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

    Inserting Tables Using the Keyboard

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    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

    Crisp Text Display

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    Kaspar commented on my post Office Adopts New Windows Display Technology “I always wondered why the text in OneNote 2013 looks so much better than Word 2013.” Curious, I typed some math into Word and OneNote on my 3200 x 1800 resolution Samsung...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    OpenType Math Tables

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    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

    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

    RichEdit 8.0 Image Support

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    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    OMML Specification, Version 2

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    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

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    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

    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

    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

    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

    Check out Live Writer

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    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

    When Formula Autobuildup Occurs

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    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

    The Invisibles

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    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...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Selection

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    Selection of text in a math zone obeys some special rules concerning built-up math objects, such as fractions and integrals. First some background on how these objects are stored helps to clarify the rules. In memory, math objects start with a special...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Automatic arguments

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    The arguments of math display objects are either optional or essential. Examples of essential arguments are the numerator and denominator of a fraction. For a legitimate fraction, both are nonempty. Hence if either or both are empty, they should be represented...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit 8 Zoom Support

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    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

    RichEdit 8.0 Touch Support

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    Windows 8 introduced substantially better touch facilities than those available in Windows 7. One cool thing is the new touch on-screen keyboard, which is enabled if you have a touch screen. To see it, swipe in from the right side, touch the cog icon...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Greek Letter Bug Fixed

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    When Word 2007 and later versions write an RTF file that includes math alphanumeric symbols (see U+1D400..U+1D7FF ), they convert the symbols back to ASCII or Greek in the BMP (basic multilingual plane) and then write the characters out using the appropriate...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    UTF-8 RTF

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    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

    Cool Equation Number Macros for Word 2007

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    Dong Yu of Microsoft's Speech Research Group reports: "Office 2007 comes with a very nice equation editor and bibliography manager. However, it does not support equation number management. To work around this problem. I have developed a set of macros...
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