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How do you create equations in Word 2010 that are automatically numbered with the equation number centered vertically on the equation and right justified? While a number of references have discussed the use of three column tables, finding a step by step proceedure kicked my but for some time.

Example Equation with Numbering

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Personally, I would recommend using LaTeX if you are writing a technical document with lot of equations. It will number the equations for you and there are many other benefits of LaTeX as well. – tumchaaditya Mar 20 '14 at 16:52
    
Tried that a number of ways for my dissertation. Doesn't help if your advisor prefers word and its generally a PITA to meet specific formatting unless you want to spend a lot of time with the initial learning curve. The new equation editor in Word 2010 makes equations much easier in word. With the unfortunate exception of equation numbers. :( – R Schultz Nov 28 '14 at 14:59
    
Use a hammer for a nail, and a screwdriver for a screw, even if your adviser prefer to hammer that screw into whatever material you're using. – Holene Dec 21 '15 at 11:15
    
Whether it is right or wrong, doing what your advisor prefers can be the difference between graduating in a timely manner and not graduating at all. – R Schultz Mar 24 at 4:23
up vote 64 down vote accepted
+50

You can create a template that can be used to automatically generate the table and equation with number to the right:

  1. InsertTable → 3x1.

  2. Right click table → Table Properties.

  3. In Table Tab, Check Preferred WidthPercent → 100.

  4. In Column Tab, set preferred width to 7%, 86% and 7% for 1st 2nd and 3rd column respectively.

    These values work well for Times New Roman 12pt equation numbers. (Other percentages will work provided they add up to 100%.)

  5. Click Ok.

  6. InsertEquation into center column (type in current equation or placeholder).

  7. Click ReferencesInsert Caption.

    Select Label: Equation
    Position: Above or Below

  8. Adjust numbering as desired.

  9. Cut and past number from above location to right column of equation table.

  10. Right-align text in right column.

  11. Center equation column.

  12. Highlight the entire table.

  13. Turn off borders.

  14. Re-highlight the entire table.

  15. Select InsertEquationSave Selection to Equation Gallery.

Now if you want to insert an equation with automatic numbering in standard journal/conference paper format, just select the template you have made from the equation gallery and it will insert it into the document as desired.

Equation numbers will be automatically updated and references can be made to them using the References → Cross Reference option for equations.

NOTE: If you'd like to save this newly formatted equation as a keyboard shortcut (like pressing the Alt and + keys simultaneously in order to create a new equation), you can do so by going to FileOptionsCustomize RibbonCustomize Shortcuts and then selecting "Building Blocks". Search for your newly created equation template in the right list, then assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

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THANK YOU! Nobody else on the web, so far as I can see, has had the idea of cut/paste the caption - the unoffical MS solution is to use a numbered list, and others have suggested bookmarks... This would deserve a bounty if I had enough rep to spare ;-) – Simon W Dec 18 '13 at 11:51
    
In step 4, you meant to write 86% rather than 84%, right? 7+7 = 14. +86 = 100. Anyway, thank you! This is great! – StormRyder Apr 21 '14 at 7:21
    
Works fairly well in Word 2013 however the table will have borders when inserting from the template. Also you have to set the table's Preferred width in the Table Properties when setting the column widths otherwise it will become tiny. – kjbartel Mar 25 '15 at 8:46
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This is an awesome explanation of why Word should not be considered a desktop typesetting program "superseding LaTex" :) – texnic Nov 29 '15 at 11:42
    
using tables might be a problem with editorials when it comes to publishing – toto_tico Jan 24 at 0:03

This is a perennial question so I hope you will not mind me submitting another answer.

The problem with the "table" approach is that it breaks the paragraph. This can cause spacing issues if your equation is part of a continuous sentence and your paragraphs have spacing before or after them. It also means that wrapping is done rather poorly for long equations (the usual preference in journals is that, if the equation is the width of the column, the number should appear below the equation right aligned instead of breaking the equation). Finally it does nothing to solve the problem that you wish to have punctuation marks instantly after your Display equation in the normal paragraph font.

My solution is to insert a style separator instantly after the equation. On Windows, use Ctrl-Alt-Enter to insert a style separator. (On a Mac this is not available, but if you open a document created in the Windows version of Word you can copy the style separator into Mac). Then you may insert a tab (with a final right-aligned tab stop already created) and the appropriate equation number autotext. After the equation number you should insert a full paragraph break and not a line break, but at least in Word 2012 the paragraph break is treated as though it were a line break for layout purposes. This may be a bug.

If you want your equations neatly aligned at the equals sign, this is, to my knowledge not possible using this work-around. One way around this is to write your punctuation inside the equations, inside double quotation marks. The Equation tool converts this into free form text which may be placed in whichever font you prefer. I also use this method when I want several small display equations on one line separated by commas or the expression ", and ". However, you cannot number these equations, or at least you can only number the final equation in the set.

The result, with hidden paragraph marks on, looks something like this. Microsoft Word 2012 some equations

[Note I have also changed the default behaviour of line breaks in fully justified text so that the final line before the line break is not fully justified.]

The style separators here are the thin dotted lines at the end of equations (2.27)–(2.29). Mac Word does not have the proper glyphs to display style separators with a proper picture as you would find in Word for Windows.

Inserting a line break instead of a paragraph break after the equation number seems to cause buggy layout behaviour on my machine.

Unfortunately the end of the sentence after your equation, on the new line, looks as though it is a fresh sentence to the spelling and grammar checker, probably because of the paragraph mark. I have accepted this and resorted to using "ignore" very frequently.

There is a final caveat: when referring to the equations later, the tab before the equation seems to show up with the reference number. You can avoid this by giving an explicit field switch of the form \#(0.0x);(0.0x).

I have been using this approach in a document I am writing which is now up to 160 pages containing a few hundred equations so I think it is relatively robust, once you get it to work.

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I like this answer. Could you please expand on pagaraph 3? I.e., how do you enter a style separator (a link is OK), etc? Just so that the answer is more self-contained. – Leo Nov 17 '15 at 16:55
    
@Leo On Word for Windows, Ctrl-Alt-Enter. You cannot insert one on Mac, at least not on the pre-2015 version of Word. However if you open a document that already contains a Style Separator, you can copy and paste it and use it on a Mac as normal. – Calchas Nov 17 '15 at 16:58
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Thanks, Calchas. I was able to insert the Style Separator, which in Word 2013 looks like the Paragraph sign in a little dotted box. But I was unable to get the rest of the recipe to work. The characters typed don't seem to go anywhere unless I type another enter, which then sends them to the next page. – Leo Nov 18 '15 at 2:44
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Huge thanks for the style separator hint! I am fed up with being unable to add a comma or a period after the displayed equation. – texnic Nov 29 '15 at 11:44

Personaly, I use the method as described in the answer of @R Schultz. But if you are specifically looking for a tool to do it, look at Kutools. Here they also describe an alternative way to insert model numbers without using their tool.

I have not used Kutools, so no idea how well it functions.

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I usually just press TAB (the same number of times on both sides of the equation) until the number is at the righmost position.

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Trouble with doing this without a table is that Word will automatically change the equation type from "display" to "inline". Which doesn't look as good :-( – Simon W Dec 18 '13 at 10:41

Microsoft already answered your question: you may find an extensive tutorial dedicated to equations in this article:

  • KB158918 How to Insert a Caption Next to an Equation or Object

There are several solutions posted there, for both left-, center- and right-side numbering and even a samble VBA solution. It's a little bit old, true, but basics never changed that much over the years.

You can also read through a less specific, but more up-to-date and illustrated caption tutorial. It is a general tutorial, but applies pretty well to equations - especially in pair with the KB article.

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Note that KB158918 applies to Word 97, which uses the old Equation Editor. The article is not useful for Word 2010. – user362277 Aug 27 '14 at 19:18

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