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

    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

    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

    MathML To-Do List

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    In my MathML 3.0 post , I noted that several things were postponed for future consideration. The present post lists math document properties and equation numbers. Other members of the MathML Working Group can undoubtedly add to the list. Default Document...
  • 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

    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...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Getting Word 2007 Technical Files into Publisher Pipelines

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    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

    Weird F020-F0FF characters in Word’s RTF

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    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

    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

    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

    Math Context Menus

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    One handy way to edit mathematical text is to use math context menus. These menus are displayed when you depress the right mouse button with the mouse pointing inside a math zone. In addition to the usual Font and Paragraph options, in a math zone you...
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    RichEdit Hot Keys

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    This post summarizes the hot keys built into RichEdit. Previous posts have described various math hot keys like Alt+=. But AFAIK no one has published a summary of all the RichEdit hot keys. Note that RichEdit clients, e.g., OneNote, often handle all hot...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Office Insert Symbol Dialog

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    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

    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

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    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

    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

    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 Paragraph Indents

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    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...
  • 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

    Rendering MathML in HTML5

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    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

    Equation Arrays

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    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...
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