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

    Linear Format Notations for Mathematics

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    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

    Which Languages a Font Supports

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    A recent post describes how RichEdit chooses default fonts for Unicode characters. The method assigns a character repertoire (CharRep) to each character and queries fonts to find out which CharRep’s they support. If the current font doesn’t...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Article/Video on Murray Sargent and Math in Office

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    The article Professor's Laser Focus Gets Math into Office tells some of the story behind the Math in Office project. It also gives a link to a video that includes a sequence of me showing how easy it is to type in the binomial theorem. Hope you like it...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Font Binding

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    Suppose a user pastes some plain text into a document. In principle, that text can contain any Unicode character. That includes virtually all characters used in the current languages of the world along with many from ancient scripts and a plethora of...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Bidi Paragraph with Parenthesized Text

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    The previous post described four tailorings of the Unicode Bidi Algorithm (UBA) in situations where the UBA display is confusing or even misleading. The present post adds another set of scenarios to this list, namely strange renderings of paragraphs that...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Tailoring the Unicode Bidi Algorithm

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    The Unicode Bidi Algorithm is a very useful, general, and standard approach for displaying text that contains right-to-left scripts, such as Arabic and Hebrew. But there are situations in which it is awkward to use and/or is visually confusing. This post...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Linear Format Version 3

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    Unicode Nearly Plain-Text Encoding of Mathematics, Version 3 (Unicode Technical Note #28) is now posted . The differences between Version 1 and 2 of that paper are largely cosmetic, but there were enough changes in Version 2 to merit a new number. Version...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Ribbon Entry of Subscripts and Superscripts

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    As noted in the previous post Keyboard Entry of Subscripts and Superscripts , the preferred way to enter subscripts and superscripts is by using the keyboard, rather than the math ribbon. For example, type alt+= to insert a math zone followed by a^2+b...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Keyboard Entry of Subscripts and Superscripts

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    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

    Negated Operators

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    Sometimes you need to enter a negated operator like ≠. If you’re a C/C++ programmer, you might think that != should map to ≠, since that’s what != means in those languages (and some others). But since in mathematics ! means factorial, this choice is a...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Versions 1.0 through 3.0

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    Digging through old doc files, I ran across the following summary of RichEdit up through Version 3.0. It’s more detailed than my post on RichEdit Versions , so it might be of interest to history buffs, anyhow. And it does describe the riched20.dll that...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Special Capabilities of a Math Font

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    A fairly common inquiry is how a program can use and access the many special glyph variants of a math font. It’s clearly a much more intricate interaction than encountered in most text applications. This post outlines how the Office math layout software...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    High Fonts and Math Fonts

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    Math fonts differ from other fonts not only in their extensive coverage of math operators, symbols, and math alphanumerics, but also in the large number of glyph variants they have to support two sizes of sub/superscripts and many sizes of stretchable...
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    Directionality in Math Zones

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    In most places, mathematical text is written “left to right” (LTR). For example, in the expression x + y the plus is displayed to the right of the x and the y is displayed to the right of the plus. But in some Arabic locales, mathematical...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Equation Numbering Prototype

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    When writing the Math in Office 2010 post back in July, I could just imagine the disappointment various people would have when they discovered no mention of equation numbering. After getting math into PowerPoint, equation numbering had been the most often...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Friendly Name Hyperlinks

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    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...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Versions Update to 7.0

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    The original RichEdit Versions post covered RichEdit versions 1.0 through 6.0, since 6.0 was the latest version at the time. RichEdit 7.0 will ship with Office 2010, so here’s an update describing what that version adds. Most additions involve math...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Automatic RichEdit Hyperlinks

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    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

    Entering Matrices

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    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

    Math in Office 2010

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    Imagine typing alt+= in PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, and, of course, Word and Outlook to enter a math zone and then type a^2+b^2=c^2<space> to see the Pythagorean theorem beautifully typeset on your screen! Or some way more complicated equation,...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    WordPad Numbering Limit

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    In Windows 7, WordPad has undergone many improvements even though it uses RichEdit 4.1+ for editing and display. Time and time again, the excellent Hyderabad team responsible for enhancing the Windows 7 WordPad requested very reasonable extensions to...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Entering Math via the Linear Format

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    The previous blog post is on the cool math handwriting recognition shipped with Windows 7. The post includes a description of a race I had entering equations using the linear format with formula autobuildup against a member of the math handwriting recognition...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Handwriting Recognition

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    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

    Empty Math Zone Place Holders

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    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

    Restricted Math Zone Character Formatting

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    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...
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