Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: December 10th 2002
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
What is Equation Editor?
Who Uses Equation Editor With PowerPoint?
Equation Editor Links
Some Advice From Microsoft
Add Equation Editor To The PowerPoint Toolbar
Animating Equations in PowerPoint
MathType - The Big Brother
Equation Editor is a small application that often acts as an embedded OLE object to insert quotations in mainstream Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Works. Although it is often called Microsoft Equation Editor, the actual product is a subset of a more capable equation editing application called MathType - both Equation Editor and MathType are created by Design Science, a company based in Long Beach, California, United States.
For many basic and intermediate uses, Equation Editor is all you need - it's more than capable if all you need to do is show or print equations in your presentations or documents.
For as long as I can remember - or perhaps even before that, Equation Editor has been an important component of Microsoft Office. While Equation Editor works great in tandem with Word, Excel or Publisher - for reasons of clarity and relevance, we'll discuss using it with PowerPoint. More often than not, you can use it in the same way with other Microsoft Office (or any other) application. Incidentally, many more products including newer versions of Corel WordPerfect Office ship with almost the same version of Equation Editor - so ideas on this page should help that user base as well.
If you asked that question, you are not alone. More often than not, this state of affairs is because there are many of us who are not aware of the existence of this application - ironically because it is bundled free with the world's best selling office suite. Just to make sure, I checked up three well known PowerPoint books in my collection - not one listed it within its index. Further, I searched through seven frontrunner PowerPoint sites (comprising the PowerPoint Association - this site is a member site!) as well - none of them returned any hits. This is partly because Equation Editor is a specialized application that seems suited for a semi-vertical audience. However, that's not entirely true, since Equation Editor itself can do a lot more than input Greek symbols in mathematical and statistical formulae. Although Equation Editor is very well suited for use by architects, mathematicians chemists and scientists, it can also be put to use by food technicians, decorators, recipe authors, hobbyists and students as also almost anyone else.
Here's a list of links I've compiled for those of you who would like to get started or improve their Equation Editor skills:
Science, Inc. - the creators of Equation Editor provide you
with the best tips for the product available anywhere online. They
also have a great page on using MathType
with PowerPoint - most of the tips for MathType work with Equation
Editor as well.
- The University
of Waterloo has the most comprehensive description of Equation
Editor to be found anywhere - including video clips you can download
- The Dummies site has a nice extract from their PowerPoint book called Adding Equations to Your Slides in PowerPoint 2000.
Here is a list of corresponding versions of Equation Editor that shipped with Microsoft Office. Thanks to Bob Mathews of Design Science for providing this information:
Word 2.0 - Equation Editor 1.0
Office 4.3 - Equation Editor 2.0
Office 95 - Equation Editor 2.0
Office 97 - Equation Editor 3.0
Office 2000 - Equation Editor 3.01
Office XP (2002) - Equation Editor 3.1
You might have reached this page through a search engine query on Equation Editor - and you might not want to know what Equation Editor does - rather you need some support info regarding some problems you've had using the product. Maybe, you are looking for new ideas on using Equation Editor with PowerPoint. Fortunately, Microsoft provides plenty of support and ideas in their knowledge base - here are a few important links:
Option To Change Text Colour in Equation Editor (Q121621)
an Equation Editor Object gives Error Message (Q183195)
Equation Editor Options in the Windows Registry for Word 2002 (Q318797)
Extra Font Is Not Available (Q292578)
Editor Objects Printed Incorrectly on Handouts (Q191245)
- Equation Editor Is Not Available in the Insert Object Type List (Q228569)
This is excerpted from PowerPoint 2000 help - for some reason it does not appear in PowerPoint 2002 help.
- Go to the View menu and choose Toolbars -> Customize.
- Click the Commands tab, and then click 'Insert' under 'Categories'.
- In the Commands box, click Equation Editor, and then drag it's instance from the Commands box to any location on any toolbar.
It is easy to animate equations in PowerPoint - although your equations will no longer remain editable (although we'll incorporate ways to get around that as well). You can download a sample presentation here - 66 kb to follow these steps:
- Create or edit an existing equation. Thereafter, select the entire
equation within PowerPoint and duplicate it using either:
Copy and paste, or
Right click and drag and drop - then choose 'Copy' from the context menu.
- Drag the duplicated equation off the slide. If we ever need the original
source equation for editing, we can access an original non-destructed
- Right click the equation which remains on the slide - choose Grouping
-> Ungroup from the resultant flyout menu. You'll receive a warning
about converting the object - disregard the warning and agree to the
- You'll find your equation is now a collection of objects - all of
which are shown selected. Do not deselect as of now. Rather, go to the
Slide Show menu and choose the Custom Animation option. Choose a simple
animation like Wipe Right within the Effects tab, in the 'Order and
Timing' tab, choose 'Automatically 0:0 seconds after previous event.
- Play your slide - you might want to emphasise some element within the equation by using a different custom animation like Zoom or similar. More often than not, you'll also want to edit the animation sequence of the individual equation elements.
Although Equation Editor may be all you need, you may not know what you are missing. Design Science, the creators of Equation Editor also make a similar product with many more features - you might have guessed its name - it is called MathType.
You can find a comparative listing of Equation Editor and MathType at their site:
Once you've seen that, you might want to look at a detailed listing of MathType features:
Design Science has a set of similar pages for their Macintosh versions.
The current version of MathType is version 5 - as expected, you'll find more info and tutorials on the product at the Design Science web site.
You'll also find more information on MathType on this site - detailing its use with PowerPoint.