When working with an Equation object in MS Word 2007 or newer, is there a way to force a line break inside the equation?

Using Shift Enter causes a line break, but it also breaks the equation, i.e. then I have two equations instead of one. It seems that some operations (alignments) still operate on them as a unit, whereas the operation of converting from display formula to inline formula treats them as separate equations. I wonder whether this is serious.


When in doubt, right-click. The context menu for equations includes a "manual break" command.

  • 3
    This worked for Word 2007. According @RaymondAnderson’s answer, there is no such command in Word 2010. Neither is there such a command in Word 2013. – Jukka K. Korpela Apr 22 '14 at 6:28
  • Correction: it works in Word 2013, too – but only for a display equation. In text equations, there does not seem to be any way to force a line break, or prevent line breaks. – Jukka K. Korpela Apr 22 '14 at 6:44

I just had the same problem, but solved it differently because I could not figure out the "manual break". I might be on Word 2010. My solution was to insert a matrix, one cell for each line that I required. I needed 5 lines, but more can be inserted.

Raymond Anderson Johannesburg

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    What a crappy way to insert a line – daaxix Sep 20 '16 at 3:54

I was trying to do this in OneNote 2016 and there is no manual break. Usually, I'd just use ShiftEnter, but this time my equation was supposed to be multiline within curly braces, but with the curly braces only being as high as the text.

{imagine this
 as how I wanted it to

So what I did is:

  1. select equation that is already written
  2. right click it -> Linear
  3. insert newlines by pressing Enter
  4. select it again, right click -> professional
  5. fix all symbols that are now broken

It'd probably be recommendable to just use multiple equations in this case, each on a new line, but I didn't want to retype or copy/paste multiple times.


If you are trying to display equations on multiple lines, like for a linear algebra problem, here is what I do:

In the equation editor go to "Brackets", and choose one of the "Stacks and Cases" options. Or, you can use the piecewise function option if you want a nice curly bracket on the left.

This will give you however many you choose stacked boxes, into each of which you can enter an equation. You may have to increase the font size as it may shrink when you save.

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