More on Math Context Menus

An earlier post describes math context menus (right click somewhere in a math zone) for changing the display characteristics of math objects, like fractions and integrals. For example context menus offer options to convert a stacked fraction into a linear fraction and vice versa. Another post describes math context menus for aligning and/or manually breaking equations on binary and relational operators.

In particular, the second post shows how one can align a sequence of equations separated from one another by soft paragraph marks (Shift+Enter, instead of Enter). For this approach, one chooses the “Align at this character” option for the operator to be used for alignment in each equation. This method is quite general in that binary, relational, and punctuation characters can be used as alignment operators, even when inside math objects.

A useful alternative context menu option not described in those posts allows one to align a set of equations with the single menu choice, “Align at =”. This is less general than marking the alignment operators explicitly, since in each equation the first relational operator that’s not inside a math object is used. To access the option, select two or more equations separated from one another by soft paragraph marks. Then right click anywhere on the selected equations and choose the “Align at =” option. Here “=” is the most common choice for aligning multiple equations. But the “=” just stands for the first relational operator, which could be, for example, “≥” instead of “=”. Note that two or more whole equations have to be selected for the “Align at =” option to be offered. If the last equation is only partly selected, the option won’t appear.

The math context menus also include the options “Professional”, “Linear”, and “Save as New Equation…” The “Professional” option converts any linear format text that is selected in the math zone into the corresponding built-up “professional” form. If no text is selected, the whole math zone is build up. Conversely, the “Linear” option converts built-up math objects to the “built-down” linear format. The “Save as New Equation” option saves the selected equation(s) in the Equation drop down list appearing at the left side of the math ribbon. This gives you an easy way to insert them from the math ribbon. Alternatively you can add a Math Autocorrect entry with the linear format for any math expression/equation you’d like to insert via typed entry. To see this last method in action, try typing \quadratic <space> <space> in a math zone. This inserts the solutions to the quadratic equation.