas, and work and study happily~