Ink Equations In Word 2016

Don’t get your hopes up about your new ability to add ink equations to your Word 2016 document. This new facility is a little shaky, and we’ve had varying degrees of success using it.

To add your own ink equation, go to the Insert tab and click on the down arrow at the bottom of the Equation command. Select Ink Equation.

Insert Ink Equation

In the writing area that opens up, draw out your equation with your mouse. Alternatively, if you have a touch device, you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand, and Word 2016 will convert it to text. We entered a new theorem we’ve been working on for a while, but Word 2016 had difficulty recognising the “m”:


All is not lost! You can tell Word what it got wrong and select an alternative. With the above misquoted equation, we chose the Select and Correct option and dragged a selection marquee around the “m”. Word 2016 presents a list of alternatives with which we can replace the erroneous “n”.

Select And Correct

Selecting “m” now corrects the equation.

Although the ink equation is not truly editable, we can manipulate it to a certain extent. In addition to replacing individual elements as we have just done, we can also erase others. Click on the Erase button, drag over the element you want to remove and it will disappear.

We can add to the equation using the Write button. Click on that, and resume writing by drawing the letters with your mouse or pen.

You can get rid of everything and start from scratch again by clicking Clear.

We felt that the Ink Equation facility really could do with an undo and redo feature, but we’ll see whether that materialises.