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TechNote #163: Last modified: 08/14/2017

Equations in documents submitted for publication have missing or substituted symbols

The information in this document applies to:


  • MathType for Windows
  • MathType for Mac
  • Elsevier Editorial System (EES)
  • Other journal submission systems that create their own PDFs


You've written an article for publication in a professional journal, and have used Microsoft Word to do so, with MathType for the equations. Everything looked great in the Word document, but when you receive your review PDF for approval, some of the mathematical symbols are missing.


Elsevier Editorial System (EES), and most other publishing systems, will create a PDF of the Word document that you have submitted for publication. Sometimes symbols from Symbol font will be substituted for other symbols, and sometimes symbols are completely deleted because of the difference in the fonts Word uses and the ones EES uses when it creates the PDF.

Prevent this from happening

There are sometimes conflicts in the Symbol font used from one computer to the next, especially on a Mac. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use the Euclid Symbol and Euclid Extra fonts instead of the default fonts for those styles. In MathType, open the Style menu and choose Define from the bottom of the menu. Set the option for Greek and math fonts thus:

Set Euclid Symbol and Euclid Extra for MathType's Greek and math fonts.

We hope this has been helpful. As always, please let us know if you have questions about this, or if you have additional techniques that work. We'd love to hear from you.

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