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Don't you love when you find something that makes your job easier?

Not only that, it does exactly what you have been looking for to solve a problem in your classroom. I have stumbled upon a couple of those lately and thought I would share them here.

Shortcuts to those symbols we always need and use would be a great place to start. I found this on accident while searching for π day ideas. I always found it a time waster to stop typing and "insert symbol" and what if I was not in word, but, let's say Blogger, instead. There had to be a better way to do this!

Well my online searching paid off. The alt key has the answer. Here are a few examples. Click here for a more complete list.

Hold down the alt key and hit... (Use your number pad, the numbers across the top will not work.)

• 227 for π
• 243 for ≤
• 0215 for ×
• 0247 for ÷

Equations for Google Docs is a great resource for adding mathematical equations to a document. This site is easy to read and shows you step by step how to add equations to any Google Doc.

How to Write Mathematical Equations, Physics Derivation, Chemistry Formula in Word 2007 This is an extremely detailed account of how to use word 2007 to insert equations. The screen shots are great for anyone beginning this for the first time.

LaTeX shortcuts in equations within Google docs helps those that do not want to stop typing to insert an equation. It allows you to type things such as sqrt and it will automatically change it to the correct notation. What a time saver! If you are interested in a more detailed description of LaTeX, you may appreciate this site.

Math Characters - This is a list of common math symbols that you can copy and paste anywhere. So easy! Love it!

In Microsoft Word the ctr shortcuts can be quite useful. It includes many of the Greek symbols that can be hard to find. I really like this link because it is quick and easy and I don't have to read through a bunch of jargon to find exactly what I am looking for. This one is printed and on my wall for reference for all those times I am pressed for time.

Formulas for open office is a great resource if you use Open Office. It has many options depending on what you are most comfortable with. I really like that they show you how to use their presentation software as well.

web equation from Vision Objects is an amazing tool. This must be listed as my favorite and easiest to use. If you can copy and paste, you can use this amazing feature. Be sure to bookmark it, because the hardest thing about this is remembering the web address. You simply hand write the equation you need with your mouse and it converts it to the equation you want, ready to copy and paste.

host math is another easy to use site, a lot like web equation without the writing. Just click the symbols you need and it will convert it to LaTeX, Tex, AMSmath or ASCIIMath notation.

This one from SciWeaver is great as well. But on top of this text to latex tool, they have an assortment of productivity tools that most of us would find helpful. Be sure to take a look around.

Teacher Activity: Mathematical Expressions in Microsoft Word. This is a homework assignment that is given to pre-teachers. I appreciate the step by step directions that are very clear. I also love that they show you how to create your own shortcuts for those symbols you use the most.