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MathType Tip: Creating transportable Word documents and PowerPoint presentations

Applies to:

  MathType for Windows Microsoft Office 2000, XP, and 2003
(Windows only)

Situation 1:

You and a colleague are co-authoring a paper to submit to a scientific journal. Your colleague doesn't have MathType. She won't be writing very many (if any) equations in her part of the paper, but you will, and she will need to be able to read your equations.

Situation 2:

You've created a PowerPoint lesson to help teach matrix multiplication to your Algebra II class. During lunch the air conditioner in your room malfunctions, so administration temporarily moves you to a classroom that's vacant this period. You know the computer in that classroom doesn't have MathType installed, but your lesson depends on it heavily. Using your laptop is not an option, since it's at home.


The solution to both of these situations is the same -- embed the MathType fonts into your document or presentation. This will allow others to read your document or view your presentation, even if they don't have MathType.

NOTE: It's not important which Windows version of Office you use to create the documents or presentations as described below -- Office 2000 through 2013, or the installed version of Office 365 will work. But, the Word document must be opened with Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003 or the equations will have some missing or substituted characters, and the equations will not be correct. For PowerPoint presentations, you must use PowerPoint 2000 through 2003 to present the slide show. Font embedding is supported in these newer versions of Microsoft Office, but what doesn't work is embedding the fonts that are used in MathType equations. You can still embed these fonts, but Office will not use the embedded fonts when it displays the equations.

  1. First, it's necessary to know which fonts you used in MathType. This is normally no problem, for several reasons:
    1. At least one of the fonts will be the same as what you've used for the text of your document.
    2. One of the fonts MathType uses, often without you knowing, is Symbol font. This font is used for, well, symbols. Things like +, ≠, and ≥ all come from Symbol font.
    3. "Special" equation elements, such as some expanding brackets, the fraction bar, the "set intersection" symbol, and many others all come from a font called MT Extra. Also, most embellishments and "accents" come from MT Extra, such as the curve that you can place over alphabet characters to denote an arc, cross-outs (strikethroughs), and other such items.
    4. If you've used other special symbols that aren't in a "normal" font, you'll most likely know which font it came from since you probably chose it yourself. For example, the "not parallel to" symbol is in the Euclid Math One font. Since you likely chose this symbol directly from the font (via the Edit > Insert Symbol dialog), you probably know which font it came from. An exception might be if you're re-using an equation from another document (perhaps prepared by someone else) or if you've added a particular symbol to your MathType toolbar. In these cases, you might not know (or might not remember) which font it came from. There's still an easy way to discover which font was used. If it's in an equation, open the equation in MathType and place the insertion point to the immediate left or right of the symbol you're curious about. In the MathType Status Bar (i.e., the bottom of the MathType window), the Style will tell you which font was used (see screen shot below). If it's on your toolbar, simply point to it with your mouse, and the Status Bar will tell you which font it came from.

      Sometimes, as in the case shown here, there's not enough room on the Status Bar to completely identify the font. At this point, you're not sure if it's Euclid Math One or Euclid Math Two. To find out, simply right-click the Style section of the Status Bar and select Other. The Other Style dialog will then identify the font.
  2. Word and PowerPoint both have options to "Embed TrueType fonts" or "Embed fonts in the file". When you select this option, the fonts used for MathType equations are overlooked, but you can force the fonts to be embedded by putting them into the text of the document or presentation. Here's how:
    1. In Word, add them to a header or a footer, whichever is least likely to change. Wherever you put it, you want to be sure it's a safe place where you won't be likely to delete it or change it in the future. We'll add it to a footer.
      1. In the View menu, choose Header and Footer.
      2. Change the font to MT Extra. Press the spacebar. Repeat this step for each equation font you need to embed. You don't need to embed any font you've used in the text of your document nor any "standard" font you've used in your equations (like Symbol).
      3. Click Close.
    2. In PowerPoint, click View > Master > Slide Master.
      1. On the Title Master, click inside the Footer.
      2. Perform step 2.a.ii. above.
      3. On the Slide Master View toolbar, click Close Master View.
    3. Now the fonts are part of your document or presentation, and you're ready for step 3…
  3. To embed the fonts, follow these steps:
    1. Save the document. If you've saved it previously, use the "Save As" command.
    2. In the Save As dialog, click Tools. This will be at the upper right of the dialog.
    3. Select Save Options. Click the box labeled Embed TrueType fonts. Leave other default options set. Specifically, do not click the box labeled Embed characters in use only, because this will result in embedding only the space character from the math fonts. Click OK, then click Save (naming the document first, if you haven't already done that).
  4. Now your document or presentation can be read, projected, or printed on other computers with compatible versions of Office installed, regardless of the presence of MathType.

If you have a tip that you'd like to pass along to us for possible inclusion in our Tips & Tricks, email us. If you want to make sure you're among the first to find out about new MathType Tips, subscribe to our Design Science News blog.

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