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I was wondering if I could write an equation, symbolically, but only as part of a text in Mathematica. So I don't want Mathematica to consider anything inside that equation as a variable, nor equate or perform any mathematics on it. Is that possible?

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You can open a text cell using Alt7, and type some text. When you need math, open a subcell using Ctrl9. Single letter variables will be formatted in italics in the subcell, as is usual. Use the usual shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl6 for superscript) to enter math. Use CtrlSpace to get out of the subcell (or the arrow keys).

On a Mac, use in place of Alt.

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    $\begingroup$ If your using a Mac, substitute Command (open Apple) for Alt. $\endgroup$ – rcollyer May 18 '12 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ Somehow it seems more natural to me to think of the delimiters for inline (math) mode as Ctrl ( and Ctrl ). Especially with their suggestion of open - close. $\endgroup$ – murray May 18 '12 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ In Mathematica 11.3 on OSX it's ^9 to start an inline cell and ^0 to end it. ⌘7 still seems to open a text cell. $\endgroup$ – Dan Piponi Dec 25 '18 at 0:20

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