How to Insert Equations in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Inserting equations in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process. Simply head to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Equation’ under the ‘Symbols’ group, and choose from the built-in equations or create your own. Once you’ve added an equation, you can modify it by clicking on it and using the ‘Design’ tab that appears.

After inserting an equation, you can edit, format, and align it just like any other text. You can also add it to the gallery of equations for future use.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to insert a mathematical equation into your Word document? Whether you’re a student, teacher, or professional, the need to include complex formulas and symbols can arise in any field. Microsoft Word, a widely used word processing software, provides a convenient feature for this very purpose, allowing users to add equations in a few simple steps.

Knowing how to insert equations in Word is vital for anyone who deals with scientific or mathematical documentation. It’s a skill that enhances your document’s professionalism and ensures clarity in presenting quantitative information. This functionality is essential for academic papers, lab reports, technical manuals, and financial presentations, to name a few. So let’s dive in and learn how to master this handy feature!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Insert Equations in Microsoft Word

The following steps will guide you through the process of adding and customizing equations in your Word document.

Step 1: Open the ‘Insert’ tab

Click on the ‘Insert’ tab in the Word ribbon to get started.

In the ‘Insert’ tab, you’ll find various options, but for equations, focus on the ‘Symbols’ group, which is usually found on the right side of the ribbon.

Step 2: Click on ‘Equation’

Under the ‘Symbols’ group, click on ‘Equation.’

Once you click on ‘Equation,’ a dropdown menu appears with a selection of built-in equations and the option to insert a new one.

Step 3: Choose an equation

Select an equation from the built-in list or click on ‘Insert New Equation’ to create your own.

If you choose to create your own equation, a new ‘Design’ tab will appear with tools for building your equation.

Step 4: Edit your equation

Click on the inserted equation to modify it, using the ‘Design’ tab.

The ‘Design’ tab provides a variety of symbols, structures, and layouts to customize your equation to fit your needs.

Step 5: Add to Equation Gallery

If you wish, add your custom equation to the gallery for easy access in the future.

Right-click on the equation and select ‘Save as New Equation…’ to add it to the gallery under the ‘Equation’ dropdown menu.


Easy to UseThe equation editor in Word is user-friendly and requires no additional software or technical know-how.
Wide Range of SymbolsWord provides an extensive library of mathematical symbols and structures to cover most equation needs.
CustomizableUsers can edit and format equations, changing font, size, and color to match the rest of the document.


Limited CustomizationWhile Word offers a range of options, it may not have every specialized symbol needed for more advanced equations.
Learning CurveNew users may require some time to get familiar with the equation editor and its functionalities.
Formatting IssuesComplex equations may cause formatting issues, particularly when converting documents to other formats.

Additional Information

While you now know the basics of inserting equations in Word, there’s a bit more to explore to become a power user. For instance, did you know that Word has a linear format for entering equations using a combination of keywords and math autocorrect codes? This can be a huge time-saver for those who are comfortable with typing equations.

Additionally, Word’s equation editor is compatible with LaTeX syntax, making it easier for users familiar with this typesetting system to input their equations. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use the equation editor, the more efficient you’ll become. So go ahead, give it a try, and elevate your documents with professional mathematical expressions!


  1. Open the ‘Insert’ tab.
  2. Click on ‘Equation’.
  3. Choose an equation or create a new one.
  4. Edit your equation using the ‘Design’ tab.
  5. Save your custom equation to the gallery if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use LaTeX in Word to insert equations?

Yes, Word supports LaTeX syntax in the equation editor, allowing users familiar with LaTeX to input equations directly.

Can I save custom equations for future use?

Absolutely! Right-click on the equation and select ‘Save as New Equation…’ to add it to your gallery of equations.

Are there keyboard shortcuts for inserting equations?

Yes, pressing ‘Alt’ + ‘=’ simultaneously will insert a new equation at the cursor’s position.

Can I insert equations in Word Online?

Yes, Word Online also includes an equation editor, though it may have fewer features than the desktop version.

How can I align multiple equations?

Use the ‘Align at’ feature in the ‘Design’ tab to align multiple equations at the equal sign or another specific character.


Inserting equations in Microsoft Word might seem daunting at first, but with the right knowledge and a bit of practice, it becomes a breeze. The ability to add complex mathematical expressions to your documents can significantly enhance the clarity and professionalism of your work. Whether you’re an academic, scientist, or business professional, mastering this function will undoubtedly add value to your skillset.

So, go ahead and experiment with different equations, familiarize yourself with the editor, and before you know it, you’ll be adding equations like a pro! And remember, the more you use it, the easier it becomes. Happy equation editing!