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Aligning equation numbers with multi-line equations

Applies to:

  MathType 6 and later for Windows and Mac  


You're inserting numbered equations into Word using MathType's numbering system. Some "equations" are actually more like a step-by-step solution, with each step on a separate line, but all in one MathType object. When you close MathType to insert the object into Word, the equation number is vertically centered on the group rather than aligned with the bottom line of the solution. Something like this:

3-liine equation

You want the equation number (3.1) aligned with the bottom line.


MathType employs two different types of alignment. Horizontal alignment includes options such as "Align Left" and "Align at =", among others. Vertical alignment includes "Align at Top", "Align at Center" (the default), and "Align at Bottom". All of these settings are in MathType's Format menu.

Aligning the number:

With the multi-equation object open in MathType, change the alignment to "Align at Bottom". For our example, we would see something like this:

Setting MathType's alignment for multi-line equations.

After doing that, this is what that line in our Word document looks like:

multi-line equation aligned with its equation number

Mission accomplished! One final note though...

Notice MathType's "status bar" in the screen shot above. The "status bar" is the bottom of a software window, and often contains helpful information and notes about the document or equation, or about what's beneath the mouse pointer. Pointing to "Align at Bottom", the status bar tells us this command will "Align the bottom of a pile or matrix with the line containing it". (A "pile" is simply multiple lines or rows within a single MathType object.) The fine point to note here is that this command will not literally align the bottom of the bottom line with the bottom of the surrounding text. What it does align is the math axis of the equation with the math axis of the surrounding text. That's a trivial distinction for our example here, but if our bottom line was something like this, the distinction becomes a bit more important:

Align at Bottom for an equation with a fraction

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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