Equations for the Latex holdouts (i.e. using Microsoft Equation Editor Efficiently)
If you still want to use MS Word for equations (instead of LaTeX), but at least want to decrease the hassle (i.e. scroll, point, click, scroll, point, click, etc. etc.). Here’s my contribution:
First, some quick keyboard tips from Microsoft:
- To make text appear slightly above (superscript) or below (subscript) your regular text, use these keyboard shortcuts:
- For superscript, select the text or number that you want, and then press Ctrl, Shift, and the Plus sign (+) at the same time.
- For subscript, select the text or number that you want, and then press Ctrl and the Equal sign (=) at the same time.
- Note, you can reverse your decision and turn superscript or subscript off by selecting your text and then pressing Ctrl and the Spacebar.
The tips takes care of subscripts and superscripts, but what about having to scroll through the symbol frame and find every odd symbol and Greek letter out there?
There is a better way:
- Setup MS Word for typing math equations inline with other text.
- In MS Word 2013 click “Options” → “Proofing” → “AutoCorrect Options…” → “Math AutoCorrect” → Select “Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions” AND “Replace text as you type”
- Get a copy of the key commands for the various symbols. Print the list if you like and use it accordingly (note commands are also listed [and editable] in a menu arrived at by following the click-throughs in item 1 above). Incidentally, many of the commands you’ll learn here are the same commands for entering symbols in Latex’s math mode. This is really just a grand plan to help you eventually make the switch over.
Finally, set up a custom keyboard shortcut to enter equation editor without having to go through the ribbon to find the button. The quick tutorial here, does the trick.
These shortcuts don’t take away all pointing and clicking (as LaTeX does), but gets you well on your way to typing equations faster.