As a math person, you’re often faced with the task of communicating about math. Unfortunately, most modern means of communication, be it email, the web or instant messages, aren’t really suited to typing math. Fortunately, however, many of these means *do* allow the use of Unicode, and Unicode allows for certain limited forms of mathematical typography.

Putting Unicode formulas together usually requires a fair amount of patience and some quality time with your favorite character map application. But now there’s an easier way: The *Unicode Input Helper*—or “UIH”. Here’s an image of it in action:

Using it, you may use HTML entity names with backslashes (such as `\int`

for an integral) to put together the basics of a formula, and then use a searchable list of all known Unicode characters to add the finishing touches. The screenshot gives you an idea. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, simply use your computer’s copy-and-paste function to get it to where it needs to be.

(Like PuDB, `uih`

requires Ian Ward’s urwid library.)

As a side benefit, I think `uih`

makes for a nice replacement for pretty much every character map program—but its original purpose was easy typing of math.