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

    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...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Improved MathML support in Word 2007

    • 18 Comments
    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

    • 2 Comments
    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...

    • 2 Comments
    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

    • 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

    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

    • 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

    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

    • 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

    STIX Beta Fonts

    • 7 Comments
    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

    • 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

    Using Left/Right Arrow Keys in Mathematical Text

    • 7 Comments
    Paul Libbrecht commented that there’s more to selection in math text than discussed in my first post on this subject. As usual, Paul is right. That post explains how one or more characters and/or math objects are selected. In addition the topic...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Breaking Equations into Multiple Lines

    • 33 Comments
    Long equations often do not fit on a single line and ways are needed to break them up for display on multiple lines. Word 2007 offers two approaches: automatic and manual line breaking. A related feature is alignment of multiple equations, such as aligning...
  • 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

    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

    Getting Word 2007 Technical Files into Publisher Pipelines

    • 8 Comments
    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

    Science and Nature have difficulties with Word 2007 mathematics

    • 10 Comments
    Science and Nature, two premier science publications, are having difficulties with Word 2007’s elegant new mathematics facility. Part of the reason is due to misunderstanding about Word’s MathML support, which hopefully this post will help to rectify...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Using Math Italic and Bold in Word 2007

    • 3 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

    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

    Creating Math Web Documents using Word 2007

    • 15 Comments
    If you use Word 2007 to create a document containing mathematical equations and expressions and save it as a web page, it looks just as good in Internet Explorer as it does in Word 2007! The equations look as though they had been typeset by TeX or in...
  • Murray Sargent: Math in Office

    Math Find/Replace and Rich Text Searches

    • 12 Comments
    A number of readers have inquired how to Find/Replace mathematical expressions in Word 2007. This post shows how it could be done nicely, although unfortunately this functionality didn’t make it into Word 2007. A previous post shows how to find...
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