How Can I Type Formulas on Microsoft Powerpoint?

By Ernestine Hill

Use Microsoft’s Equation Editor to type formulas (equations) in Microsoft PowerPoint. Equation Editor includes a wide range of templates for building equations. Fraction and radical templates, Summation, Integral, Matrix and Product and Set Theory templates not only add symbols, but also present an independent set of subscript and superscript “Fence” templates.

Opening Microsoft Equation Editor

Open “Microsoft Equation Editor 3.0” in PowerPoint through Insert > Object on the Standard Toolbar. If Equation Editor hasn’t been accessed previously on the computer, it likely won’t show up in the menu list. View > Toolbars > Customize > Commands > Insert will let you manually install it.

Equation Templates

After it’s installed, open Microsoft Equation. The Equation Editor window pops up reflecting a default fence ready for building the formula. Select another fence from the “Fence template” list if the default is incompatible with your need. As you type, try to refrain from adding returns and spaces to the equation. Doing so will cause some pre-2003 versions of Equation Editor to kick you out.

Using the Templates

Type both math and text by selecting from approximately 30 different Fence templates. Distinguish between math and text by choosing either one or the other from the “Style” menu on the Equation Editor Toolbar. Equation Editor automatically adjusts the font and symbol sizes as you construct equations; once the formula has been constructed, fine-tune and add formatting as you see fit.

Building and Adding to the Equation

Tab outside the Fence once you’ve finished building a particular section of the equation to space. This will let you start another sentence, symbol, or Fence. “Enter” starts another line and inserts another default Fence.

Equation Completion

Once the formula is typed, File > Exit > Return to Presentation1 instructs the Equation Editor to place the equation in a text box. Enlarge and move the text box into place on the Microsoft PowerPoint slide. Build equations in another application then copy them into a slide. They may not, however, be moved or resized after they're copied. View > Toolbars > Drawing opens the Drawing Toolbar at the bottom of the computer screen. Either one of the dog icons or “Text Wrapping, Edit Wrap Points” will activate the equation box selection handles for moving and resizing.Whenever there's a need to edit an equation, double-click the equation to reopen it. Equation "Help" is an excellent reference if you run into trouble.

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