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Microsoft Edge has a slick new tool to solve complex math problems

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Wachiwit / Shutterstock)

Microsoft is testing a powerful new Math Solver tool for Edge that will solve any formula on a webpage for you.

The adoption of the Chromium engine by Microsoft Edge has seen the once-maligned browser coming on in leaps and bounds. After initially playing catch-up with the likes of Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft is now starting to introduce completely unique features that really make the browser stand out from the crowd.

The testing ground for many of the new features and options that ultimately make their way to the main release version of Edge are the Canary builds. The latest addition to the browser sees the arrival of Math Solver – but only for some users.

The feature is something that will be welcomed by students struggling with homework, as it makes it possible to quickly look up the solution to formulae and other mathematical problems. The tool is driven by Bing, and it is amazingly powerful. It can be used in one of two ways.

The first option is to manually type out a problem using your keyboard – and an extended on-screen keyboard – but there is also a selection tool available to you. Using a lasso tool, you can draw around a formula or equation you have encountered online, much like selecting a portion of an image in an image editor. Math Solver then uses OCR (optical character recognition) to read the problem, convert it into a form readable by Edge, and then solve it for you.

Work it out

As Math Solver is currently only available in the Canary build of Microsoft Edge, you will need to be running this version of the browser to stand a chance of trying it out. But even then, it appears that Microsoft is performing either a gradual rollout or A/B testing, as not everyone running the latest Canary build can see the tool.

You need to make sure that you are running at the Canary build of Edge 90 or higher, and you can download this from the Microsoft Edge Insider website. You will need to manually enable the feature if it is available to you; you just need to click the three-dot menu to the upper right of the program window and then click Settings > Appearance > Show Math Solver button.

If Microsoft has made Math Solver available to you, you can go ahead and start using it straight away by clicking the formula button in the toolbar.

Unfortunately, if you don’t see it, it appears that there's nothing you can do but sit back and wait for it to roll out on a wider scale. While it is often possible to enable a flag in the browser to access experimental feature, this isn't the case here.

Via MSPoweruser