# I use MS Word to compose answers on Socratic. Is there a better way?

Aug 3, 2015

The Socratic editor is great if you're a mathematician, but not if you're a chemist.

Chemistry has certain conventions where units are regular text but unit symbols are in italics. Chemical symbols like Zn are almost always in regular text.

The two useful features that MS Word offers (perhaps because I am a lousy typist) is "Repeat last action" and macros.

I have many small macros that automatically insert special characters and text strings. For example, I use ".red" to insert [color(red)(cancel(color(black)("]. Thanks, Stefan!

The editor requires the use of lots of hashtags and quotes to prevent the editor from converting regular text to italics and math symbols. Compare $\text{atom}$ and $a \to m$.

I write an answer in MS Word first in plain text, then go back and insert the first hashtag. Then I go through the text using the F4 key to repeat the action at the appropriate insertion points.

Then I repeat the process with the quotation marks, cancellation marks, etc. (F4 is a great key!)

Next I copy into a working scratchpad to check for errors, and finally into the answer.

For cases where spacing is critical, such as for long division and synthetic division, etc., I work directly in the scratchpad using color(white)(1) and Stefan's quoted spaces method (Thanks, Stefan and Jim!) to get a reasonably correct appearance.

Maybe I'm doing it all wrong.

Does anyone else have suggestions to improve input to the Socratic editor?