Adjusting spacing and alignment in an equation

The Equation Editor automatically handles formatting, nonetheless, you can manually adjust the spacing and alignment of equations.

How to add an equation in your document, see Working with Microsoft Equation.

Word 2003 proposes three ways to adjust the spacing and alignment of equations:

  • Use the Spaces and ellipses button on the Equation toolbar:
    Spaces and ellipses in Word 2003

    With this button, you can include spaces that act like characters, taking up room from zero length to the equivalent of a quad space:

    •  ab   Zero space - Shift+Spacebar
    •  a_b   1-point space - Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar
    •  a__b   Thin space (one-sixth em) - Ctrl+Spacebar
    •  a___b   Thick space (one-third em) - Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar
    •  a____b   Em space (quad) - no shortcut key
  • When Equation Editor is open, you can choose Format -> Spacing to display the Spacing... dialog box:
    Spacing in Word 2003

    With this dialog box, you can adjust line, matrix, subscript, and superscript spacing.

  • The final method, called nudging, is more precise. Select the item that you want to adjust, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click the arrow pointing in the direction that you want the item to move. The selected item moves one pixel per click.