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TechNote #116: Last modified: 6/10/05

Using MathType with Apple Pages for Macintosh

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 6.x (Macintosh)
MathType 5.x (Macintosh)


Apple Pages 08 (Macintosh)
Apple Pages 2.0 (Macintosh)



Apple's iWork is an integrated software package made up of Apple Keynote  presentation software and Apple Pages word processor. In this document we are focusing on Pages compatibility with MathType for Macintosh. The first portion of this document explains inserting equations into Pages, while the second portion briefly explains importing and exporting equations to and from Pages.

Inserting Equations

There is no "Insert" option that allows one to initiate a MathType window. The equation object must be created then brought into Pages by one of the methods described below. Likewise, one can not double-click an equation object to edit it in MathType.

Methods available for adding MathType equation objects to the Pages documents are:

  1. Copy / Paste from a MathType window
  2. Drag-n-drop directly from a MathType window
  3. Insert >Choose and navigate to a saved MathType file
  4. Drag-n-drop of a saved MathType file

Rendering Quality

The first two methods provide very good quality rendering of the equations. For the third and fourth methods, rendering quality depends on the format chosen when the MathType file is saved.

  • EPS/None - Excellent visual quality - Image is transparent
  • EPS/PICT - Excellent visual quality - Image is transparent
  • Macintosh PICT - Excellent visual quality - Image is transparent
  • GIF - Poor, pixilated visual quality - Image is not transparent 


Inspectors are separate tools included in Pages that can be used to manage different effects on either the document or an inserted object. The following Inspectors have direct handling capabilities of the equation object as described below;

  • Wrap Inspector:
    • "Fixed on page" option causes all text to wrap around the equation object
    • "Moves with Text" allows for in-line placement of equation object
  • Graphic Inspector:
    • Can apply a stroke to create a box around the equation object
    • Can apply a drop shadow behind the equation object
    • Can apply a "reflection" below the equation object 
  • Metrics Inspector:
    • Can manipulate object size and positioning on the page using the left and bottom page edges as references for x and y axis
    • Can rotate or flip the equation object

Importing and Exporting


  • Pages imports Appleworks, Microsoft Word and WordML documents. This process works well for actual MathType equations, retaining their PICT quality from Microsoft Word for Mac documents.
  • Imported data preserves the baselining of equations.
  • Microsoft Word documents with equation numbers and references are not supported. When the document is imported, all equation numbers and equation number references will be omitted.


  • Pages exports documents to Microsoft Word and retains all formatting, but objects are simply pictures.
  • Pages also exports to HTML and PDF documents which are acceptable, but HTML is not as good as MathPage/Microsoft Word.

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