Murray Sargent: Math in Office

I'm a software development engineer in Microsoft Office and have been working mostly on the RichEdit editor since 1994. In this blog I focus on mathematics in Office along with some posts on RichEdit and the early Windows days

  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Entering Matrices

    • 9 Comments
    The Office math ribbon has a few examples of matrices, but you might like to be able to enter a lot more kinds of matrices and enter them substantially faster. For this you can use the linear format (see Sec. 3.9). For example, a 2x2 matrix is entered...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Linear Format Notations for Mathematics

    • 9 Comments
    I have been having a great discussion with Christian Lerch about computer-oriented mathematical notations. He has a program that lets you input MathML using a pure ASCII syntax. It is similar to ASCIIMathML . A lightly commented EBNF grammar of his MathEL...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Keyboard Shortcuts

    • 9 Comments
    Nali commented on the post Office 2007 Math Editing/Display that it would be nice to have keyboard hot keys to switch between Professional and Linear format (build up/down), and between Display and Inline mode of equations. This is a great idea especially...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Accents

    • 9 Comments
    Accents are quite common in mathematical text. For example, in physics one uses one- to four-dot accents to designate the first through fourth time derivatives, respectively. Primes are often used on integration variables. Transforms can be designated...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Two Math Typography Niceties

    • 8 Comments
    Roughly eight years ago, some colleagues and I had the good fortune to spend an extraordinary afternoon with Donald Knuth, the primary author of TeX, at his home on the Stanford University campus. Among many things, Donald showed us how he uses TeX to...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math in Office Links

    • 8 Comments
    I started this blog in 2006 and now it’s 2012. How time flies! At this point it seems worthwhile to post links to previous posts grouped according to subject. The present post provides links relevant to the main theme of the blog, math editing and...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Book on Technical Writing in Word

    • 8 Comments
    There’s a new Microsoft Press book on creating technical documents in Word, entitled Creating Research and Scientific Documents using Microsoft Word . Alexander Mamishev, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, is the...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    MathML 3.0

    • 8 Comments
    The W3C announced October 21, 2010 that the MathML 3.0 specification is a W3C Recommendation. This post describes some of the features added to MathML in version 3.0. The specification also includes numerous clarifications that are helpful for people...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Getting Word 2007 Technical Files into Publisher Pipelines

    • 8 Comments
    Nature, Science and other publishers have robust ways of converting Word 2003 documents with embedded Equation Editor and MathType objects into the XML representation they use for publication. Notably MathType can export mathematical equations as MathML...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Some RichEdit History

    • 8 Comments
    A couple of comments have raised the question of people outside Microsoft using the various versions of RichEdit. Specifically, Teis Johansen asks, "Just to be sure. Can I redistribute RichEdit 6.0 with my application?" and Kyle Alons asks, "So what's...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    STIX Beta Fonts

    • 7 Comments
    The STIX folks (Scientific and Technical Information eXchange) folks have a beta version of their math font. There are more math characters in the STIX fonts than in Cambria Math. The primary typeface is Times Roman. This post describes how you can examine...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Using Left/Right Arrow Keys in Mathematical Text

    • 7 Comments
    Paul Libbrecht commented that there’s more to selection in math text than discussed in my first post on this subject. As usual, Paul is right. That post explains how one or more characters and/or math objects are selected. In addition the topic...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Automatic RichEdit Hyperlinks

    • 7 Comments
    RichEdit has two kinds of hyperlinks, automatic hyperlinks (autoURLs) and friendly name hyperlinks. As its name suggests, the autoURL is automatically recognized by RichEdit as a hyperlink and is displayed as a URL. A friendly name hyperlink has a name...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Empty Math Zone Place Holders

    • 7 Comments
    You type Alt+= or click the Insert ribbon Equation button, and presto! You’ve inserted an empty math zone place holder that states “Type equation here.” in the language you’re using. Then you type a^2+b^2<space> and you see a 2 + b 2 , except in...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Handwriting Recognition

    • 7 Comments
    Starting with Windows 7, Windows includes a cool applet called the Math Input Panel . This applet lets you enter mathematical text using a pen or a mouse. It recognizes what you enter and displays the result using a special private version of RichEdit...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    More on Equation Numbering

    • 7 Comments
    The book Creating Research and Scientific Documents using Microsoft Word gives a method for numbering equations that works with all versions of Word from Word 2007 on and has automatic renumbering of the equations and the references to the equations....
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Inserting Tables Using the Keyboard

    • 6 Comments
    This post describes a little trick that lets you insert a table into RichEdit and into Word just using the keyboard. Admittedly in Word, you can use the handy table tool on the Insert tab with a mouse or with a keyboard. But in WordPad and the Windows...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit 8 Performance Improvements

    • 6 Comments
    This post describes a couple of performance improvements introduced in RichEdit 8: 1) a more efficient display tree, and 2) a faster rich-text formatting mechanism. Performance is always of interest, partly to make the user experience more enjoyable ...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Restricted Math Zone Character Formatting

    • 6 Comments
    A number of character formatting properties are treated differently in a math zone than they are in ordinary text. These include underline, strikeout, math font face and size, subscript and superscript. This post discusses how these properties differ...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Weird F020-F0FF characters in Word’s RTF

    • 6 Comments
    People have been inquiring about Word RTF’s occasional use of the Unicode Private Use Area (PUA) characters in the range U+F020..U+F0FF. These codes are also used in WordProcessingML defined by the ECMA-376 standard. This post explains what Word means...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    The Math Paragraph

    • 6 Comments
    The earlier post Breaking Equations into Multiple Lines describes equation line breaking and alignment. In particular, l ong equations often do not fit on a single line and need to be broken up for display on multiple lines. Word 2007 offers two approaches...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Keyboard Entry of Subscripts and Superscripts

    • 6 Comments
    The Send-a-Smile and Send-a-Frown feedback from Office beta users is very useful for finding out where we’ve done right and wrong things with the new Office. From time to time I’ll post thoughts on some of the feedback that pertains to the...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Word EQ Field and East Asian Formatting

    • 6 Comments
    This post discusses aspects of Word’s first math editing and display facility: the EQ field. This field is still used today for some East Asian formatting constructs. To have a built-up fraction a/b, one could (and still can) enter an EQ field with the...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Smart Canvasses

    • 5 Comments
    The Microsoft Math graphing calculator folks have created a Word 2007 add-in that lets you simplify, solve, calculate, and graph your equations in 2-D or 3-D. With it installed, your technical paper becomes alive. For example, your paper may have graphs...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Friendly Name Hyperlinks

    • 5 Comments
    This post is a companion to Automatic RichEdit Hyperlinks . As stated in that post, RichEdit has two kinds of hyperlinks, automatic hyperlinks (autoURLs) and friendly name hyperlinks. A friendly name hyperlink has a name, which is displayed, and a hidden...
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