Mathematical, statistical, and algebraic symbols are hard to remember by name and since the day when any of these disciplines will save your life has yet to arrive for most people, it is even harder to recall the name of small or capital Greek letters or any such symbols. Shapecatcher is a web app that can help you find specific Unicode characters by simply sketching their shape. Currently, the app features about 10,877 important Unicode characters in its database, which are compared to your drawing and are analyzed for similarities. The app is based on a simple character recognition engine that compares your sketch against its database of symbols and displays all possible matches. The app, in most cases, will find the symbol you’re looking for but depending on how well you drew it to begin with and how many similar symbols exist in the database, the correct result may not be at the top of the results list.
Draw something in the box placed to the left, click Recognize and let Shapecatcher help you to find the most similar Unicode characters from its ever-growing database. A list of results will be displayed under the drawbox, with all possible matches that Shapecatcher could find in its database. It also provides information about the characters, including the symbol, name, its hexadecimal value and the language of origin.
A list of results will be displayed under the drawbox, with all possible matches that Shapecatcher could find in its database. It also provides information about the characters, including the symbol, name, its hexadecimal value and the language of origination.
The app asks you to rate the suggested symbols as well in order to determine how good of a match it made with what you drew. This is optional but it would be a good idea to rate the correct symbol and help improve the experience for other users. Shapecatcher also has a Unicode List option displayed at the top of the page, but it remains under construction now on account of the web app being in beta. According to the developer, it will show, upon completion, the character sets that are supported by Shapecatcher. Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters are currently unsupported, but hopefully, these will be added to the database.
When drawing characters, it is best that you don’t leave any lines that are supposed to be connected (like the legs of the Pi symbol), disconnected. If you don’t find the correct symbol, try drawing it again. While you might not be able to draw perfect circles, try and draw good lines. This handy web app may garner particular interest in students and teachers.