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Is there a function of MS Word that enables users to solve basic math problems, in this case addition or subtraction? I use its platform for a budget and of course I could just use a calculator but it would be more convenient if I could solve it all in one place.

For instance:

(6.75 + 12.65 + 27.35)

Sorry for the simplicity of this question. Wondering if MS Word had a functionality like this of some sort?

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A word processor as a spreadsheet? Really? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Mar 19 '12 at 7:09
Yeah, I know, I'm old school. – Christopher Chipps Dec 20 '12 at 21:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, Word can do this (the Equation Editor is built in; the computation and graphing stuff is part of a free add-in from Microsoft). While Tom's suggestion of Wolfram Alpha is nice, it's not really usable without an internet connection. This will work offline, and can be almost as capable (graphing included!).

Note that these directions are for Word 2010, but the add-in mentioned supports Word 2007. Some tabs and buttons might be in slightly different locations or have slightly different names.

  1. Install the Microsoft Mathematics Add-In for Word and OneNote.

  2. Insert an equation using the Equation Editor. This can be done with Alt + = or by clicking the Equation button in the Symbols section on the Insert tab.

    Screenshot of insert equation

  3. You should now have this box.

    Screenshot of empty equation box

  4. Enter your equation. Make sure the box is selected in some way, clicking inside it is enough. Note that for addition use +, for subtraction use -, for division use / and for multiplication use *. If you want a nice division symbol, use \div. If you want a nice multiplication symbol (x), use \times (with a space after it). Just x inserts the pronumeral x, as used in algebra. This can also do much more advanced things, such as display (but not calculate) \theta, display \infty (infinity). It can also display and calculate things like \sqrt(4), and sin(45). It also supports order of operations, and can actually rearrange algebraic formulae quite nicely. There are many neat little tricks you can learn over time, or ask even on SuperUser about.

    Screenshot of filled equation box

  5. Again, make sure the equation box is selected in some way. Go to the Mathematics tab (after installing the add-in), click Compute, then Calculate.

    Screenshot of clicking calculate Screenshot of calculation result

The free Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 program can also do the same thing, and is even more powerful. It also supports copying equations directly from Word's built in Equation Editor (again, the add-in only adds computation and graphing capabilities), and you can copy its output directly back into Word. I'm reasonably sure the underlying engine for the program and add-in is the same, actually. They both rely on .NET 3.5 SP1.

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You can actually enter very simple formulae into tables in MS Word. Use the Table/Formula menu when you are in the table cell where you want the result. You can even use functions like average, count, product, sum. But it's really much, much easier to use a linked spreadsheet.

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No, you can type exquations in Microsoft Word but you can't execute them.

What you want is provided in Microsoft Excel, at best you might be able to include a Excel Worksheet in your Microsoft Word document; however, I would think you'd rather want to use Microsoft Excel instead.

Or use Wolfram Alpha if you are making your homework in Word and need some place to copy your equations to to get solutions for them, it recognizes the complex equations quite well. Sometimes needs you to fix something that it misinterpreted...

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