Ms Word 2010 Eq editor hotkeys/shortcuts

What is this?:This is a list that contains hotkeys and short cuts designed to make your time writing equations in Microsoft word quicker and hopefully less of a hassle.

Why?: Some time recently I decided to start doing all my homework on my computer regardless of the class. This may seem difficult and many people that see my homework think its over kill but, knowing the hot keys and short cuts really cuts down on A LOT of time. The main tool here is Microsoft Word's equation editor. I don't know the full extent of the uses but I did want to share my knowledge to maybe help some one else shave a good amount of time off their report. I have looked around the internet to get help with shortcuts and hot keys but have not found very useful tools. I actually would like some help writing up a list of hot keys and short cuts to make available to every one. If you have any comments or suggestion please comment below.

Remember: to press space where the code says, it is necessary to get Microsoft word to recognize certain parts before continuing.

1. Common Hotkeys
2. Basic Math Equations
3. Greek letters and symbols
4. Scripts
5. Limits/logs/trig functions
6. Common Character Accents.

1. Common Hotkeys
Alt+"="             open/close equation editor
ctrl+l              left align
ctrl+e              center align
ctrl+r              Right align
ctrl+j              justify
ctrl+b              bold
ctrl+u              underline
ctrl+i              italic
ctrl+s              save document
ctrl+o              open document
ctrl+c              copy
ctrl+x              cut
ctrl+v              paste
shift+arrow         select text. By letter or symbol
ctrl+shift+arrow    select text. by word or grouping
ctrl+shift+.        increase text size
ctrl+shift+,        decrease text size

The variables x and n can be replaced with words and full equations

2. Basic Math equations
x^n             x[SUP]n[/SUP]
(x+x)^n         (x+x)[SUP]n[/SUP]
x^(n+n)         x[SUP](n+n)[/SUP]
x^n+n           x[SUP]n[/SUP]+n

x/n            "x" divided by "n"
(x+x)/n        "x" plus "x" total divided by "n"
x/(n+n)        "x" divided by the sum of "n"+"n"
x/n+n           "x"divided by "n" total plus "n"

[B]Integrals: be sure to type spaces as indicated[/B]
\int  x dx             boundless integral over the function x
\int _0^n x dx         integral with bounds zero to n over the function x
\int _0^(n+n) x dx     integral with bounds zero to n plus n all over the function of x
\iint x dx             double integral with no bounds
\iiint  x dx           triple intertal
(I am not sure if you can add bounds to all the integrals
 I would use multiple single integrals for this as shown below)

\int_0^2\pi \int _0^pi \int _0^r r^2 sin \phi dr d\phi d\theta
bounds from 0 to 2(pi), 0 to pi and 0 to r
(this is an integral for a sphere of radius r)
3. Greek letters and symbols commonly used in equations:
[B]Shortcuts (press space to change to symbol)[/B]
\Alpha        A
\alpha        α
\Beta         B
\beta         β
\Delta        Δ
\delta        δ
\partial      ∂
\Gamma        Γ
\gamma        γ
\epsilon      ϵ    
\Epsilon      Ε
\varepsilon   ε
\eta          η
\Eta          H
\theta        θ
\Theta        Θ
\kappa        κ
\Kappa        K
\lambda       λ
\Lambda       Λ
\pi           π
\Pi           Π
\omega        ω
\Omega        Ω
\mu           μ
\Mu           M
\infty        infinity symbol
4. Scripts
X^n       X[SUP]n[/SUP]
X_n       X[SUB]n[/SUB]
(I am not sure how to get the ones for elements where the scripts come before)
5. Limits/logs/trig:(type the equation as indicated, include the spaces as they are recognized by Microsoft Word.)
lim (x->0) x       limit from x to zero subscript for x
log_x n            log[SUB]x[/SUB] n
sin x              sine function
sin^-1 x           inverse sine function       
cos x              cosine function
cos^-1 x           inverse cosine function
tan x              tangent function
tan^-1 x           inverse tangent function
sinh x             hyperbolic sine function
sinh^-1 x          inverse hyperbolic sine function
cosh x             hyperbolic cosine function
cosh^-1 x          inverse hyperbolic cosine function
tanh x             hyperbolic tangent function
tanh^-1 x          inverse hyperbolic tangent function
6. Common character accents:press space two times to get the accent on said character
x\hat       x with hat on top
x\dot       x with dot on top
x\ddot      x with two dots on top
x\dddot     x with three dots on top
x\vec       x with vector on top
x\tilde     x with tilde on top
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Having used LyX for years due to MS Word's poor equation editor, the newest instation of word recently made me give it a try.

At first, due to these shortcuts and the intuitive entry method, I was in love with it, it's even faster in terms of human input than LyX, once you get used to it equations fly along. It's got all the positive's of LyX equation entry (for a basic user like myself), with a few additional benefits that really speed up the process, like the ability to add spaces without \;, or the automatic adjustment of fraction bars and parenthesis when you hit the space bar. Everything was quick and smooth, I was sold.

Then on one page I had, heaven forbid, 3 equations and all of a sudden everything came to a crawl, even normal word processing.

I found that this is page specific, so once I managed to reach the next page it sped up a bit, but if there is even 1 equation that is too long, word becomes unbearable. I tried to live with it, but the huge delay started to give me a roaring headache and slowed down well past any benefits of using the program. Now I'm back with LyX, which is a great program (especially with its integrated LaTeX), but its too bad. Microsoft's team managed to make a fantastically inuitive equation entry method, borrowing a lot from LyX and LaTeX but also improving on it, but overall shoddy programming makes the whole thing unusable.

It is utterly unacceptable with modern CPUs and Memory to have word processing that is not lightening fast, even with every last bell and whistle. I've had the same issue with MS Excel and VBA - hugely simple VBA code takes forever to compile and run simply because it is running inside Excel. I suspect that the issue is that at its core MS Word 2010 probably is just built on top of the same Word from '98, with features added and added and added; either that or it is just a vast array of poor programming, I'm not sure, but if I can run modern games like Left4Dead2 on intel's graphics cores in the new Sandy Bridge architecture, I'm pretty sure I should be able to do anything in terms of word processing. This is really dissappointing.

Sorry to rant. It's the same case with Adobe Acrobat, I use Sumatra PDF and it opens any kind of PDF file I've thrown at it - password locked, encrypted, asian characters, etc. etc. - lightning fast. PDF reader? Crawls and makes my computer crawl with its ridiculous background service. It's almost as bad as iTunes. Anyway, it's frustrating to me (as a non-programmer of course) to have this type of product. Code optimization should be the number one priority in any of the development projects, and given the lower than expected sales of MS Office that hit MS stock a few months back (I know, I own MS), I can imagine that flawed priorities are beginning to be reflected in the consumer market, even if "runs faster" is hard to put on a sticker.
One thing I wanted to add to this that I found in another thread was how to do custom matrices: the syntax is:

\matrix (a1@b1@c1@...&a2@b2@c2&...)

where the "@" symbols separate different column elements, and ampersand "&" separate different row elements after typing "\matrix" you see a black square, type the open parenthesis and do whatever, don't forget the closing parenthesis and hit space.
for example if one typed:

\matrix (&&&&)

this would create a 1×5 matrix. One should note that the matrix index doesn't start at 1, but at 0, which is the reason for there only being 4 ampersands and not 5.

another example is

\matrix (@@@@&&&&)

this would create an empty 5×5 matrix

\matrix (0@1@2@3@4&&&&)

the above would create a 5×5 matrix except the first column would be filled with 0,1,2,3,4.

Hope people find this useful!

Another thing I've noticed. When you paste the equation editor text into a, let's say a web browser search. For instance I made the nth root of 2x, but when I paste it here it looks like:
√(n&2x). Meaning that the shortcut is \sqrt (n&2x), luckily that works! So doing this may reveal other shortcuts to use when pasting the matrix it looks like ■(&&@&&@&&), which goes along with what I found before, also the binomial notation is (n¦k), for me the broken vertical bar is ALT + SHIFT + (then the key with the backslash and vertical bar)
Firstly, thanks to everyone for posting. It has really helped. I figured I could also contribute a little fact I noticed. If you open the Microsoft Word Equation editor (which can be done simply by Alt+=) and move your cursor over any symbol within any of the banks, it will show you the slash command for it. Some are obvious like \alpha however not all are. Hope this helps.

One question I have while I am at it. If anyone has more on the hotkeys like \vec and \ddot I would very much appreciate it. Additions like the double vector or half vector would be really useful.

Not sure if anyone noticed this. But if you're in word/onenote 2007 or 2010 if you go to File (or that big random windows symbol in the upper left corner in 2007), then options, revision, and then click Autocorrection Options. There is a tab for math autocorrection. Here you can see all the different things we've seen here. I just recently found the left and right and left angle brackets (generally for vector equations and such). The shortcuts are "\langle" and "\rangle" respectively without quotes. Also let's say you want a limit that approaches 2 things, like x approaching a, and y approaching b, you can say: "lim_(\matrix (x->a@y->b))" this will give you what you want.
Here is a couple of answers to queries on this thread:

to put a sub/superscript before a character, _0^n G (puts 0 at lowerleft of G and n at the upperleft of G

to create a double accent on a character, A/vec/vec [space] [space] puts two vector symbols. you can combine mixed accents. A\prime\vec creates A with a prime hash and a vector arrow.
Thanks for the contributions every one. They are very helpful to me as I am sure they will be helpful to others.
Thanks, I agree with you OP. I do all my homework using Word. My paper doesn't look like crap if I have to go back and correct a mistake.
Hello everyone,

check out my free shorthand notation for Office 2010 if want to enter math very quickly and easily using the native math facility of Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010 or OneNote 2010. The documentation of my notation also documents almost everything that is available in the math facility of Office 2010. Entering Greek letters, accents, vectors and matrixes requires only 2-3 characters. I've developed it to take notes in real-time during math lectures on the laptop.

You can download it here:

I've just uploaded a new version (version 1.1) that fixes all of the issues that were documented in the comments of that blog post.

Have fun!

Hermann Klinke
thed0ctor makes an excellent suggestion. To save yourself some serious time, take it one step further. After going to File\Options\Proofing, clicking on "AutoCorrect Options...", and selecting the "Math AutoCorrect" tab, start defining your own escape sequences!

Why type \gamma when you can just type \g?! Besides adding the shortest possible sequences for all the Greek letters (\a = \alpha, \b = \beta, and so on), you might also consider some others I've found very time saving:

\. for \bullet
\x for \times
\sn to produce x10^

To redefine a letter, you will have to first find and select it to get the symbol into the right box. So far I have not found any way to just directly choose from a list of symbols you want your escape sequence to result in. (This will make sense once you see it).
Dear Forum members,

I'm using MS-Word 2010 with the Equation Editor and need to create some character sets that are not in the built in library formats. I guess that what I want are types of accents or embellishments.
I need to create some discrete variables i.e. x with a ~ (approximately) directly underneath the x. In some cases I also need this type of character with a subscript k+1.
Does anyone know how I can achieve this? I'd appreciate any advice or solutions.
Thank you very much for this very helpful post

If I insert equation in Word 2007 document, after I come out of the equation mode, the cursor seems to go somewhat in-between the space between the current line and the next, that is, the character's position gets lowered automatically. The size of the text is still the same, that is, it's not like a subscript, but the position of a character in a line seems to have lowered. The worst part is, even after I change the character position to normal by going into font, there is still some extra space between the two lines. It is making a long paragraph look ugly, somewhere the space between the line is large and somewhere it is small, but in the paragraph options the line spacing between the lines is all fixed. At first I didn't know why it was happening, but now I know that it is happening only when I have inserted an equation in the line. Moreover, when I insert equation, sometimes it happens and sometimes doesn't. From what I've gathered this usually occurs if I put subscripts inside the equation or include things like , or other punctuation marks but i am still not sure why this is happening. Please help.

Thank you very much.
holy bejeesus wow thank you so so so much!! I am so sick and tired of pointing and clicking to make equations look nice. I wish I had discovered these secrets (and trust me they are secrets) a long time ago. I have printed out this list and shared it with facebook because I am a chemistry major and it will come in handy often in my chemistry and physics classes. I too am trying to have a completely digital college experience, and a big hangup is flashcards. You can't really type an equation into most flashcard sites (very very sad) but with this I have now at least a workaround by making pictures of my equations with windows Snipping Tool. Thank you thank you thank you!
Thanks for this! In particular /varepsilon and /varphi were what I was looking for... And knowing these are all in the options is great!

Two contributions to add myself:

One quirky thing I've found that I finally resolved while searching for other stuff was the difference between /bar and /overbar. Compare:
x_ij \bar
x_ij \overbar
The same thing happens with summations, even... yay for /overbar; now I just have to remember it...

Secondly, for doing inline statements, e.g. x/y, do x\/y (backslash, forward slash) to prevent conversion into the x over y format.

I guess it's also worth noting that if you have fancy equations sitting in Mathematica, I've often had success directly copy/pasting them into Word's Equation editor. (Discovered this right before I discovered the efficient approach to Word Equations...)

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