Write, insert, or change an equation

Office has equations that you can readily insert into your documents. If the Office built-in equations don’t meet your needs, you can edit, change the existing equation, or write your own equation from scratch.

What's new for equations in Word

Insider students and educators: We heard you loud and clear! your top requested LaTeX Math Equation syntax is here.

Available for subscribers in Version 1707 ( Build 8326.2058) and higher

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

  • Choose Insert > Equation and choose the equation you want from the gallery.

    Insert equation

  • After you insert the equation the Equation Tools Design tab opens with symbols and structures that can be added to your equation.

To type an equation from scratch, press Alt += on your keyboard.

or

Choose Insert > Equation and select Insert New Equation from the bottom of the built in equation gallery. This inserts an equation placeholder where you can type your equation.

Insert New Equation_C3_20176613929

Want to know how to insert Unicode character or special character?

Add an equation to the equation gallery

  1. Select the equation you want to add.

  2. Choose the down arrow and select Save as New Equation....

  3. Type a name for the equation in the Create New Building Block dialog.

  4. Select Equations in the gallery list.

  5. Choose OK.

To change or edit an equation that was previously written,

  1. Select the equation to see Equation Tools in the ribbon.

    Equation Tools

    Note: If you don’t see the Equation Tools, the equation may have been created in an older version of Word. If so, see Change an equation that was written in a previous version of Word.

  2. Choose Design to see tools for adding various elements to your equation. You can add or change the following elements to your equation.

    • In the Symbols group, you’ll find math related symbols. To see all the symbols, click the More button. Button image To see other sets of symbols, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the gallery.

      Basic Math symbols

    • The Structures group provides structures you can insert. Just choose a structure to insert it and then replace the placeholders, the small dotted-line boxes, with your own values.

      Radical math structures

    • The Professional option displays the equation in a professional format optimized for display. The Linear option displays the equation as source text, which can be used to make changes to the equation if needed. The linear option will display the equation in either UnicodeMath format, or LaTeX format, which can be set in the Conversions chunk. 

      Conversions Chunk_C3_20176613204
    • It is possible to convert all equations in a document to the Professional or Linear formats, or a single equation only, if the math zone is selected or the cursor is in the equation.  

      Equation All Linear

On touch- and pen-enabled devices you can write equations using a stylus or your finger. To write equations with ink,

  1. Choose Draw > Ink to Math Convert and then click Ink Equation at the bottom of the built in gallery.

  2. Use a stylus or your finger to write a math equation by hand. If you're not using a touch device, use your mouse to write out the equation. You can select portions of the equation and edit them as you go, and use the preview box to make sure Word is correctly interpreting your handwriting.

    Shows the ink equation pane in Word

  3. When you're satisfied, click Insert to convert the ink equation to an equation in your document.

See also

Linear format equations using UnicodeMath and LaTeX in Word

Where is Equation Editor?

Expand your skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×