PowerPoint 2016 for Mac finally includes the new-style equation editor (which was already available in Word for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows). An equation can be inserted using a ribbon button (Insert → Insert Equation).

How can I add a keyboard shortcut for this? Is there already a keyboard shortcut for it?

For Word I could use the OS settings from System Preferences → Keyboard and set up a shortcut for the menu item named "Equation". But I cannot find a corresponding menu item in PowerPoint. I can only find this feature on the ribbon, but not the in menu. Is there any way to set up a keyboard shortcut for it?


Since the situation seems to be in flux, here's an update:

  • Older versions, including the one that was current when I asked the question, have the undocumented shortcut --=. There is no menu item in this versions that would allow setting up a shortcut manually. Answer by theoden.

  • More recent versions do not have a shortcut built in, but they do have the menu item Insert → Equation, which makes it possible to set up a shortcut manually. Answer by suntoch.


This shortcut is already in PowerPoint: Option=

This produces a place to type an equation when you are in a text box.

  • Indeed it works. But how did you figure it out? I searched for so long for this. It's not here. – Szabolcs Dec 11 '16 at 9:25
  • Are you aware of any documentation pages that show this shortcut? Or any other way to discover it? Your post is still the only mention I could find on the internet. – Szabolcs Feb 14 '17 at 10:10
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    I discovered the mode by accident when I was trying to do something else. I hope they don't take it away. Lovely Microsoft. – theoden May 5 '17 at 19:50
  • This appears to work only with US keyboard layout :-( Any idea about a German keyboard? – Daniel Jun 19 '17 at 18:49
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    On my system (macOS 10.13), it seems cmd+option+= is already assigned to the 'zoom in' function, which zooms into the position of your mouse. I had to disable it in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Accessibility. – Fabian Ying Jan 11 '18 at 13:12

The shortcut posted by theoden seems to be broken in new versions. As a workaround one can just go to the System Preferences => Keyboard => Shortcuts => App Shortcuts and add another one for Microsoft PowerPoint with the "Equation" as Menu Title.

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    Thanks! You are correct: in the current version, this shortcut does not work out-of-the-box. But in the current version there is a menu item. When I originally posted this question, there was no menu item, so I could not add a shortcut this way. – Szabolcs Feb 26 '18 at 7:36

You can't post keyboard shortcuts into comments, so I added an answer. I found out about the German keyboard shortcut (by trial and error). It is: alt´

So, on a German keyboard the equals sign has to be replaced with an apostrophe (the key next to the backspace key (on its left)) @Daniel


Same as @olik79, I think it is useful to specify that the correct combination on Italian keyboard is Option+ì.

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