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

    High Fonts and Math Fonts

    • 14 Comments
    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...
  • 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

    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

    Math in Office Links

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    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

    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

    Office Math RTF and OMML Documentation

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    The RTF 2007 specification is now available. Word 2007 added as many control words as Word 2000, XP and 2003 combined ! The .doc spec is 4.4 MB, while the .docx is only 881KB. Admittedly a zipped version of the .doc spec is somewhat smaller than 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

    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

    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

    How I got into technical WP

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    This post tells a bit of how I started in technical word processing back in the middle of the last century. More precisely it was in 1965 that I started using a nifty (for that time) vector plotting program by Grey Freeman at the Yale Computer Center...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Using RichEdit 6.0 for Math

    • 3 Comments
    A number of readers have asked how to use the RichEdit 6.0 shipped with Office 2007 to edit and display mathematical text. This post explains one way to do so. The code assumes that you already have an application that knows how to instantiate a RichEdit...
  • 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

    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

    Sans Serif Mathematical Symbols

    • 5 Comments
    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

    Some of My Favorite Sayings

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    Perfection is to be strived for but not attained A software version of this saying is “shipping is a feature”. In general one wants to do the best possible job, but getting something accomplished is usually better than having nothing but unfinished...
  • 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

    Rendering MathML in HTML5

    • 1 Comments
    As you can see in this document , Presentation MathML is part of HTML5. This is very exciting, since HTML5 is becoming the primary new web standard format. You might think that this would automatically make it easy to render MathML in a browser. In fact...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Selection

    • 4 Comments
    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

    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

    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

    Default Document Math Properties

    • 2 Comments
    A number of math display properties have document defaults. These are the ones used if you don’t explicitly override them, which you can usually do by invoking a math context-menu option. The properties all pertain to “displayed” math...
  • 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

    Office Insert Symbol Dialog

    • 1 Comments
    This blog post describes a cool insert-symbol facility built into Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. The facility is handy for locating mathematical symbols as well as other characters. And with the developments in Unicode...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Equation Arrays

    • 2 Comments
    One user (Leperkawn) commented "There is basically no documentation on the \eqarray command so I'll post a quick example that I had to figure out from trial and error." Before looking at his interesting example, here's the text in Section 3.19 of the...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    RichEdit Paragraph Indents

    • 1 Comments
    RichEdit paragraph indents are based on the original RichEdit 1.0 definitions. These differ somewhat from Microsoft Word’s definitions and hence from TOM’s (RichEdit’s Text Object Model), which were developed in collaboration with the Word team. In addition...
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