In Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows, Alt+* is a shortcut key for adding an equation.

However, there is no separate key for * on my laptop keyboard. I have to use Shift+8 to insert '*', yet Alt+Shift+8 does not work for adding an equation.

What can I do to add an equation with a shortcut?

  • In my Word 2016, it is alt-=. – neuronet Jul 23 '18 at 16:53

For Microsoft Word (as well as PowerPoint) on Windows, you can use Alt+= to create a new equation at the cursor.


What can I do to use shortcut for adding an equation?

You can change the shortcut to a different key combination.

See below for instructions.

How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts in Word 2016

  1. On the File tab, choose Options.

    You see the Word Options dialog box.

  2. Go to the Customize Ribbon category.

  3. Click the Customize button (you can find it at the bottom of the dialog box next to the words “Keyboard Shortcuts”).

    You see the Customize Keyboard dialog box, as shown here.

    enter image description here

  4. In the Categories list, choose the category with the command to which you want to assign the keyboard shortcut.

    At the bottom of the list are the Macros, Fonts, Building Blocks, Styles, and Common Symbols categories.

  5. Choose the command name, macro, font, building block, style, or symbol name in the Commands list.

  6. In the Press New Shortcut Key box, type the keyboard shortcut.

    Press the actual keys. For example, if the shortcut is Ctrl+8, press the Ctrl key and the 8 key — don’t type out C-t-r-l- +8.

    If you try to assign a shortcut that has already been assigned, the words “Currently assigned to” and a command name appear below the Current Keys box. You can override the preassigned keyboard assignment by entering a keyboard assignment of your own.

  7. If you want the keyboard shortcut changes you make to apply to the document you’re working on, not to all documents created with the template you’re working with, open the Save Changes In drop-down list and choose your document’s name.

  8. Click the Assign button.

  9. When you finish assigning keyboard shortcuts, close the Customize Keyboard dialog box.

Source How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts in Word 2016

  • @sinni800 shrug - it solves the question asked by the OP. – DavidPostill Jul 18 '17 at 21:56

To create a shortcut for of 'adding an equation' in MS Office Word 2016

  1. after getting to Customize Keyboard either by:

    • following the step explained in DavidPostill answer
    • using the shortcut ALt + F ,T
    • Right click anywhere inside the Ribbon, then press Customize Ribonne
  2. press Customize keyboard

  3. then in Categories tab chose : All Commands (almost at the bottom of the list)
  4. and in the Commands tab select: EquationInsert.
  5. insert a short key
  6. Apply it using Assign it

enter image description here


For Mac OS type Control+= to add a new equation.

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