I won’t say the math features are actually hidden in MS Word, but they are not easily found either. You will not find a lot of information regarding the Math features in books you purchase covering MS Word; at least I haven’t and I have several.
You can do so much with the Math features in version 2007 and 2010, such as writing mathematical equations, physics derivation or chemical formulas. So how do you insert a formula or equation in MS Word?
Follow the steps below to learn how:
On the Insert tab, click on Equation, or you could use the shortcut (ALT + =).
This will enable the Design tab which will help in inserting various mathematical equations and physics formulas.
You can use the Structures in the Design tab to insert different parameters in your mathematical equation or physics or chemstry formulas.
You can also select the symbols and characters for Basic Math, Greek Letters, Letter-like symbols, Operators, Arrows, Negated Relations, Scripts, and Geometry related symbols.
You can save the equations that you create so that you can use them at another time too:
- Simply click the arrow symbol when you insert your equation and select the option Save as New Equation.
Mathematical variables represented by Latin and lower-case Greek letters are usually displayed in italic. Vectors are often displayed in upright boldface. Word 2007 allows you to control and change these choices with the italic and bold formatting buttons on the Home tab of the ribbon or with the shortcut keys of CTRL + I and CTRL +B. One basic principle is that in a math zone letters are the only characters that are affected by these attributes. Operators such as + and – and delimeters like [ ] are not changed by the states of the italic and bold buttons. Such characters are always rendered as upright, normal-weight characters in a math zone.
You can see the code for a character by typing ALT + X immediately after the character. This quick key replaces the character by its code. CTRL + Z, of course, undoes this transformation or you can simply use the quick key combination again to undo it.
When mathematics is input as text, keywords are replaced by appropriate Unicode characters and the expression is formatted as standard mathematical notation as soon as its structure is unambiguous. This often occurs after typing a space (which is usually deleted by Word 2007 after automatic formatting. The text input codes for simple expressions are pretty intuitive. Below are some examples:
Note that the spaces (indicated by _) are used by Word 2007 to decide when a mathematical expression is terminated. The spaces are removed and replaced by Word 2007’s own spacing. Such characters are known as delimiters. Although it is possible to input extra spaces, this is discouraged as it is generally better to allow Word 2007 to handle the typography.
ALERT: in most cases a mathematical expression may be interpreted from its linear mode, at least by a professional mathematician. However, in some cases (such as for matrices) the glyph (i.e. the symbol) representing the Unicode character (for example, π is the glyph for the Unicode \pi) is not at all obvious. In such cases it may be easier to use the palettes to create the expression.
As you can see, there is much that this feature can do for you. You just need to know how and where to find it! I may cover Matrices in another newsletter at a future date.