This is an update to the second most popular item on this blog, Maths symbols in Word (Mac).
Are you drawing mathematical diagrams in Microsoft Word? You might even be achieving success doing this; once you’ve worked out how to wrangle Microsoft apps to do what you want, they can be powerful. But, for drawing mathematical diagrams there are better options.
FX Draw by Efofex is the application for drawing static diagrams for inclusion in worksheets, assessment tasks etc. The one down-side of this software is that there is no Mac version. (The rest of the Efofex MathPack is worth the money as well)
Some of the methods in this article do not work in Microsot Word for Mac 2011. Please see the updated post Mathematical Symbols in Word for Mac for a screencast describing the current best method (in my opinion).
Creating a maths worksheet in Microsoft Word without using the proper symbols does not present well – I’m sure you’ve seen 2 * 2 = 4 or 2 × 2 = 4 rather than 2 × 2 = 4. My previous post, Maths symbols in Word is one of the most popular on this site. In that post, I gave shortcuts for inserting mathematical symbols into Word – the post was specific to the Windows version of Word. As I’ve been a Mac user for a year, it’s time to make a similar post for Mac users.
Many teachers use Microsoft Word to create worksheets. It’s not designed for the job, there are better options but Word is the easiest to learn and has the greatest compatibility – making it easy to share documents. One of the problems I see is that many people don’t know how to insert symbols into their document. For example, x (the letter) is not a good substitue for × (the multiplication symbol). This post shows you how to insert symbols like ×, ÷ and π quickly, on most computers (a Windows PC running Microsoft office).
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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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