Use Equation Editor in Excel

To document mathematical formulas on a worksheet, you can insert or edit an equation as an object by using Microsoft Equation Editor.

Equation

You build the equation by selecting symbols from the Equation toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.) and by typing variables and numbers. In the top row of the Equation toolbar, you can choose from more than 150 mathematical symbols. In the bottom row, you can choose from a variety of templates or frameworks that contain symbols, such as fractions, integrals, and summations. The Equation Editor provides symbols that are not available on the keyboard (for example, Greek letters and the square root symbol) in a logical grouping so that you can easily build equations.

You can also create an equation in Microsoft Office Word and then copy and insert that equation object into your worksheet. You may find that the Equation Editor in Word makes it easier to find the symbols and structures that you want. Word also provides a gallery of commonly used equations that you can easily copy and paste into your worksheet.

Excel formulas and their similar math formulas

In the preceding picture, cells A2 and A3 contain Excel formulas that return values. Equation objects that express the same function in mathematical terms are embedded on top of the adjacent cells B2:C2 (a formula that calculates the future value of 10000 at 5 percent interest compounded annually over a three year period) and on top of cell B3 (a formula that calculates the square root of 729). These objects are not contained in the cells, and don't perform any action  — you can think of them as images of text that describe the formulas in the cells in column A.

What do you want to do?


Insert an equation with Equation Editor

  1. Click anywhere on a worksheet where you want to insert the equation.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Object.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. In the Object dialog box, click the Create New tab.
  2. In the Object type box, click Microsoft Equation 3.0.

If Equation Editor is not available, you may need to install it.

ShowInstall Equation Editor

  1. Exit all programs.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
  3. In the Currently installed programs box, click Microsoft Office <suite> 2007 or Microsoft Office Excel 2007, depending on whether you installed Excel as part of Office or as an individual program, and then click Change.
  4. On the Change your installation of Microsoft Office <suite> 2007. screen, click Add or Remove Features, and then click Continue.
  5. On the Installation Options tab, click the expand indicator (+) next to Office Tools.
  6. Click the arrow next to Equation Editor, and then click Run from My Computer.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. After the Equation Editor installation is complete, restart Office Excel 2007.

  1. In the Object dialog box, click OK.
  2. Use the symbols, templates, or frameworks on the Equation toolbar to edit the equation.

If you need help, do the following:

  1. Select and right-click the equation object.
  2. Point to Equation Object and then click Open.
  3. Click Equation Editor Help Topics on the Help menu.
  1. To return to the worksheet, click any empty cell.

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Edit an equation in Equation Editor

  1. On a worksheet, double-click the equation object that you want to edit.
  2. Use the symbols, templates, or frameworks on the Equation toolbar to edit the equation.

If you need help, do the following:

  1. Select and right-click the equation object.
  2. Point to Equation Object and then click Open.
  3. Click Equation Editor Help Topics on the Help menu.
  1. To return to the worksheet, click any empty cell.

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Create an equation in Word

  1. Click anywhere in a Word document.
  2. On the Insert tab, in Symbols group, click Equation.

This displays the Equation Tools, adding a Design tab.

  1. On the Design tab, use the symbols and the structures to build your equation.
  2. To copy the equation, select it and press CTRL+C.
  3. To paste the equation into your worksheet, activate the worksheet and then press CTRL+V.

 Tip   You can preview a gallery of built-in equations by clicking the arrow at the bottom of the Equation command (Insert tab, Symbols group or Design tab, Tools group).

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Applies to:
Excel 2007