Answered By: Katie Hutchison
Last Updated: May 08, 2020     Views: 295547

For Office 365 support on entering an equation in MS Word, please review this step-by-step guide:

If you are operating in a local version of MS Word on your PC, you can try one of these options:

Option 1:

If you have the Lucida Sans Unicode font installed (check the font list in Word) you are in luck.

When you want to insert a symbol, click on the Insert menu and choose Symbol.  In the font box select Lucida Sans Unicode.  You will see a very rich selection of specialized characters available for use in Mathematical Operators.  Here are a few that might be useful.

⇌       equilibrium symbol                 code no.         21CC

¯        anion charge                                                00AF 

°         degree symbol                                             00b0

℃       degrees Celsius                                            2103

√       radical                                                          221A

→       reaction arrow                                              2192

∆       increment                                                     2206

≈       is approximately equal to                              2248

Now, here is an even easier way to get the equilibrium symbol.  With the cursor at the insertion point where you want the symbol to appear, type 21cc, then press ALT and X simultaneously.  If you have the Lucida Sans Unicode font available, this will type the equilibrium symbol without going to the insert symbol menu.  This method will work with any of the symbols above, substituting the appropriate code before typing ALT+X.

Option 2:

For MS Word 2007/2010/2013: use the equation feature, designed for math, but works okay for chemistry.

Go to the insert tab.

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Click on the equation button on the far right.

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Here are also shortcut commands to render most common things. For example, underscore _ creates a subscript and a caret ^ creates a super script. You have access to a wide range of arrows from a pull down menu, but -> will give you a simple right arrow (although it is not very long).

To get a long arrow, click on the operator button and choose the arrow with the word "yields" written over it under common operator structures.

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Click on the word "yields" and replace it with as many spaces as you need to create an arrow of whatever length you want.

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Finally, finish your equation.

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For older versions of MS Word, go to the insert menu and click on equation, which launches the Equation Editor Program (you can also find this program on your computer by searching for eqnedt.exe), which gives you the same ability to create equations.

Comments (18)

  1. Thank you Katie! You saved a chemist life!
    by Marcelo Lima on Oct 19, 2017
  2. That works, actually, there is no other possible way excluding some minor modifications. The problem is it does take a very big deal of time to write a simple reaction. Everyone actually needs an add-in, where you first enter reactant-product number, reaction type (kinetic or equilibrium) and automatically it will insert superscript-subscript enabled units with an appropriate arrow between them. We really need this thing.
    by Guray on Apr 26, 2018
  3. nice it was cool im interested in chemistry
    by jaden on Aug 02, 2018
  4. I love these shortcuts, thanks a lot
    by James on Sep 05, 2018
  5. Guray - there is such an addon. Only for office in Windows.
    by Jumala on Dec 07, 2018
  6. There is third method to this which is math auto-correct. This method is similar to LaTeX. for eg to get degree symbol just type \degree followed by space and you are done.
    Since I don't know how to write math in comment, i am posting some links that will be beneficial for all. (Complete guide on how to type equation really fast using method similar to LaTeX in Ms Word) (Place where you can find lot of shortcut for Ms Word)
    by Aniket Prakash Gupta on Feb 15, 2019
  7. Hi Aniket Prakash - this is brilliant - just what I came to his website looking for - :) Many Thanks
    by Mr E on Apr 17, 2019
  8. Thank you so much Katie.
    by Kader on May 28, 2019
  9. Thanks! This is really helpful! :-)
    by Vyomaan on Sep 15, 2019
  10. Yeah, but i how do you write the equations in the form where X is an element Z is the proton number and A is the nucleon number in word
    by Jamal on Apr 09, 2020
  11. We just added a YouTube tutorial. Hopefully this will help!
    by Walsh University Library on Apr 09, 2020
  12. thank you so much it was a great help
    by anice on May 18, 2020
  13. Thank you so so much...You helped me corrected by biochemistry teacher ..
    by Wana Jnr on Jun 01, 2020
  14. thank you so much, this was helpful
    by Lyne Janet on Feb 25, 2021
  15. great
    by gero gero on Jul 09, 2021
  16. Thanks a lot.Appreciate your help.
    by Altez on Mar 06, 2022
  17. thank you very much. it is very useful.
    by lasuu on Jul 25, 2022
  18. Thank you for providing such great information. I really like that, I have some suggestions you might like Moose Jackets
    by Moose Jackets on Sep 19, 2023

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