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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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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.

  • This doesn't work for the latest version of Word (2019). – Modelmat Oct 15 '19 at 7:32
  • @Modelmat Consider mrseanong.com/video-blog/…. But there's no guarantees, as this add-on appears to be long discontinued. – Bob Oct 15 '19 at 7:42
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It is very easy to compute simple arithmetic expressions in Word 2010. You need to use a Formula field as described below:

  1. Press [Ctrl][F9] to insert a blank field, a pair of braces { }.
  2. Type the following: =6.75+12.65+27.35
  3. Note that there should a blank space after the left brace { and before the right brace }.
  4. Press [F9] to update the result.

If everything goes well, you should see 46.75.

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So, if you don't care about the answer being inserted into the document automatically and you just want to know the answer to a simple equation already in a Word document, I think this it the best out-of-the-box, offline, no equation box required, no addins required option: https://www.howtogeek.com/267279/how-to-perform-simple-calculations-in-microsoft-word/

When you need to do a quick calculation, normally you would think to use the Windows calculator. However, if you’re working in Microsoft Word, you can calculate simple equations typed into your document using Word’s not-so-obvious Calculate command. To use the Calculate command, we need to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. To do this, click the down arrow button on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar and select “More Commands” from the drop-down menu. Select “All Commands” from the “Choose commands from” drop-down list. In the list of commands on the left, scroll down to the “Calculate” command, select it, and then click “Add”. The Calculate command is added to the list on the right. Click “OK” to accept the change. Now you can type in and then select a simple equation (do not select the equals sign) in your Word document and click the “Formula” button. For some reason, the button is not called Calculate.

You do have to select/highlight the text you want it to evaluate, if you miss part of the selection then it doesn't get rolled into the answer. That wasn't quite explicitly clear in the instructions.

Word computation quick access equation and answer

If anyone knows the background of this magical button, or knows how to get it through a different means other than the quick access toolbar addition, that would be good to know.

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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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