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TechNote #126: Last modified: 12/08/2008

Characters are substituted when using MathType on Mac OS X10.5 Leopard

The information in this document applies to:

  • MathType 6.x (Macintosh)
  • MathType 5.x (Macintosh)
  • Macintosh OS X 10.5 (Leopard)


Some situations occur where random characters in MathType equations are substituted for exclamation points, question marks or asterisks. This occurs in a variety of applications that contain MathType equations. Scrolling or other screen refresh actions cause the characters to toggle back and forth between the correct characters and exclamation points, question marks or asterisks.


This is a known font handling problem in Macintosh OS X 10.5 Leopard. Apple is aware of the problem and has offered the following suggestions to help remedy the problems as they occur.


Apple's recommendations involve three basic tasks.

Make sure your system software is up to date:

  1. From the Apple Menu choose Software Update
  2. The system will check for any new updates and display them for you
  3. Click the install button and follow the on-screen prompts.

Repair Permissions:

  1. In your Applications folder, open the Utilities folder
  2. Locate and launch Disk Utility
  3. In the left pane, click once on your hard drive to select it
  4. Click the button Repair Disc Permissions

Note that depending on what is found and repaired this process can take several minutes. It is important that you do not interrupt the process by canceling or using a Force Quit command.

Resolve Duplicates:

  1. Inside your Applications folder locate and launch Font Book
  2. In the resulting window, in the middle pane, locate any font that is displayed with a bullet next to it. Click once on the font to select it.
  3. From the Edit menu choose Resolve Duplicates.
  4. Repeat for each font that is displayed with a bullet.

If after performing the suggestions shown here, the problem persists please contact Technical Support at Apple Computers.


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