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.