One handy way to edit mathematical text is to use math context menus. These menus are displayed when you depress the right mouse button with the mouse pointing inside a math zone. In addition to the usual Font and Paragraph options, in a math zone you see options relevant for the math object the mouse is pointing at. For example, if the mouse points at a stacked fraction, the context menu includes entries to change to a skewed or linear fraction as well as to remove the fraction bar. If the mouse points at an accented character, there’s an option to remove the accent.
You could make such changes by building down to the linear format, making appropriate edits, and then building back up to the professional format. This is a general way of making many kinds of changes that are hard to make in a WYSIWYG way. But if the desired change can be accomplished via a context menu option, that option is faster.
The following table summarizes the math context menus that appear using Word 2007.
Object
Context menu options
Accent
Remove accent
Bar
Switch between overbar and underbar
Remove bar
Box
Increase/decrease argument size
BorderBox
Hide/show (top/left/bottom/right) border
Add/remove (horizontal/vertical/top-left-diagonal/bottom-left-diagonal) strike
Brackets (delimiters)
Insert/delete argument before/after
Stretch delimiters, match delimiters
Hide/show left/right delimiter
Equation array
Insert row before/after
Delete row
Align array at top row, center, or bottom row
Fraction
Change to skewed/linear/stacked
Remove/replace fraction bar
LeftSubSup
Make into subsup
Limit
Switch between upper and lower limit
Remove limit
Change limit size
Math zone
Build down/up, i.e., Linear or Professional
Matrix
Insert row/column before/after
Delete row/column
Show/hide empty-argument placeholders
Set row/column spacing
Align matrix at top row, center, or bottom row
Align column left/center/right
n-ary
Change limit location
Hide/show upper/lower empty limit place holder
Grow with content
Radical
Remove radical
Hide/show empty degree place holder
Group character
Display group (horizontal stretch) character above/below
Remove group character
Subscript/superscript
Delete script
Increase/decrease script size
SubSup
Align subscript and superscript
Make into left subsup
In addition if the Microsoft Math graphing calculator add-in is installed, right clicking on a formula gives you context menu options that Microsoft Math is able to perform on the formula. Select an option and a window appears with the results and offers the possibility to insert them into your document. We hope to extend this approach so that other math engines can be used to manipulate and graph formulas in Word.