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Question in style for publication

  1. Oct 23, 2013 #1
    I'm proofreading someone's article for publication, but I'm not a professional proofreader. The document is in Word 2007, and some of the formulas have been created by just typing (with superscript, subscript, etc.), along with "insert Symbol", and some have been created by using Word's equation editor ("Insert Equation"), and some by a mixture of the two techniques. The problem is that some of the equations are in italics , some in plain, and some in a mixture. I suppose I must convert all of these to having one or the other style, but I don't know which. Advice? Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I would convert to the Word equation editor form, since you will eventually run into a symbol that can't be represented by the simpler keyboard method and will then jump to the Equation editor.
  4. Oct 23, 2013 #3
    Thanks, jedishrfu. Sounds like good advice, but I am not sure about the justification: my experiments seem to show that I can convert any symbol used in the Equation editor (whose default is italics) into non-italics by highlighting it and pressing "I".
  5. Oct 23, 2013 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    I ran into that in doing a report and decided the equation editor was best. It was easy to get greek symbols initially. Once I got them in the document, I then would frequently copy/paste them where needed to speed writing the document.

    One reason to use the equation editor is if you get into integrals, differential equations, matrices and other more exotic mathematical animals...
  6. Oct 23, 2013 #5
    Thanks again, jedishrfu. You are probably right that in the end it would be less hassle to have everything in italics. I have noticed that many published articles adopt this strategy.
  7. Oct 23, 2013 #6
    You should probably type the article in LaTeX. That's the style most commonly used nowadays in physics papers. And it looks way better than word.
  8. Oct 23, 2013 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    I agree Latex is the standard for all technical pubs. MS Word equation editor understands latex codes but converts them to MS word equation codes internally.

    You can test your equation rendering by exporting your document as a PDF and see if they still display correctly. Many documents are distributed as pdf files to prevent easy alteration of the contents.

    If your document is for publication then you should check with the publishers to see what formats they accept and go from there.
  9. Oct 23, 2013 #8
    Thanks, R136a1. LaTex woes.....

    Thanks, R136a1. You are certainly right that it would have been better if this document had been written in LaTex. However, I am not the writer, just the proof-reader, and I would prefer not to have to rewrite all the equations in LaTex if I can avoid it. (But, as you point out, it may be unavoidable according to the demands of the publisher. In that case, the author will have to hire someone else. Yes, I know that people who have been using LaTex a lot get fast at it, but I am not fast at it.) So, at least as a first attempt, Word's Equation Editor seems to be relatively close to LaTex, no?
    Or I can get in my time machine and tell the person who typed the article to do it in LaTex....
    Anyway, many thanks for pointing this out.
  10. Oct 23, 2013 #9
    Thanks, jedishrfu. As I just mentioned to R136a1, the question is not what should have been done, the question is what to do with what I have. When I put this into pdf, it comes out OK, so I guess everything hangs on which publisher the author chooses.
  11. Oct 25, 2013 #10

    Claude Bile

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    My advice;

    - Italicise mathematical symbols than appear in the main text (for clarity to the reader).
    - Check if the journal you are submitting to accept equations from MS equation editor. You might have to write equations using Mathtype instead.
    - Don't worry so much about formatting equation objects - the journal will set their preferred format themselves.
    - Word is fine - some journals actually prefer word these days.
    - Finally - embed fonts! Otherwise some symbols may not be appear as intended.

  12. Oct 25, 2013 #11
    Thanks very much, Claude. Your advice is much appreciated (and reassuring). I shall follow it.
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