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How to write fractions in powerpoint

How to write fractions in powerpoint

If you’re giving a presentation to a company or giving a lesson in math lessons, the presentation is likely to use fractions. PowerPoint offers several different fracture structures, including skew, stacked, linear, and small. How to use it.

Different Breaking Structures in PowerPoint

There are several ways to write fractions in PowerPoint. If you are satisfied with the standard break structure that you get when you just enter the break, that’s great! When you talk about more complex equations, you should look at the other structures available in PowerPoint.

As mentioned earlier, when you simply type the fraction in PowerPoint, the standard fraction structure that you get is called a linear structure. Here’s an example of what that looks like. In this case, the break will retain the current font style and size settings as the rest of the text in your paragraph.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

If you use the tool provided by PowerPoint, the linear fraction formats it a little bit. Here’s an example of what that looks like.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

As you can see, it looks a bit different than typing it directly. The pasted version cursors the text using the Cambria Math font.

PowerPoint also provides some other break features when linear does not work for you. Here is a list of different styles:

  • Stacked Fraction
  • Inclined fraction
  • Linear Fraction
  • Small fraction
  • About Dx
  • Cap Delta over Cap Delta x
  • Party over partial x [19659012] delta y about delta x
  • pi about 2

And here is a preview of what they look like:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

These structures should give you that flexibility Use of fractions, even if they support your material best.

Inserting fractions into PowerPoint

We decide which faction structure to use. However you decide how to find it.

First go to the “Insert” tab and click on the “Equation” button (the Pi symbol).

How to write fractions in powerpoint

tab. This opens a special Design tab in a new tab group named “Drawing Tools.” You’ll also notice that a new “Type Equation Here” text box appears on your slide.

On the Design tab, click the Fraction button.

How to write fractions in powerpoint[19659005] Select the breakout structure you want to use from the drop-down menu. In this example we choose “Stacked”.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Now the selected structure of the fraction is displayed in the slide.

Now all you have to do is add the numbers to your faction.

Drawing Your Own Fractions

Another nice feature in PowerPoint is drawing fractions. Back on the Insert tab, click the down arrow under the Equation button.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

. Click “Ink Equation” at the bottom of this menu.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

The “Math Input Control” window is now displayed. If you do not use a touch-enabled device, you can use your mouse. Let’s try a simple break first.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

As you can see in the above GIF, we have (sloppily) drawn 1/3 in the stacked breaker structure. PowerPoint gives you a preview of the fraction in the area above the drawing pad.

Let’s see what happens when we draw something more complex.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Ok, so it’s not the most complex equation you’ve ever seen, but it serves as a good example. If you are satisfied with the equation, select “Paste”.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

You will now see the equation in print view. 19659005] How to write fractions in powerpoint

You can use the drawing tool to draw any break structure, but keep in mind that this is a pretty sensitive tool, so it’s easy To confuse your drawing with the twisted structure if you wanted the stacked structure instead, make sure you paint everything as cleanly as possible, if you screw something up, you can always use the provided deletion function, or simply delete and rewrite the equation begin.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Those who have studied in the field of technology or mathematics know that it can be useful to use fractions in your PowerPoint presentations. It is not a complicated process to integrate fractions into your presentation but figuring out which method to use can be difficult. In this article, you will learn how to make a fraction in PowerPoint.

Further down the page we will go into how to make a fraction in PowerPoint in detail, but the shorter answer is that there are three methods, but we will go through the last two in more detail:

  1. Just type a dash in your keyboard, 2/3.
  2. Use the Equation Tool found under the Insert tab.
  3. Draw your own fraction, also found under the Insert tab

The second method is usually the one we recommend if you are going to do simpler equations or fractions (if you can’t use method number one). Drawing your own fractions can be more useful if you need to express more complicated equations.

What is a fraction?

Since you found this article, it probably means that you came here with the question: how to make a fraction in PowerPoint. But if you don’t know what a faction is, I’ll explain it to you now.

According to Wikipedia, it is an expression that describes the ratio between two numbers. When we talk about everyday factions, we often speak “one-half,” “two-thirds,” “one-quarter,” etcetera.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

A fraction always consists of two parts, a numerator (which we see to the left of or above the dash), a non-zero denominator (which we see to the right of or below the dash). A fraction can be both positive and negative.

Furthermore, there are two different ways to visualize a fraction, Stacked Fraction or Skewed Fraction. Which type to use is usually a matter of taste, I personally use stacked fraction when expressing more significant equations. On the other hand, I use Skewed fractions when I need to write a fraction in running text, partly because it is faster, but also because I think it looks the best.

Enough with mathematical theory, after all, it was with the question: how to make a fraction in PowerPoint, which you came to this page with.

How to Make a Fraction in PowerPoint: Equation Tool

As mentioned, this is the easiest and smoothest way to express fractions in PowerPoint. To do this most efficiently, follow these steps:

1. Start PowerPoint and navigate to Insert tab

2. Click Equation and locate the Fraction found in the Structures Section.

3. Select the type of fraction you want to use and enter the numbers in the boxes.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

This was the first and easiest way to create beautiful fractions in PowerPoint.

How to Make a Fraction in PowerPoint: Draw Your Own Fraction

This method is not as common to use when creating fractions in PowerPoint. As we wrote in the beginning, this can be useful if you need to express more complex fractions, or if you have a pen attached to your computer. The steps are initially the same as the previous steps.

1. Start PowerPoint and navigate to Insert tab

2. Instead of clicking on Fraction as in the previous method, direct your gaze further to the left and click on Ink Equation.

3. You will now see an empty box that looks like a notepad. Here you can write freely with the mouse or use a Bluetooth pen or similar.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

4. When you have finished typing, click Insert, and your equation is complete.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Summary

Congratulations! Now you can answer the question with reasonable confidence: how to make a fraction in PowerPoint. We have gone through two more complicated methods. In the first method, you learned how to make a fraction through Equation tool in PowerPoint. In the second, slightly more complex method, you used the Ink Equation tool, which is useful for expressing more complex fractions and equations.

Thank you for reading, now you hopefully know how to make a fraction in PowerPoint. As usual, you are most welcome to give us tips and feedback. If you need help with anything related to PowerPoint, presentation skills, or anything else, similar presentation techniques, contact us, and we will help you.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Rasmus has created +10,000 slides, presented them to University professors, business professionals, and senior decision-makers – with great success. Exercise provides skills, and I want to use my skills to teach you how to become proficient at PowerPoint and be more efficient in your studies or work.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

If you’re giving a presentation for a company or teaching a lesson in a math class, it’s likely you’ll be using fractions in the presentation. PowerPoint provides several different fraction structures, including skewed, stacked, linear, and small. Here’s how to use them.

Different Fraction Structures in PowerPoint

There are a few ways to write fractions in PowerPoint. If you’re happy with the default fraction structure that you get by simply typing in the fraction, that’s great! If you’re discussing more complex equations, it might be worth looking at the other available structures in PowerPoint.

As mentioned before, the default fraction structure that you get by simply typing the fraction in PowerPoint is called a linear structure. Here’s an example of how that looks. In this case, the fraction maintains the current font style and size settings as the rest of the text in your paragraph.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

When you use the tool provided by PowerPoint to insert the linear fraction, it reformats it a bit. Here’s an example of how that looks.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

As you can see, it looks a bit different than when you type it in directly. The inserted version italicizes the text and uses the Cambria Math font.

PowerPoint also provides several other fraction structures if linear doesn’t work for you. Here’s a list of the different styles:

  • Stacked Fraction
  • Skewed Fraction
  • Linear Fraction
  • Small Fraction
  • dy over dx
  • cap delta y over cap delta x
  • partial y over partial x
  • delta y over delta x
  • pi Over 2

And here’s a preview of what they look like:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

These structures should give you the flexibility to use fractions however they best support your material.

Inserting Fractions in PowerPoint

We’ll leave deciding which fraction structure to use up to you. Whatever you decide, here’s how to find them.

First, head over to the “Insert” tab and click the “Equation” button (the pi symbol).

How to write fractions in powerpoint

This open a specialized Design tab in a new tab group named Drawing Tools. You’ll also notice that a new “Type equation here” text box appears on your slide.

On the “Design” tab, click the “Fraction” button.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

On the drop-down menu, pick the fraction structure you’d like to use. In this example, we’ll pick “Stacked.”

How to write fractions in powerpoint

You’ll now see the fraction structure you selected appear in the slide.

Now all you need to do is insert the numbers into your fraction.

Drawing Your Own Fractions

Another neat feature in PowerPoint is the ability to draw fractions. Back at the “Insert” tab, click the down arrow under the “Equation” button.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

The dropdown menu that appears presents several different types of equations. At the very bottom of this menu, click “Ink Equation.”

How to write fractions in powerpoint

The “Math Input Control” window now appears, allowing you to draw your equation. If you’re not using a touch-enabled device, you can use your mouse. Let’s try a simple fraction first.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

As you can see in the above GIF, we (sloppily) drew 1/3 in the stacked fraction structure. PowerPoint gives you a preview of the fraction in the area above the drawing pad.

Now let’s see what happens when we draw something a little more complex.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Ok, so it’s not the most complex equation you’ve ever seen, but it serves as a good example. Once you’re happy with the equation, go ahead and select “Insert.”

How to write fractions in powerpoint

You’ll now see the equation appear in the PowerPoint slide.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Using the drawing tool, you can draw any fraction structure you like. However, keep in mind that it’s a pretty sensitive tool, so it’s easy for it to mistake your drawing for the skewed structure when you wanted the stacked structure instead. Be sure to draw everything as neatly as possible. If you mess up, you can always use the provided erase feature or just clear the equation and start over.

How to add an equation in your document, see Working with Microsoft Equation.

To insert, for example, the normal, or Gaussian distribution, do the following:

In the Professional format:

1. In your own equation, enter f(x)=.

2. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Structures group, click the Fraction button:

In the Fraction list choose Stacked Fraction:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

3. Enter 1 at the top of your fraction.

4. In the bottom of your fraction, do the following:

4.1. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Structures group, click the Radical button. In the Radicals list choose Square root:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

4.3. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Symbols group, click the More button:

In the list of symbols choose:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

4.4. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Structures group, click the Script button. In the Scripts and Superscripts list choose Superscript:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

4.5. In the base box of the script, choose .

4.6. In the upper right box of the script, enter 2.

5. In the left of your formula choose Script again to enter e in the base box, in the upper right box enter and choose Fraction again, etc.:

In the Linear format:

1. In your own equation, enter f(x)=1/.

2. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Symbols group, choose or simply \sqrt.

3. In the brackets enter 2 (or \pi), (or \sigma) and ^2:

Then you enter a space key, this linear formula transformed to the professional format:

4. Enter e^(-(x- (or \mu), )^2/(2, (or \sigma) and then ^2)):

Then you enter a space key, the second part of your linear formula transformed to the professional format:

See also how to create other types of equations.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

Written by: Rachelle Reese

Written on: July 14, 2020

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

Even if your PowerPoint presentation is not about math, you might need to include one or more fractions in a text box. Fractions are commonly used in presentations about cooking, construction, or sewing. PowerPoint can be configured to automatically format certain fractions as a single character.

These are: 1/2, 1/4, and 3/4. However, to format other fractions so that they look like the ones that have been automatically formatted, you need to apply formatting to each character.

Click the “Start” menu and choose “Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007” to launch PowerPoint and create a new blank presentation.

Click the “Office Button” in the left-hand corner.

  • Even if your PowerPoint presentation is not about math, you might need to include one or more fractions in a text box.

Click the “PowerPoint Options” button in the bottom-right side of the menu.

Select “Proofing” in the left-hand pane of the “PowerPoint Options” dialogue.

Click the “AutoCorrect Options” button.

Check the “Fractions (1/2) with fraction character (1/2)” option in the “AutoCorrect” dialogue.

Click the “OK” button to close the “AutoCorrect” dialogue.

Click the “OK” button to close the “PowerPoint Options” dialogue.

Click the “New Slide” button on the “Home” ribbon to create a new slide.

  • Click the “PowerPoint Options” button in the bottom-right side of the menu.
  • Click the “OK” button to close the “PowerPoint Options” dialogue.

Click in the content text box.

Type “1/2” and press the “Enter” key. The fraction is formatted as a single character.

Type “1/4” and press the “Enter” key. The fraction is formatted as a single character.

Type “3/4” and press the “Enter” key. The fraction is formatted as a single character.

  • Click in the content text box.
  • Type “3/4” and press the “Enter” key.

Type “1/3” and press the “Enter” key. The fraction is not formatted automatically.

Select the “1”. Right-click the “1” and choose the “Font” menu item from the pop-up menu.

Check the “Superscript” option and click the “OK” button.

Select the “3”. Right-click the “3” and choose the “Font” menu item from the pop-up menu.

  • Type “1/3” and press the “Enter” key.
  • Right-click the “1” and choose the “Font” menu item from the pop-up menu.

Choose the “Subscript” option and click the “OK” button.

Select “1/3”. Click the “Decrease font size” button in the “Font” toolbar of the “Home” ribbon twice.

Expand the “Character Spacing” menu in the “Font” toolbar of the “Home” ribbon and choose “Very Tight”.

When using a fraction in a formal document, such as an essay, should you write it as words or numerals? It all depends on the situation! Check out our guide on how to write fractions in formal writing to find out more.

How to Write Fractions

Fractions represent parts of a whole. They do this with a numerator (i.e. the number of parts present) and a denominator (i.e. the number of parts that make up the whole). We can write them as numerals or words.

Numeral Word
1/2 Half
3/4 Three quarters
5/8 Five eighths
17/24 Seventeen twenty-fourths

But what are the rules about writing fractions? When should they be numerals and when should they be words? Let’s take a look.

Fractions as Numerals

To write fractions as numerals, do it with the numerator above the denominator, separated by a line. For instance, if we cut something into three parts, each part would be ‘1/3’, and two parts would be ‘2/3’:

He ate 2/3 of the pizza by himself!

There are various ways to write fractions as numerals. In the examples above, we have simply used a forward slash between the two numbers. But we could also use a division slash between superscript and subscript numbers (e.g. 1 ∕2, 2 ∕3) or a horizontal line known as a vinculum.

The correct format is usually a matter of preference, but you should check your style guide for advice if you are using one.

You can also write fractions as words. Let’s look at how this works.

Fractions as Words

When writing fractions as words, you need to give:

  • The numerator as a cardinal number (e.g. one, two, three).
  • The denominator as an ordinal number (e.g. third, fifth, sixth).

For instance, we would write ‘2/3’ as ‘two thirds’:

He ate two thirds of the pizza by himself!

This applies for most fractions. But there are two exceptions that have their own words: half (1/2) and quarter (1/4). For instance:

She spent half the day asleep.

We have three quarters of the cake.

Some do use ‘fourths’ in place of ‘quarters’, but this is quite rare outside of American English, so ‘quarters’ will be correct in most cases.

Should You Write Fractions as Words or Numerals?

So, when should you write fractions as words and when should you write them as numerals? In less formal writing, as long as your meaning is clear, this is simply a matter of preference. But many style guides suggest writing out simple fractions as words in formal writing:

The subject completed 2/3 of the exercises.

The subject completed two thirds of the exercises.

You can also do this for longer or more complex fractions:

We received feedback from seventeen twenty-fourths of the participants.

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But numerals may be clearer in cases like this:

We received feedback from 17/24 of the participants.

It ultimately comes down to which style guide you are using, so make sure to check if you have one. However, as a rule, we suggest:

  • Writing fractions as words in the main text of a document.
  • Using numerals for fractions in measurements, tables of results, equations, and other primarily numerical data.

And in the rest of this post, we will look at cases where you need to be careful about how you write fractions.

Fractions at the Beginning of a Sentence

Even if you are writing fractions as numerals elsewhere, you should not start a sentence with a numeral. For example, the following would be incorrect:

22/7 is a good approximation of pi.

To avoid this, you would either need to write the fraction as words or rephrase the sentence so that it does not begin with a fraction:

Twenty-two sevenths is a good approximation of pi.

The fraction 22/7 is a good approximation for the mathematical value pi.

Mixed Fractions and Consistency

A mixed fraction is a whole number followed by a fraction. If you use a mixed fraction in your writing, make sure to use a consistent style for the whole number and the fraction:

The boys ate 5 ½ pizzas.

The boys ate five and a half pizzas.

Never mix words and numerals in a fraction:

The hungry boys ate thirty-three and ¾ of the pizzas.

When to Hyphenate a Fraction

Some people like to add a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when writing fractions as words. For instance, while we’ve written ‘two thirds’ above, we could equally write it as ‘two-thirds’:

The subject completed two-thirds of the exercises.

Unless your style guide provides advice on this, it is simply a matter of preference (just remember to be consistent!). However, there are two cases where fractions should include a hyphen:

  • When a fractions contains a compound number between twenty-one and ninety-nine (e.g. twenty-one thirtieths).
  • When a fraction acts as either an adjective or an adverb to modify another word (e.g. They got a three-quarter share).

So make sure to look out for these cases, even if you’re not hyphenating fractions elsewhere! And if you would like any extra help to make sure your writing is error free, why not submit a document for proofreading?

You think its hard work to copy-paste images of fractions for your papers all the time? Whether you’re a teacher, a researcher, or a student, this article will show you how to insert the fractions directly using your laptop and help you save time.

Although there are a lot of easy ways to type in equations, most of us are unaware of these and simply find it a difficult task best left to experts. Well…no more!

So, there are multiple programs where we can type equations containing fractions on our laptop, like Microsoft Word, Excel, Office, etc.

In this article, I’ll be explaining the different methods you can use on each of these programs for the same.

Fractions on Microsoft Word or Google Docs can be written using methods such as:

Conventional

  • You start by pressing “Ctrl and f9” keys simultaneously, which gives you something like this:
  • Then type in your fraction in the following manner within the brackets:
  • While selecting the written equation with your cursor, press “shift and f9” simultaneously or right click on the mouse and select “toggle field codes”.
  • This action will help you get your final fraction in this format:

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Insert

  • Alternative to the above method, select the “insert” option on toolbar
  • Go to the right corner of the bar and select “equation”
  • In the next step you’ll find an option reading: “fraction” on the toolbar, click on it and select the format you want to present your fraction as.
  • After this, go to the page below and select the respective columns to fill it accordingly. Which will give you similar results as above, for example:

To write fractions within a fraction

  • Follow the insert method above to get initial blank columns.
  • Select the column(top) you want to write as a fraction and repeat the insert method on that single column, which will give you a fraction column on top as well.
  • If you want to add a single-digit just preceding the fraction (eg: ), follow the insert step and simply take the typing cursor before the equation and type in the number.

Other formats

You can also represent fractions as or depending on your preference or requirement.

Given templates

How to write fractions in powerpoint

Before we get into Excel I’d like to point out the most common mistake people make while typing in fractions using it. The mistake you guys make is to simply type in the fraction as 3/5 (for example) and expecting it to be shown as.

Excel does not work that way and your 3/5 is most likely to be shown as 3-March if you make this common error. Now that it is clarified, let me tell you the correct way to do it, here goes:

Insert: The simplest way to do it would be using a similar method as used above for Microsoft Word, using the “insert” function on the toolbar. But it does not help you get it into a column, for typing it in a column, you should refer to methods listed below.

The ZERO method: No, this is not its official name. This is what I like to call it, based on how it’s used. In this method, we type in the fraction as “0 3/5” in the column, which comes out as 3/5 in the respective column.

But if you type in something like: “0 2/4”, it’ll come out to be “1/2” on pressing the enter key (which is its answer if we do simple division for 2/4).

Converting decimal numbers to a fraction: Yes, we can use excel to directly convert decimal points into fractions. Cool feature, right?

How we do it, is:

  • Start by typing the decimal number (eg: 2.5) in the column.
  • Then go to the taskbar and look for the “number” part of the tools in the home section.
  • In the number section, you’ll see a toolbar that is selected to “general” by default. Click on it and scroll through the options till you find the one reading “Fraction”, select it and voila! You get a fraction (21/2).

** Please note: while using the above method on excel, you must be careful about fraction formatting and how to do it, to avoid errors.

Especially on your assignments, which need precise value calculations or anyone else using this feature for direct conversion and calculation.

How to write fractions in powerpoint

For programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Wordpad, I didn’t find anything substantial to type in fractions directly, so maybe you can use one of the above programs to form fractions or fractional equations and insert them directly into such places. The PowerPoint does give you an option of some commonly used preformed equations to work with.

The last thing I’d like you guys to know about typing in fractions would be the types in which an equation containing fractions can be displayed. The two common types available on Word are:

1. Professional [eg: ] or,

2. Linear/Informal manner [eg: ]

-You can interchange between these by simply selecting the preferable option by right-clicking on the equation and selecting accordingly. The professional display is a fairly new feature which makes the use of Word more productive and the material produced, user friendly.

So that’s all you need to know to get you started on your mathematical and scientific papers, spreadsheets, or otherwise. After using all these methods, my advice would be to let the technology guide you and simply use the insert feature for Word and Zero method for excel, as they are easier and faster.

Final Words

The above methods apply to Windows-related software only, if you’d like to know more about iOS operated devices…be sure to leave a comment and let me know, so I can come up with another interesting and informative article to make your digital life easy.

Last Updated on October 24, 2020 by Stanley Hurst

Created: Nov 11, 2020 | Updated: Nov 16, 2020

PowerPoint Presentation on Fractions – Adding and Subtracting Fractions (13 slides): Explains how to add and subtract fractions as well as mixed numbers.

This is 1 of 13 PowerPoint Presentations on Fractions, written by a highly experienced teacher (of 25+ years), senior examiner and reviser for Maths and Stats examinations. The full set of 13 (143 slides, excluding Title Pages) can be purchased at a discounted price from www.apt-initiatives.com and covers the following fraction-based topics:

01 Fractions – The Basics (12 slides): Recognising and writing different types of fractions.
02 Converting between Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions (15 slides): Defines numerator and denominator and that the line in the fractions. represents division. Explains how to convert between mixed numbers and improper fractions.
03 Equivalent Fractions (9 slides): Explains how to find equivalent fractions and to cancel fractions down.
04 Express as Fractions (9 slides): Explains how to express one value as a fraction of another.
05 Comparing and Ordering Fractions (21 slides): Reviews equivalent fractions and introduces fraction to decimal conversions in order to compare fractions or put them in size order.
06 Recurring Decimals to Fractions (10 slides): Explains, using algebra, how to convert a recurring decimal to a fraction.
07 Adding and Subtracting Fractions (13 slides): Explains how to add and subtract fractions as well as mixed numbers.
08 Multiplying with Fractions (10 slides): Explains how to multiply fractions as well as mixed numbers.
09 Dividing with Fractions (8 slides): Explains how to divide fractions as well as mixed numbers.
10 Fractions of Quantities (10 slides): Explains how to calculate fractions of quantities.
11 Fractional Change (8 slides): Explains how to calculate an amount after a fractional change.
12 Solving Reverse Fraction Problems (8 slides): Explains how to calculate an original amount prior to a fractional change.
13 Algebraic Fractions (10 slides): Demonstrates how the rules of calculating with fractions can be applied to algebraic fractions.

The purchase of this resource comes with a licence to make the resource available in digital and / or in print form (including photocopying) to the staff and students attending the purchasing institution, ie the individual school / college on a single site.

When using a fraction in a formal document, such as an essay, should you write it as words or numerals? It all depends on the situation! Check out our guide on how to write fractions in formal writing to find out more.

How to Write Fractions

Fractions represent parts of a whole. They do this with a numerator (i.e. the number of parts present) and a denominator (i.e. the number of parts that make up the whole). We can write them as numerals or words.

Numeral Word
1/2 Half
3/4 Three quarters
5/8 Five eighths
17/24 Seventeen twenty-fourths

But what are the rules about writing fractions? When should they be numerals and when should they be words? Let’s take a look.

Fractions as Numerals

To write fractions as numerals, do it with the numerator above the denominator, separated by a line. For instance, if we cut something into three parts, each part would be ‘1/3’, and two parts would be ‘2/3’:

He ate 2/3 of the pizza by himself!

There are various ways to write fractions as numerals. In the examples above, we have simply used a forward slash between the two numbers. But we could also use a division slash between superscript and subscript numbers (e.g. 1 ∕2, 2 ∕3) or a horizontal line known as a vinculum.

The correct format is usually a matter of preference, but you should check your style guide for advice if you are using one.

You can also write fractions as words. Let’s look at how this works.

Fractions as Words

When writing fractions as words, you need to give:

  • The numerator as a cardinal number (e.g. one, two, three).
  • The denominator as an ordinal number (e.g. third, fifth, sixth).

For instance, we would write ‘2/3’ as ‘two thirds’:

He ate two thirds of the pizza by himself!

This applies for most fractions. But there are two exceptions that have their own words: half (1/2) and quarter (1/4). For instance:

She spent half the day asleep.

We have three quarters of the cake.

Some do use ‘fourths’ in place of ‘quarters’, but this is quite rare outside of American English, so ‘quarters’ will be correct in most cases.

Should You Write Fractions as Words or Numerals?

So, when should you write fractions as words and when should you write them as numerals? In less formal writing, as long as your meaning is clear, this is simply a matter of preference. But many style guides suggest writing out simple fractions as words in formal writing:

The subject completed 2/3 of the exercises.

The subject completed two thirds of the exercises.

You can also do this for longer or more complex fractions:

We received feedback from seventeen twenty-fourths of the participants.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

But numerals may be clearer in cases like this:

We received feedback from 17/24 of the participants.

It ultimately comes down to which style guide you are using, so make sure to check if you have one. However, as a rule, we suggest:

  • Writing fractions as words in the main text of a document.
  • Using numerals for fractions in measurements, tables of results, equations, and other primarily numerical data.

And in the rest of this post, we will look at cases where you need to be careful about how you write fractions.

Fractions at the Beginning of a Sentence

Even if you are writing fractions as numerals elsewhere, you should not start a sentence with a numeral. For example, the following would be incorrect:

22/7 is a good approximation of pi.

To avoid this, you would either need to write the fraction as words or rephrase the sentence so that it does not begin with a fraction:

Twenty-two sevenths is a good approximation of pi.

The fraction 22/7 is a good approximation for the mathematical value pi.

Mixed Fractions and Consistency

A mixed fraction is a whole number followed by a fraction. If you use a mixed fraction in your writing, make sure to use a consistent style for the whole number and the fraction:

The boys ate 5 ½ pizzas.

The boys ate five and a half pizzas.

Never mix words and numerals in a fraction:

The hungry boys ate thirty-three and ¾ of the pizzas.

When to Hyphenate a Fraction

Some people like to add a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when writing fractions as words. For instance, while we’ve written ‘two thirds’ above, we could equally write it as ‘two-thirds’:

The subject completed two-thirds of the exercises.

Unless your style guide provides advice on this, it is simply a matter of preference (just remember to be consistent!). However, there are two cases where fractions should include a hyphen:

  • When a fractions contains a compound number between twenty-one and ninety-nine (e.g. twenty-one thirtieths).
  • When a fraction acts as either an adjective or an adverb to modify another word (e.g. They got a three-quarter share).

So make sure to look out for these cases, even if you’re not hyphenating fractions elsewhere! And if you would like any extra help to make sure your writing is error free, why not submit a document for proofreading?