Write an equation or formula

Office has built-in equations that can easily be added into your documents. Alternatively, you can modify, edit the current equation, or write your own equation first-hand.

Improvements for equations in Word

Insider students and educators: Your feedback has been taken onboard! Your highly demanded LaTeX Math Equation syntax is here.

Exclusive for subscribers in Version 1707 ( Build 8326.2058) and higher.

Insert built-in equation

  • Select Insert > Equation and pick your necessary equation from the gallery.
  • After adding the equation, the Equation Tools Design tab displays with complementary symbols and structures for your equation.

Write new equation

To enter an equation first-hand, tap Alt += on your keyboard.


Select Insert > Equation and pick Insert New Equation from the bottom of the built-in equation gallery. This adds an equation placeholder where you can enter your equation.

Insert New Equation
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Insert a check mark or other symbol

Add an equation to the equation gallery

  1. Choose your required equation.
  1. Choose the down arrow and press Save as New Equation…
  1. Enter a name for the equation in the Create New Building Block dialogue.
  1. Pick Equations in the gallery list.
  1. Select OK.

Edit equations

To alter or modify an equation that was already written,

  1. Choose the equation to view Equation Tools in the ribbon. Note: If Equation Tools isn’t visible, the equation may have been formed in an older version of Word. If so, see Change an equation that was written in a previous version of Word.
  1. Click Design to look at tools for inserting multiple elements to your equation. You can create or edit the following elements to your equation.
  • In the Symbols group, you’ll find maths related symbols. To check all the symbols, select the More button. To view other selections of symbols, select the arrow by the upper right corner of the gallery.
  • The Structures group supplies structures you can add. Simply pick a structure to append it and next, replace the placeholders, the small dotted-line boxes, with your personal values.
  • The Professional option presents the equation in a professional format optimised for view. The Linear option shows the equation as source text, which is usable to apply necessary changes to the equation. The linear option will portray the equation in either UnicodeMath format, or LaTeX format, which can be configured in the Conversions chunk. 
  • You can convert all equations in a document to the Professional or Linear formats, or just one single equation, if the maths zone is chosen or the cursor is amongst the equation.

Ink equations

On touch-and-pen-enabled devices, equations can be written using a stylus or your finger. This is done by the following steps:

  1. Select Draw > Ink to Math Convert and then press Ink Equation at the bottom of the built-in gallery.
  1. Use a stylus or your finger to write a maths equation manually. Without a touchscreen device, you can use your mouse to write out the equation. You can choose parts of the equation and adapt them while working through them, and utilise the preview box to ensure Word is accurately interpreting your handwriting.
  1. When you’re happy, select Insert to convert the ink equation to a document equation.

Also Read

Linear format equations using UnicodeMath and LaTeX in Word

Where is Equation Editor?

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