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Welcome to Microsoft PowerPoint Tips & Tricks

How to display equations and formulas in PowerPoint

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Sometimes, you need to display a complex formula or equation in PowerPoint. For years, PowerPoint has had this capability, but not many people know about it. The feature is called the Equation Editor and since PowerPoint 2010, it has been incorporated into the ribbon. Before that, the Equation Editor was a separate window.

To access the Equation Editor in PowerPoint 2007 and earlier, choose Insert, Object. In the Insert Object dialog box, scroll down and select Microsoft Equation 3.0. You’ll see a window that looks like this.


In PowerPoint 2010 and later, click the Insert tab, then choose Equation in the Symbols group. You’ll see 2 new ribbon tabs. The one that you use to create the equation is the Equation Tools Design tab. Here’s what it looks like.


The principles of creating an equation are the same in both systems, but components are in different places. I’ll show you the newer system. For the older system, you’ll see a text box. For items that you can type, just type. For other items, click the box that has the type of component you need. A set of options will drop down; choose the one you need.

In both cases, once you choose a component, new text boxes may appear so that you can type more of the equation.

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