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MathType Tip: Saving common formulas and equations to use later

Applies to:

  MathType 4 and later (Windows)
MathType 5 and later (Macintosh)


You find you're having to write several common formulas and equations repeatedly, not only multiple times in the same document, but the same expressions keep appearing in most documents you create. You also tend to use a handful of symbols and templates a lot more than you use others.


You can drag frequently used equations and expressions to the MathType toolbar so they can be inserted later with just a click or a keystroke.

MathType has 3 customizable toolbars, named the Small Bar, the Large Tabbed Bar, and the Small Tabbed Bar.

The only difference between a small bar and a large bar is the size. You can put symbols, templates, and entire expressions on any bar, but it's best to reserve the large bar for larger expressions and entire equations.

Adding symbols and templates

To add any of the MathType symbols or templates to our Small Bar, first find it in the palette, then hold down the Alt key (Mac: Cmd key) and drag it into place. You can drop an item wherever you want on the toolbar, as long as there's room for it.

Adding formulas, equations, and other expressions

You can save anything to the toolbar that you create in the equation editing area. You don't have to save the entire equation; just select the part you want and drag it to the toolbar. Here are some items to keep in mind:

  • Your toolbar must have at least one empty slot before MathType will let you drop it there. If there's not enough empty space, either delete other buttons to make room for the new one or drop it on a different tab.
  • To delete a button, simply Alt-drag it off the toolbar and drop it. Be careful not to drop into an equation editing area as that will insert it into the equation. (On the Macintosh, Ctrl+click and choose Delete from the contextual menu.)
  • You can also add expressions with empty slots, such as a fraction with an empty numerator. Once you insert one of these expressions, you can then fill in the missing information.
  • You can add a 1- or 2-key shortcut to a button on any of these 3 bars. Right-click (Mac: Ctrl+click), choose Properties from the contextual menu, and type the shortcut key in the space provided. We have a separate tip about customizing MathType's keyboard shortcuts, so refer to that tip for more information.
  • To rename a tab, double-click its name and give it a new name.

We hope this tip has been useful to you. We publish MathType Tips on a regular basis, so if you'd like to be among the first to know when there's a new MathType Tip available, we recommend subscribing to the Design Science News blog. If you have a tip that you'd like to pass along to us for possible inclusion in our Tips & Tricks, email us.

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