| TechNote #145:
MathType: CJK and special characters garbled or missing in InDesign
The information in this document applies to:
- MathType 6.9 and later (Windows)
- MathType 6.7 and later (Macintosh)
- Adobe InDesign CS6 and later
- Adobe Acrobat XI
Equations with Asian characters, and sometimes special symbols, look good in
MathType, but when saved as EPS and placed into an InDesign document, they are
missing or garbled.
The text in EPS graphics is created with fonts. Sometimes InDesign doesn't
recognize the fonts that were used to create an EPS, and therefore cannot
recreate it faithfully.
Though the PDF format uses fonts as well, InDesign generally doesn't have a
problem rendering the fonts in equations that are saved as PDF. For that reason,
we recommend using PDF equations in InDesign. If it's inconvenient to do that
for every equation, at least use PDF for the equations with CJK symbols or for
other equations where some symbols are garbled when adding them to InDesign.
To illustrate, let's say you need to add this equation to InDesign:
You notice when you place it into InDesign, it looks like this (or otherwise
with garbled characters):
Follow these steps to display the missing characters properly:
- Open the equation in MathType, or create it if you're not working with
an existing equation.
- If you're on Windows, "print" the equation to the Adobe PDF
printer. Note that the Adobe PDF printer isn't a free product; it's a component of Adobe
Acrobat, a commercial product. You may able to achieve the same results by
using 3rd party PDF-generating products, some of which are free. Be aware
there are many such products available that we haven't tested with MathType.
If you have experience with one or more of these, and have found this
process to work with them, please let us
- If you're on Mac, save the equation from MathType as PDF.
Note: If you open the PDF equation in Acrobat to
review it before placing it into InDesign, you'll notice the equation has
been included in a full page-sized PDF, with the equation in the lower left
corner. Don't worry about that. Place it into InDesign anyway. InDesign will
ignore the "whitespace" and just use the equation.
- In InDesign, place the PDF equation just like you would any other
graphic or EPS equation. After you do so, the equation in our example should
look similar to this: