I am very frustrated by the equation editing capabilities of Word on the Mac (such as I have been able to discover them). While it is possible to create nice looking equations, it takes an enormous amount of clicking of the mouse.

"Back in the day" (I got my first Mac, a 512k, in 1987), you could type cmd-option-backslash, and this would get you into "inline equation editing" mode. You could then type your equation (with intuitive words for common symbols). Klutzy, but fast. Fast forward, it seems that Word on the PC still has such a feature, although the keyboard shortcut is Alt-=

I am quite familiar with the equation typesetting available on some of the sites here on the stackexchange network, where typing something like $\sum{\frac{\alpha_i x_i}{\sqrt{\beta}}}$ will produce a nice looking equation. For people who have good keyboard skills, this is vastly better than a graphical interface.

So here is my question: does this feature (still) exist in Word for the Mac? If it does, how do I access it? If it doesn't, is there an add-in that I could use instead? Or should I just abandon using Word and write in LaTeX... I have to admit that the more Word "evolves", the less I am able to use it. It makes me feel like a dinosaur.

I did see this answer to an earlier question which goes some way to what I want - but I would very much prefer not to have to store my equations in one document, and copy/paste pictures into Word (and don't get me started on the non-intuitive way images, image placement, captions and word wrap are handled in Word...). Can't I just have it all?

1 Answer 1


Word:Mac supports linear formatting and Math AutoCorrect. If you go to Insert -> Equation, you can start typing the way that you expect to. For a keyboard-only experience, you could create a custom shortcut to insert an equation.

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