Math Context Menus


One handy way to edit mathematical text is to use math context menus. These menus are displayed when you depress the right mouse button with the mouse pointing inside a math zone. In addition to the usual Font and Paragraph options, in a math zone you see options relevant for the math object the mouse is pointing at. For example, if the mouse points at a stacked fraction, the context menu includes entries to change to a skewed or linear fraction as well as to remove the fraction bar. If the mouse points at an accented character, there’s an option to remove the accent.


You could make such changes by building down to the linear format, making appropriate edits, and then building back up to the professional format. This is a general way of making many kinds of changes that are hard to make in a WYSIWYG way. But if the desired change can be accomplished via a context menu option, that option is faster.


The following table summarizes the math context menus that appear using Word 2007.


 























































Object


Context menu options


Accent


Remove accent


Bar


Switch between overbar and underbar


Remove bar


Box


Increase/decrease argument size


BorderBox


Hide/show (top/left/bottom/right) border


Add/remove (horizontal/vertical/top-left-diagonal/bottom-left-diagonal) strike


Brackets (delimiters)


Insert/delete argument before/after


Stretch delimiters, match delimiters


Hide/show left/right delimiter


Equation array


Insert row before/after


Delete row


Align array at top row, center, or bottom row


Fraction


Change to skewed/linear/stacked


Remove/replace fraction bar


LeftSubSup


Make into subsup


Increase/decrease argument size


Limit


Switch between upper and lower limit


Remove limit


Change limit size


Math zone


Build down/up, i.e., Linear or Professional


Matrix


Insert row/column before/after


Delete row/column


Show/hide empty-argument placeholders


Set row/column spacing


Align matrix at top row, center, or bottom row


Align column left/center/right


n-ary


Change limit location


Hide/show upper/lower empty limit place holder


Grow with content


Radical


Remove radical


Hide/show empty degree place holder


Group character


Display group (horizontal stretch) character above/below


Remove group character


Subscript/superscript


Delete script


Increase/decrease script size


SubSup


Align subscript and superscript


Make into left subsup


Increase/decrease script size


 


In addition if the Microsoft Math graphing calculator add-in is installed, right clicking on a formula gives you context menu options that Microsoft Math is able to perform on the formula. Select an option and a window appears with the results and offers the possibility to insert them into your document. We hope to extend this approach so that other math engines can be used to manipulate and graph formulas in Word.


Comments (2)

  1. An earlier post describes math context menus (right click somewhere in a math zone) for changing the