How to Write Mathematics Using MS Word (or Powerpoint)
by Peter P. Wakker
January, 2004
Added October 2019: the equation editor of Word now is much better than in 2004. Main weakness: it has no findreplace function (that I know of). I often use it now but only because coauthors do.
I still prefer "my system" without equation editor, as explained below, and as used for instance in the annotated bibliography elsewhere on my homepage. For my system one does have to download noncommon fonts, which can be done using the link in Section 1 below. Main drawback of my system is that it does not work on computers that don't have the noncommon fonts, as may be used by journals that typeset files.
=============================================
I prefer not to use an equation editor.
Most formulas for powerpoint I first write in MSWord
and then pastecopy to powerpoint, having both programs
opened simultaneously.
In the rest of this text, I explain how I write maths
in MSWord.
1. Fonts
The fonts with mathematical symbols
that I use can be downloaded
here.
2. The Symbols
The link to a pdf file that has the
symbols that I use is given below, containing the abbreviations that I use,
including summations, integrals, and fractions.
Pdffile with mathematical symbols.
The next section explains an efficient manner to type these symbols
in MSWord through abbreviations and the autotext function.
I also add the above file as MSWord file, so that you can easily copy
symbols. Here some symbols will probably not show up properly on your screen.
The reason then is that you donyt have the fonts installed on your computer
that are used for those symbols. If the symbols in question are important to
you, you can download the fonts as indicated on top of this file, after which
you get the symbols properly.
MSWord file with mathematical symbols. (Some symbols
may not show up properly on your screen.)
3. Autotext
We want to type the symbols faster than clicking our way through InsertSymbol etc.
Faster than macros is the autotext function. (Until 2003 I recommended using
the autocorrect function, but in more recent versions of MSWord and Windows
there are some difficulties with the implementation of autocorrect.)
To illustrate how autotext
works, we let it reproduce a. I assume that you have
saved a working copy of the MSWord file of the previous section onto your computer, and
have it opened before you (and maybe a printed
version of this file). We will let autotext replace a by alpha at places where we
want so.

Highlight/mark a (no need to copy or anything).
Highlighting is the first step of copying something. It usually makes the
highlighted text look black on the screen.

Type ALTF3. A box called “Create Autotext” appears.

Type “ga.” This ga appears in the box Create Autotext.

Type RETURN.
Youyre back in Wordinputmode.
From now on you can use Autotext to easily reproduce the alpha, as follows.

Type ga, after a space (ga must be separated from the preceding text).
Then type F3. The a appears.
This is how autotext works. From now on, in all files you work on in MS Word
on this computer, if you first type ga and then F3, a
will appear. In this manner, you can introduce all symbols you like into the
autotext function and then type mathematics efficiently.