List of features for the equation editor

I am switching from Word to only office, as I have switched to Linux on my main daily driver and MS Office is an absolute nightmare on that OS. I am someone who uses the equation editor a lot. By a lot I mean I have written down my physics lectures in real time for the last 4 years.
Unfortunately the equation editor is effecively broken in version 7.2 (I have reported it and it will hopefully be fixed). 7.1 has quite a few bugs, so I hope 7.3 will be in a kinda usable state. Now to the list of features, of which some I was missing in MSOF:

Fast navigation with ctrl+arrow keys
It is nice to be able to skip over elements which are in a logical level below the one where the cursor is at. For instance a variable with an exponent or an index, a fraction or something in brackets. The Office 365 Version of Onenote was set up this way if you want to try it. Word didn’t have it. There I helped myself with crtrl + shift+ arrow key to mark an element within the current logic level and then another arrow key to deselect it and jump left or right of it. This workaround unfortunately doesn’t work in Onlyoffice.

Use same hotkey to switch out of equation mode
I have come acustomed to switching back to normal text using the alt+ hotkey. Mostly due to Word being a bit more stable with it’s Font selection. Word sometimes switched to italic when leaving an equation idk if that is also an issue in Onlyoffice.

Nicer way of entering matrices
This has always bugged me in Word. I usually didn’t do it by code but via ui. The code way is just too chaotic. Getting a 3 times 3 matrix right the first time is basically impossible. would be nice to have a \3times3 which inserts the empty matrix by default.

Nicer way to add lower brace afterwords
The lower brace is a very often used symbol and usually added after the line has been written. It would be nice to apply it the same way as \below works. (which is broken in 7.1, don’t know about 7.2)

Hidden limits of integrals, sums etc.
This is a nice feature Onenote had. Every sum and similar symbols had the text fields for their bounds added when there was none given with _ or ^. They were invisible when empty but accessable via the arrow keys. I they did it via a workaround and added a very narrow space there so the dotted square didn’t show up. This was very nice to have as it made sums more forgiving to typos.

Show the \-commands when hovering over the ui symbols
This is an absolute must feature imo. It is the same prinicple as showing the hotkey when hovering over any command in the ui. It makes learning how to use a program quickly much faster. I would consider this the main reason why learned how to write equations in Word and not give up due to frustration. Also it would be nice to have every \-defined symbol shown there. I suppose it would be sensible to split up the math autocorrect list into those categories so user defined symbols would also show up.

I think this is everything I have for now. I will continue using it and very likely find more bugs and ideas for improvement. I am also be willing to test prebuilds of the upcoming releases. What would be the easiest way of doing that?
Just generally I think it is amazing that this project bothered to implement this kind of equation editor. Imo it is superior to LaTeX when it comes down to speed and the learning curve. Unfortunately I never met someone in academia who was already using it. But I was able to convince a few people quite easily.
I would love to contribute actual code but unfortnuately my coding skills are more on the beginner level.

Best regards

Hello @harzer99

Sorry for the late reply.
Thank you very much for providing feedback and making suggestions. To successfully register them in our internal system please specify the product you are using. Is it Desktop Editors?

If it is possible please check how this works in version 7.2 and provide feedback. You can provide a detailed scenario so we can check it ourselves.

Could you please provide links to the description of these features from Microsoft official documentation so we can take a closer look on them?

Regarding the access to builds of upcoming versions - unfortunately, we are not providing such possibility but we are very thankful for your interest to the product and will be glad to receive your feedback after the official release.

Looking forward to your reply.

Hi Constantine,
thanks for the reply. Yes I’m refering to the desktop editor; forgot to mention that. I will try convey my points with screenshots of the latest only office version.

Regarding the lower brace:

Regarding the hidden limits and the commands:
Unfortunately I am not familiar with the MS office documentation. Is this the correct link?

There I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. Is it clear what I meant with those points or should I provide a sample document?

I’m starting to think short videos might be better to illustrate. :slight_smile:

Best regards

Well, I don’t really see the way to achieve described scenarios of last two suggestions with VBA macros.
Actually, a video demonstration will help to understand for sure.

I hope this gets the Idea across

Thank you very much for interesting our editors and creating suggestions to make them better.

We are analyzing received from you information already.
I will let you know the results.

Hello again @harzer99

I’m very sorry for the delayed response.
We have gone through your suggestions and here is the feedback:

We have registered this suggestion to add possibility to navigate through the equation with combination CTRL+arrows in our internal tracker under the number 60988.

This suggestion was added into the system under the number 60992.

This scenario can be achieved with Math AutoCorrect menu (File tab > Advanced Settings > Proofing > AutoCorrect options > Math AutoCorrect).
Here you can add a new auto-correction rule to replace \3times3 by ■(&&@&&@&&) or any other matrix (you can manually paste needed matrix, directly copy it to get proper code for the replacement). When the autocorrect command is added you can type \3times3 and tap Space button two times to add needed matrix. Unfortunately, during our research we found a bug (number 61009) on version 7.3 - Math AutoCorrect rules that were added by user cannot be replaced in the equation editor. Works as intended in 7.2.

There is a code \underbrace is already available in the equation editor.

You can hide/show limits with the help of context menu accessible with right-click:
However, for the provided description of the behavior in OneNote we have created suggestion 61134 to automatically add limits but make them invisible and accessible with navigation keys.

We have added this suggestion under the number 61096.

Unfortunately, I cannot give any dates when these suggestions will be implemented yet.
Our team is already working on the issues that were found during our tests.

Once again thank you very much for submitting suggestions to make our editors better.

Hi Constantine,
I’m happy to see my suggestions were taken into consideration. I’m assuming Internal tracking number means it is not viewable by outsiders? I have a couple more points.

Regarding the under brace:
I wasn’t aware it was already defined. After fiddeling with it I am not quite satisfied with how it works:

I think it is more intuitive to go with the Argument1 Operation Argument2 type of syntax here. Which is already used with commands like _, ^ or \below. I am stressing this one because the under brace is a command that I use quite frequently and always with an argument under the brace. I cannot think of a case where one would want a under brace without a lower argument. I would appreciate if you reconsidered.

Regarding the new equation toolbar
I really like the idea of the new toolbar for quick access to symbols via the UI. Unfortunately it usually covers the equation from the line above which is quite important to see when calculating. Is there a way of moving or disabling it?

Weird bug of the day
when using the \below or \above command on single characters it changes their font. Also the cursor can access the upper argument.
I would put this on low priority as it should happen only rarely and might not even get noticed by the user.

I will keep posting the more I find.

Hello @harzer99

Thank you for the feedback. We are taking closer look at these.

Yes, this is correct.

Please feel free to share your ideas and feedback with us!

Hello again @harzer99

We have run through your notes:

We have registered this suggestion in our internal tracker under the number 61197. To clarify: we are not going to change current logic of \underbrace but we will expand its functionality to make usage of it more intuitive.

This suggestion is registered under the number 61199.

Thanks for reporting this issue. Bug number is 61180.

Once again thank you very much for suggesting ideas how to make the equation editor usage better!

Hello again @harzer99

These suggestions and bug were implemented/fixed in the newly released version 7.5 of Document Server. Please update your instance and check situation.

We are looking forward to your feedback.