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

    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...
  • 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

    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

    The Math Paragraph

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    The earlier post Breaking Equations into Multiple Lines describes equation line breaking and alignment. In particular, l ong equations often do not fit on a single line and need to be broken up for display on multiple lines. Word 2007 offers two approaches...
  • 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

    More on Math Context Menus

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    An earlier post describes math context menus (right click somewhere in a math zone) for changing the display characteristics of math objects, like fractions and integrals. For example context menus offer options to convert a stacked fraction into a linear...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Default Document Math Properties

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    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

    RichEdit’s Nested Table Facility

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    One subject that seems to come up every other month or so is how RichEdit tables work. So I might as well post the answer. Hopefully RichEdit tables will eventually be described in the Windows SDK. They are not directly related to Math in Office, but...
  • 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

    Improved MathML support in Word 2007

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    Two very interesting developments are happening that will improve Word 2007’s MathML support. The first is key for helping in getting Word 2007 math text into the scientific and technical publisher workflows and the second may help in this regard too...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Subscript and Superscript Bases

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    For proper math typography, it’s important to know the base of a subscript or superscript expression. For example, in Einstein’s equation E = mc 2 , the superscript expression c 2 appears and c is the base, not mc . Knowing what the base is allows proper...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Extracting OMML from Word 2003 Math Zone Images

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    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

    Updated RTF Specification

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    An updated RTF Specification is available for downloading here . I already blogged about the new version in the MS Word blog, but wanted to add a few words about math in Math in Office blog. The RTF specification includes a thorough discussion of 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

    A neat opportunity...

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    Okay, the Math In Office blog isn't about advertising. But just in case you're someone who really likes RichEdit and editing and wants to work on it (as I did and do J ) and related text processing, here's a pretty fine opportunity. If you're not interested...
  • 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

    Hidden Math Features in Word 2007

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    Alex Ioffe emailed me Hi Murray, I realize you probably get this often by why can't someone (pleeease!) publish some official documentation of Word2007 Equation editor features? I have seen all of the MSN videos regarding it features and they...
  • 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

    Rick Shoemaker, quantum magician and microcomputer whiz

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    This post summarizes what I said at the retirement ceremony for my long time collaborator and good friend Dr. Rick Shoemaker, Associate Dean, College of Optical Sciences, and Professor of Optical Sciences. I’ll talk a bit on Rick and his love for...
  • 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

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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

    STIX Beta Fonts

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    The STIX folks (Scientific and Technical Information eXchange) folks have a beta version of their math font. There are more math characters in the STIX fonts than in Cambria Math. The primary typeface is Times Roman. This post describes how you can examine...
  • 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...
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