My Dad is writing a book with lots of Maths stuff. He wants to format some standard things like integrals with limits - and fractions with non-trivial-whatsits[sub]tm[/sub] on the top and bottom. Is there a way of doing this in Word without having to invoke TeXt (or whatever) formatting. If some special coding is necessary that is do-able, but if so where do we find documentation? Fixed character sets are not doing the job. Thanks in advance for any help and:

Insert -> Object -> Create New -> Microsoft Equation 3.0

This works under Office XP. I know that there’s a similar function in earlier version, although I’m not sure that the location in the menus is the same.

Also, the equation editor is not included as part of the basic install of Office. You may have to run the install program from the discs again and modify your installation to include it.

The MS Word equation editor is fine for calculus-level stuff, but if your dad’s going to be doing much beyond that, it’s probably worth looking at a TeX system.

Let me just add that, as far as I am aware, there is no math publisher in the world that wants anything but TeX, usually LaTeX source. Yes, it is hard to learn, but quite easy to use. Actually, I find Word a mystery. And the output of TeX is book quality rather than DTP quality. Incidentally, although there are commercial versions of TeX available, the standard distribution is free.

Also, TeX is actually very general, though its primary use is in typesetting technical documents. That said, virtually every computer system has a very good TeX system designed by a mathematician, so if you’re writing mathematics it’s easy to get a TeX system made to make your life easy. For instance, everyone in my departmentwho has to write his own papers thinks TeXShop on OS X is excellent.

I use TeX for my journal articles, but for my freshman level math textbook I use Word. (For TeX, I use TeXShop on a Mac, which I also recommend.) This goes back to when my coauthor convinced me to join him in the project; back then he didn’t want to learn TeX. The publisher converts whatever we give them into Quark, using MathType for the math – MathType is the beefed-up version of the Equation Editor built into Word. However, we got into the habit, back when we wrote the first edition, of using EQ fields, another way of formatting math in Word that predates Equation Editor/MathType. It allows us to type the math from the keyboard, something like typing TeX formulas. Our publisher tells us that they’re shifting over to using XML/MathML, so in some future edition we may be using an XML editor.