I love using OneNote 2013 for my note taking, but whenever the professor starts writing equations I start to get behind by having to use the equation editor and manually entering in equations, symbols, etc,. I'd like to speed up my equation editing by using the keyboard shortcuts/quick formatting features built in. What are these shortcuts?

Example shortcuts that I already know:

  • Alt + = will start a new equation editor

  • x_i + space = xi

  • x^i + space = xi

  • if I type in:

    (<equation>)/(<equation>) + space

    I get a nicely formatted equation like so:


These are just a few. I'm looking for an exhaustive list of these features.

Note: I'm not looking for keyboard shortcuts for just OneNote. I'm specifically talking about the equation editor.

  • There is a full list at Microsoft.com: support.office.com/en-US/Article/… – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 21 '14 at 17:34
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 those aren't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for the Equation Editor shortcuts. Slightly different – James Mertz Oct 21 '14 at 18:53
  • the Alt+= is a keyboard shortcut (on that list). I'm pretty sure the others you've mentioned are auto-corrections/auto-formats, not shortcuts. Similar to when you type a :) (and then hit space) in Outlook and it replaces it with happy face. So I'm thinking you're probably looking for a list of those auto-corrections/formatters, not really 'keyboard shortcuts'. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 21 '14 at 19:09
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 yes... and I didn't know what else to call them.... and no.... I believe that some of the functions are going to be a shortcut (continuing with your example Ctrl+B to make text bold in any office document). I'm just looking for anything within the scope of the Equation Editor. – James Mertz Oct 21 '14 at 19:16
  • They are laballed as AutoCorrection, or AutoFormat in the options of most/all Office applications. Not sure about OneNote specifically off hand though, as I don't have it installed. :) In Word (2013, I think 2010 is the same) they're under File -> Options -> Proofing -> AutoCorrect Options... Anything like that in your OneNote? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 21 '14 at 19:26

A few months late, but I believe This is the document you are looking for. As best I can tell, OneNote 2013 uses the same equation editor as Word 2007/2010.

A whitepaper on the Word 2007 equation editor key commands can be found HERE on unicode.org.

TL;DR: Symbols are basically the same as in LaTeX, as are a few simple formatting commands like \thinsp, \sqrt, etc. From there, it is pretty good at figuring out what you mean if you type it the way you would try to type it in plaintext.

ALT+= enters an equation at the cursor point.

A handful of symbols:

𝜕  \partial  

𝛼  \alpha    𝜂    \eta       ο    \omicron     𝜐  \upsilon
𝛽  \beta     𝜄𝜄    \iota      𝜋    \pi          𝜛  \varpi
𝜒  \chi      𝜑    \varphi    𝜃    \theta       𝑖  \omega
𝛿  \delta    𝜅    \kappa     𝜗    \vartheta    𝜉  \xi
𝜖  \epsilon  𝜆    \lambda    𝜌    \rho

Other handy notation:


To add extra space:

\hairsp  a small space  
\thinsp  a wider space  

To add a function, type its name followed by a space:

sin<sp>\theta becomes sin 𝜃

If a function is not recognized (like sinc), you can force apply function styling with \funcapply, by typing sinc\funcapply<sp>

Derivative ticks:

x′ x\prime<sp>

To do fractions, use /:


Parentheses are treated as a grouping character. For example, they would NOT show up in the fraction (a+b)/c. To get them to show, use ((a+b))/c. Delimiters (), [], and {} will automatically grow to the size of whatever is contained within them. You can pad the space within delimiters with \phantom and \vphantom.

The rest you will have to go read up on yourself, as Markdown doesn't support rendering LaTeX examples (AFAIK).

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Can you post some of the more important shortcuts from the linked document? – bwDraco Jul 19 '15 at 3:38

There is also a handy way to find the keyboard shortcut for most symbols that you can insert manually. Create an equation (alt+=), then go to equation tools (design) and hold your cursor above the character you want. After a few seconds, a textbox will appear telling you the name of the symbol and a keyboard shortcut, which is usually preceded by a backslack.

Press space after entering the shortcut into the equation box and onenote will convert it to the symbol.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.