How Do I Use Microsoft Office To Create A Matrix?

Microsoft Word and Powerpoint contain an equation editor that may be used to create matrices as well as equations. Using this tool, it is possible to create matrices of any size like the one below.

matrix_edit020Matrices with one, two, or three rows/columns are fairly straightforward to create. However, larger matrices must be built up.

  1. Start by creating the bracket and vertical line structure. In Word or Powerpoint, click on the Insert tab. On the far right you should see a button labeled Equation. Click on the Equation button to start an equation region in your document.
  2. matrix_edit031The equation region should look like the one below. It is highlighted when the equation region is active and you are editing the equation.matrix_edit001
  3. To type the left bracket, click on the bracket button of the Equation Tools Design tab. A menu will appear with the left bracket button. Click on the left bracket button.
    matrix_edit002Once you have pressed the button, you’ll see the bracket appear in the equation region. Now click in the placeholder to see the equation region below.matrix_edit003
  4. To create the vertical bar, click on the bracket button and locate vertical bar button matrix_edit004
  5. Now move the insertion bar to the far right of the equation. From the bracket menu, choose the right bracket.matrix_edit005Finally, move the insertion bar to the left place holder so it appear like the region below.matrix_edit006
  6. Now we will start the matrix in the left placeholder. Locate the Matrix button on the Equation Tools Design tab.matrix_edit012When you click on this button, you will see a number of options for creating the placeholders for a matrix. Select the button with three placeholders by three place holders.matrix_edit021If you need more than three rows or columns, you must first start with a 3 x 3 matrix. I’ll show you how to make the matrix larger later. Your equation region should now look like the one below. Move the insertion point to the right side of the vertical bar.matrix_edit022
  7. Now we’ll put a 3 x 1 matrix in the right side. Select the Matrix button and then the button for a 3 x 1 placeholder.matrix_edit023This will insert the placeholder so that your equation region looks like the one below.matrix_edit024Now you can put in the numbers for the placeholders. If you need more rows or columns, keep reading.
  8. Suppose you want to add another row along the bottom of your matrix. Move your insertion point to the bottom row of the matrix on the left side of the vertical bar.matrix_edit025Right mouse click on this placeholder. Navigate the menus as shown below.matrix_edit026Clicking on Insert Row After will place another row in the matrix on the left side of the vertical bar.matrix_edit027Now move the insertion point to the last row on the other side of the vertical bar. Right mouse click and find Insert Row After again. This will give you the matrix you see below.matrix_edit028
  9. The same technique may be used to add columns to your matrix. Simply choose Insert Column Before/After and a column will be placed before or after the placeholder the insertion point has highlighted. You can build up any size matrix this way. It is fairly labor intensive to do this. So if you are showing several matrices it is a good idea to do the first one by hand and then copy and paste to do the others (with changes to the entries as needed).