Using LaTeX Shortcuts in Google Docs

google-docs-logowtitleGoogle Docs has become a powerful tool for teachers and students. The online productivity software allows for the creation and sharing of documents as well as the ability to collaborate online. Math and Science teachers need to be able to write equations when creating assessments or other technical documents. Google Docs allows the user to add an equation with a simple equation editor. At first glance the user interface is a little cumbersome requiring the user to navigate a limited drop down menu of symbols. Digging a little deeper reveals the hidden secret of LaTeX (pronounced lay-tek). LaTeX is a document markup language that has been around for decades and has become a powerful writing tool.

If you know some basic LaTeX shortcuts the process becomes a lot easier. You can use automatic equation shortcuts to enter multiple symbols in an equation quickly. If you’re familiar with LaTeX, you’ll recognize the text shortcuts in the documents below. You can easily add superscripts and subscripts by pressing the ‘^’ and ‘_’ keys, respectively.

These are the symbols and automatic equation shortcuts used in Google Docs.

Here is a pdf of the most common shortcuts.

Here is a short YouTube video explaining how it works.

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