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

    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

    Mac Word 2011 and Math

    • 6 Comments
    Office for Mac 2011 has many cool additions. The best of them all (well you know my bias!) is that Mac Word 2011 has the elegant Office math editing and display facility! Although I do not own a Mac, my next-door neighbor Dylan Tom does and we gave the...
  • 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

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    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

    Extracting OMML from Word 2003 Math Zone Images

    • 5 Comments
    The science and technology publishing industry uses Word 2003 in processing a significant portion of manuscript submissions. The industry hasn’t yet been able to accept manuscripts in which the mathematical text (math zones) is created using Word 2007...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Smart Canvasses

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    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

    WordPad Numbering Limit

    • 5 Comments
    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

    Negated Operators

    • 5 Comments
    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

    Math Language Tag

    • 5 Comments
    To guide proofing tools to use the correct dictionaries and autocorrect lists as well as to display preferred glyphs, it’s very handy to associate language tags with text runs. For many years, Windows has provided a language tag property called...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    OpenType Math Tables

    • 5 Comments
    The math tables created for the math facility in Word 2007 and other Microsoft Office applications are now officially part of the OpenType standard ISO/IEC CD 14496-22 3rd edition. See Section 6.3.6 MATH. You can download a copy of the whole standard...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Program Annotations

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    Notation is a favorite topic of mine being at least partly inspired by Bertrand Russell, who once wrote , “A good notation has a subtlety and suggestiveness which at times make it seem almost like a live teacher…and a perfect notation would...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit 8.0 Image Support

    • 5 Comments
    Up until RichEdit 8.0, RichEdit’s native image support was limited to metafiles, enhanced metafiles, and simple images like bitmaps (bmp’s). If OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) had supported other types, such as jpg’s, png’s...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Keyboard Operator Shortcuts

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    The previous post introduces Hermann Klinke’s math input notation, which he developed to speed up entry of equations for real-time note taking in OneNote. The post is followed by a very interesting set of comments comparing high-speed, and yet easy...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Sans Serif Mathematical Symbols

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    Most mathematical documents and books use fonts with serifs , such as Times Roman. However mathematical expressions can also be displayed with sans-serif letters, such as the font this post uses. In fact, sans-serif letters are used sufficiently often...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Check out Live Writer

    • 4 Comments
    This is a test to see how I can use Live Writer to make blog posts more nicely. In particular, it’s desirable to display equations by copying them from Word. For example, this is the mode locking formula which you can enter by typing \integral<space>...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit 8 Zoom Support

    • 4 Comments
    In this day and age with touch pinch and expand zooming of screens, zoom is everywhere! So you might wonder how to zoom the contents of a RichEdit control. There are two ways: 1) maintaining the display width and rewrapping the text as necessary to fill...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    UTF-8 RTF

    • 4 Comments
    For RichEdit 4.0 (Windows XP SP1), I developed a UTF-8 version of the Rich Text Format (RTF) . The reason was to have a faster, more reliable way of handling copy/paste for RichEdit than regular RTF. RichEdit 5.0 added the binary format for this purpose...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Special Capabilities of a Math Font

    • 4 Comments
    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

    OMML Specification, Version 2

    • 4 Comments
    The OMML (Office math markup language) specification has been improved in response to the great feedback we received from the ISO reviews. It’s part of the full OpenXML documentation Version 2 and is very handy to have if you’re working with OMML. The...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Paragraphs and Paragraph Formatting

    • 4 Comments
    What paragraphs are and how they are formatted are questions that continually come up both inside and outside of Microsoft. So this post describes Word/RichEdit paragraphs in general. A subsequent post will describe the “math paragraph”, which is part...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Directionality in Math Zones

    • 4 Comments
    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

    RichEdit Versions Update to 7.0

    • 4 Comments
    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

    When Formula Autobuildup Occurs

    • 4 Comments
    People, especially testers, often ask when does formula autobuild up (FAB) occur? After using it for a while to enter equations into Word, one gets a feel for how it works, but may still wonder if there’s some well defined way to predict autobuild...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Using Math Italic and Bold in Word 2007

    • 4 Comments
    Mathematical variables represented by Latin and lower-case Greek letters are usually displayed in italic. Vectors are often displayed in upright boldface. Word 2007 allows the user to control and change these choices with the italic and bold formatting...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    The Invisibles

    • 4 Comments
    No this isn’t about some kind of science fiction, this is about five Unicode characters that are useful for mathematics, but are generally invisible or should be. The characters are the zero-width space (U+200B), function apply (U+2061), invisible...
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