Math in Office

User, developer, and accessibility info on math editing/display in Microsoft Office and Windows. New features and specifications of the RichEdit editor. Getting OfficeMath onto web apps

RichEdit Font Binding
RichEdit Font Binding
Suppose a user pastes some plain text into a document. In principle, the text can contain any Unicode character. That includes virtually all characters used in the current languages of the world along with many ancient scripts and a plethora of symbols, mathematical and otherwise, that don’t belong to any language. The question arises as to ...
Switching from LaTeX to UnicodeMath Input Mode
Switching from LaTeX to UnicodeMath Input Mode
Here’s a bit of a puzzle. When the user enters “a/b” in LaTeX mode and formats it with the Enter key, the ‘/’ is marked as “nobuildup”. If the user then switches to UnicodeMath input mode and enters a space after the linear fraction containing the ‘/’, the fraction won’t build up, by design. If you delete the / and reenter ...
RichEdit HTML Support
RichEdit HTML Support
RichEdit has had limited HTML support for many years, but it wasn’t general enough to document publicly. A recent RichEdit client (to be described in a future post) needs better support, so we have been improving it. For example, we have added HTML copy/paste, images, and math (of course!) to the Microsoft Office riched20.dll. Ideally ...
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Cool Windows Math Hot Key
Cool Windows Math Hot Key
The Windows key is used in a bunch of useful hot keys. Probably my favorite is Windows+Shift+s, which lets you copy any rectangular area on your screen(s) to the clipboard. I use this hot key a lot in describing application UI and other objects on the screen such as those in this post. I also use Windows+x y to see system info such as the name...
Math Accessibility Trees
Math Accessibility Trees
This post discusses aspects of making mathematical equations accessible to blind people. Equations that are simple typographically, such as 𝐸 = 𝑚𝑐², are accessible with the use of standard left and right arrow key navigation and with each variable and two-dimensional construct being spoken or felt when the insertion point is moved to...
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Some UnicodeMath Enhancements
Some UnicodeMath Enhancements
In the years since UnicodeMath 3.1 was published, some improvements have been made. The converter that converts UnicodeMath to OfficeMath also converts LaTeX and Nemeth math braille to OfficeMath. The converter needs ways to provide OfficeMath math-object arguments even when these arguments are not marked as such in the math format. The ...
RichEdit Emoticon Shortcuts
RichEdit Emoticon Shortcuts
Seems many email messages and IM’s include emoji smiley faces like 😊. You just type :-) and you get 😉 whether you want it or not! About a year ago, the Microsoft 365 RichEdit started offering such a facility. This post describes the built-in emoticon shortcut strings and the corresponding emoji characters and the APIs for enabling the ...
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RichEdit Hot Keys
RichEdit Hot Keys
In the early microcomputer days, MS-DOS editors like pmate and teco depended on hot keys for navigation and other tasks. With the great support for the mouse, touch, and graphical interface aids like ribbons incorporated into later personal computers, the need for navigation hot keys was greatly diminished. But there are other hot keys that ...
MathML and OMML User Selection Attributes
MathML and OMML User Selection Attributes
Some assistive technology (AT) programs use MathML or OMML as conduits for generating math speech and braille from math-enabled apps. In addition, they would like to use these formats for editing math text as well as speaking it and displaying it on refreshable braille displays. To this end, the formats need selection attributes that identify ...
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Displaying Enlarged Images in Popup Window
Displaying Enlarged Images in Popup Window
RichEdit clients may want to zoom images that the user clicks on. To satisfy this need, the Microsoft 365 version of RichEdit supports the EN_IMAGE notification, which notifies the RichEdit client when the mouse moves over an image or the image is clicked on. The client can then display an enlarged image in a new window by sending the RichEdit...
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