How To Enable Equation Editor In Microsoft Word [Simple & Easy]

Written By Steven Arends

Equation Editor is a helpful thing whenever it comes to building complex equations by picking complex symbols and typing variables and numbers. But recently, Microsoft removed the equation functionalities from their Office suite.

Removal of this unique and handy feature left me in pain, so as you. I also faced difficulties working with equations in Word and other Office products. But don’t need to worry about it as I’ve found the easiest solution to bring back and enable equation editor in Microsoft Word.


What is Equation Editor in Microsoft Word?

Equation Editor is a special kind of math-type equation builder and editor that allows users to build quickly, edit, and type complex math equations. Microsoft Word offers this feature right into their app on Windows.

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Why was Equation Editor removed?

Recently Microsoft removed the Equation Editor from their office products, including Microsoft Word. Many users who were familiar with this feature were disturbed by this removal. Their primary reasoning was security issues with its implementation.

Keep reading and don’t miss any part to know how to enable equation editor again.

How to Enable Equation Editor in Microsoft Word

Although Microsoft has removed the functionalities of the equation editor from its products, you can still bring it back following some tricks and methods. Here I’ll discuss bringing back or enabling the equation editor in Microsoft Word in several versions of Microsoft Office Suites.

Here are the steps to enable equation editor in MS Word:

Office 2016 & 2013

In-Office suite 2016 & 2013, the equation editor is still available to work with. Simply follow the steps below:

  • Select the Insert tab.
  • Scroll to the Symbols section.
  • Choose Equation and select your preferred one.


If you couldn’t find the Equation section, then it might be turned off on your system. You may need to turn it on. Follow the steps below to turn equations on.

  • Select File
  • Choose Options
  • Select Customize Ribbon
  • Go into Choose commands from the menu
  • Click on All Commands
  • Then click Symbols to the tabs listed on the right side of the screen.


There you go. You have turned on the equation symbols. Now you can use it. 

Tip: If you are too much lazy to follow the steps above, simply select Reset to set the ribbon or tabs back to their default settings.

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Office 2010 & 2007

Well, in Office 2010 & 2007, the equation editor was removed by Microsoft. But inside the program, the Equations icon is still present there but greyed out. Clicking on it says there isn’t available equations anymore.


Let me help you bring them back on. Follow the steps below:

  • Go to Start > Control Panel.
  • Click Programs.
  • Select Uninstall a Program (Although this step seems weird as you aren’t here to uninstall the Office suite, hey, follow the steps further).
  • Search for Microsoft Office 2010 or 2007, whatever you’re using.
  • Click on the Microsoft Office.
  • Click on the Change button up right there.
  • Choose Add or Remove Features.
  • Click Continue.
  • Select the plus sign next to Office Tools.
  • Then select the Equation Editor.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Run from My Computer.
  • Select Continue.

The Equation Editor will take several minutes to complete the installation. After it gets the job done, launch Microsoft Word. Lookup for the Equations symbol under the Insert tab. You will find it, and it won’t be grayed out anymore.

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Office 2003 and earlier on Windows XP

If you’re somehow still on Windows XP and have been using Office 2003 or earlier, then you need to follow these steps if the Equations button disappeared on your office suite.

  • Exit all the programs, and unnecessary processes are running in the background.
  • Go to Start > Control Panel.
  • Go into Add/Remove Programs (Although this step seems weird as you aren’t here to uninstall the Office suite, hey, follow the steps further).
  • You’ll be landed on the Currently Installed Programs page. Search for Microsoft Office 2003 or 2000 maintenance mode, whatever you’re using.
  • Click on the Microsoft Office.
  • Click on the Add or Remove Features button up right there.
  • In the features tree, click the plus sign (+) next to Office Tools. 
  • Click the arrow next to Equation Editor.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Run from My Computer.
  • Click Update Now.

Give it several minutes to finish the installation. After it finishes the installation and gets done with its updates, reboot your system and launch Microsoft Word. You’ll find the Equations back again.

To summarize the installation process-

In Office 2007 and further : Control Panel > Add or Remove Feature > Office > Tools > Equation Editor > Continue > Done !

In Office 2000 and further : Control Panel > Add Remove > Choose advanced customization of applications > Advanced Customization > Microsoft Office 2000 Maintenance Mode > Equation Tools > Update > Done !

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Insert an equation with Equation Editor

All you have done with the bringing back and turning on the equations again, you will definitely want to use them. Let me give you the step by step idea of how you can use the equations in Microsoft Word and other products.


Follow the steps below:

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Inside the Text group, click Object.
  • Click Create New in the drop-down menu of Object.
  • Select Microsoft Equation 3.0 in the equation type and Select OK.
  • Use the symbols, templates, or frameworks on the Equation toolbar to edit the equation.

Hopefully, you have got the equations in the right place. Now customize them according to your preferences. To edit the equations according to your needs and taste, follow the following steps.

Edit an equation in Equation Editor

You may need to edit any equation according to your taste and preferences, and for that, you can follow the steps below.

  • Insert an equation following the previous steps.
  • Double click on the inserted equation.
  • Use the symbols, templates, or frameworks on the Equation toolbar to edit the equation. This will be sitting on the upper-middle of the whole window named Design.
  • Customize according to your choice and after customization, click anywhere in the blank space of the document.

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Write a new Equation

There might be plenty of equations available on Microsoft Word. But those aren’t the only ones you have to live with. You can write new and other equations if you want to do so. Just simply follow the steps below.

  • Press ALT + = together to trigger the function to write any equation from scratch on the keyboard. You can do this with the mouse also. Drag the mouse pointer to the Insert, then select Equations > Insert New Equations. This will add a new equation window.

Now you can write whatever equation you want to work with. If you want to save the newly inserted equation in the Equations Gallery, you can follow the steps below.

  • Write any new equation using the previous steps.
  • Select the newly written equation.
  • Right-click on it.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Save as New Equation…
  • In the Create New Building Block, type a name for the newly added equation.
  • Select Equations in the gallery list.
  • Click OK.

And you are done! You have finally added your custom-made equation to the Equation Gallery.


Why is the insert equation greyed out in Word?

You may have saved your document in a format that does not support the Equation Editor. Or the document format is not up to date for the Office Suite you’re using currently.

How do I turn on equations in Word?

If you see grayed-out equations button in Microsoft Word, you can go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Feature > Office > Tools > Equation Editor > Continue. This might eradicate your problem.

Why is the Microsoft equation not available?

As per Microsoft’s terms and policies, Office Suites from now won’t be having equation tools for some security reasons behind. But you can manually install them simply by going into Control Panel and tweaking some settings with the installed Microsoft Office on your system.

How do I install Equation in Word 365?

Press Alt + =, a new equation dialogue box will appear. Select the equation you needed from there. Or just simply click on Insert New Equations. This will allow you to customize or write a whole new equation for yourself.

How do I insert math symbols in Word?

In the Design tab under Equation Tools, select the math symbol you need. In the Design tab under Equation Tools, select the math symbol you need. Head to Insert tab. In the Symbols group, click the arrow under Equation, and then click Insert New Equation.


Microsoft keeps doing to keep the apps updated and make them user-friendly. But as it was a matter of security concern, they removed the Equations functionalities from their Office Suite. I hope this article helped you a lot, bringing back the equation button in Microsoft Word.

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About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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