The Equation Editor Menu Bar
The Equation Editor menu bar includes the following menus, along with the standard File, Edit and Help menus.
The equation editor allows you to view your equation in one of three different ways while you are editing it—100%, 200%, or 400%.
If you can view the equation at 100%, you are viewing it the way the equation will be displayed on the visual test. This is also the size the equation will be when printed.
For some elements of the equation, such as superscripts and subscripts, it is much easier to see them during entry and editing if the equation is magnified to 200% or 400%.
The default setting for the equation editor for PC is 100%. If you change the zoom setting while editing an equation, the new setting will be retained by the equation editor from session to session until you change it again.
The zoom setting has no effect on the way that the equation is displayed or sized once it has been recorded and placed in the question or narrative. If you want a particular equation to be larger permanently, you need to change the default sizes in the equation preferences.
Often an equation will need to be entered on multiple lines.
When this is true, you will need to decide how to align the slots in the pile (in the above sample question, there are three). A pile is a group of slots in the same template (or in the sample question above, not in any template at all) which were created by pressing the Enter key. In the above example, Enter was pressed after the ")" at the end of each of the first two lines.
A pile can be aligned in any of the following ways:
- left aligned (default)
- center aligned
- right aligned
- aligned at equals
- aligned at decimal point
Until you have multiple slots in the same pile, the alignment changes are not noticeable. If you have inserted a matrix template you can also set the alignment for the individual cells of the matrix or table.
The equation editor saves you time and effort by making decisions as to which style to use for a particular mathematical element. You may also use the Style menu to set the style of a particular section of your equation. Although each style listed below is predefined, you can set the defaults yourself by changing the equation preferences.
The Style menu has the following options:
- Math - This is the default style setting. For many equations, you will never need to change this setting. When the default style is Math, the equation editor will format functions (sin, cos, etc.), variables (x, y, z), greek symbols (a, b, c, A, B, C), other math symbols (+, -, =), and numbers (0-9) automatically as you type them. With this style, characters are also spaced out by looking at the context in which they are used.
- Text - This is the style you would choose if you need to enter a text phrase in the middle of an equation.
- Function - This is the style used automatically for mathematical functions like sin, cos, log, max, etc. If you use a function that the equation editor does not recognize, you can assign the correct style by highlighting the function name and choosing Function from the Style menu. The default style for function names is Times New Roman, Regular.
- Variable - Likewise, if the equation editor determines that one of the variables that you are using in your equation has the same name as a common function call, it will assign it the Function style. To override this and keep the appearance looking like a variable, choose Variable from the Style menu. The default style for a variable is Times New Roman, Italic.
- Greek - If you set the style to Greek, any alphabetic key (A-Z, a-z) that you key will appear as the corresponding Greek character. If you cursor around, this mode will be canceled and additional alphabetic characters keyed will appear as normal. The default style for lowercase Greek characters is Symbol, Italic and for uppercase Greek characters is Symbol, Regular.
If you want to key just the next character as a Greek character, it is better to use the shortcut Ctrl+G.
Matrix-Vector - If you set the style to “Matrix-Vector”, any alphabetic key (A-Z, a-z) that you key will appear in Matrix-vector style (typically bold and non-italic).
The size of text, symbols, and templates in the equation editor are preset. There are five predefined sizes which are referred to below. You can choose to let the equation editor handle sizing text for you, or you can choose to set the size of a range of text yourself by highlighting the text and choosing one of the options shown below. You can make changes to the default sizes yourself by changing the equation preferences.
The Size menu has the following options:
- Full - This is the default size for text and symbols keyed in the “main” or primary slot (default of 11 pt).
- Subscript / superscript - This is the default size for superscripts, subscripts, limits, reduced fractions, and arrow labels (default of 7 pt).
- Small subscript / superscript - This is the default size for superscripts, subscripts, limits, reduced fractions, and arrow labels applied to parts of the equation which were already subscript (default of 5 pt). This is the smallest size that the equation editor will automatically use.
- Symbol - This is the default size for the symbol used in summation templates, integral templates, and product/set theory templates (default of 18 pt).
- Small Symbol - This is the default size for the symbol used in summation templates, integral templates, and product/set theory templates in parts of the equation which were already subscript (default of 11 pt).
- Other size - With this option you can set the size of any character or symbol in the equation directly. Allowable sizes range from 4-99 pt.