Mathematical Equations in Google Docs

If your particular usage of Google Drive involves mathematics, you may want to insert mathematical equations into your documents.

Here are the steps to add an equation to your document:

Click the Insert menu and select Equation.

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Click image to enlarge

Select the mathematical symbol you want to add from one of the dropdown menus on the new toolbar that appears: Choose from Greek lettersGeneral operatorsComparison and inclusion operatorsOperators with variables, or Arrows:

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Click image to enlarge

Click the symbol you’d like to use, then in the equation box add numbers or substitute variables until the equation term is as you want it. You can add superscripts and subscripts by pressing ^ or _ respectively prior to typing your character. It’s worth practising a little, as the interface can be a little tricky to master.

If you’d like to edit the equation after you’ve completed it, you can click the equation box within the document and make the required changes. (If the equation toolbar isn’t being displayed, click on View > Show equation toolbar.)

You can also use LaTeX-style text shortcodes for your math symbols: for example, if you type “\pi” in an equation followed by a space:

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Click image to enlarge

Google Docs will convert this into the Pi symbol:

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Click image to enlarge

You can find more information about the LaTeX codes here.

As a final tip, to make editing easier, and the final display in your document clearer for your readers, consider highlighting your equation(s) and changing to a larger font size by using the Font size drop down from the document toolbar.

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Click image to enlarge

UPDATE: For another way to insert equations into your document, see this post.