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MathType Tip: Changing font size

Applies to:

  MathType 4 and later (Windows)
MathType 5 and later (Macintosh)

Note that although this tip scenario mentions Microsoft Office apps, this tip applies to any application you use MathType with.


You're using Microsoft Word to prepare a class handout for tomorrow's lesson. You want to work on your PowerPoint lesson slides as you go. You're using MathType with both Word and PowerPoint, and you want your equations to match the size of the text in your handout and on the slides. You're using the MathType default fonts and sizes, which work fine in Word. In PowerPoint, the font doesn't match your text and you have to click each equation and drag the corner to change the size—and even then it doesn't match exactly. You realize there's got to be a better way! Indeed there is...


  1. With MathType open, click on the Size menu, then choose Define.
  2. Change the Full size to whatever matches your text in PowerPoint. For most templates and themes, the PowerPoint default is 32pt.
  3. Notice the other sizes are specified as a percentage of the Full size. If you need to make some adjustments, like if you want your superscripts to be a little larger, make that change now. Once you set these items, you'll probably not need to change them again. Click OK.

Hint: A good way to know what relative sizes work for you and your audience is to create an expression in the MathType workspace. Click on the title bar of the Define Sizes dialog, and drag it out of the way so you can see the full expression. Change one of the values and click Apply. Notice the effect on your sample expression. If you need to adjust the value you just set, or if you need to change something else, make as many changes as you need. If you want, you can click Apply after each change to notice its effect, but clicking Apply is never required. If you want to click OK without first clicking Apply, it won't hurt anything.

  1. So what's the problem with dragging a corner of an equation to re-size it? Actually, in most cases it won't cause any problem with the equation itself. One aesthetic problem though, is the fact that if you size your equations this way, no two equations will have exactly the same text size. After all, the reason you're using MathType in the first place is to make your documents and presentations look perfect, not in order to make them look good enough! Back to the statement that "in most cases" dragging an equation to re-size it won't cause a problem. We have seen more than one case where a customer was preparing a PowerPoint slide, dragging the equations to re-size, and noticed later (usually when presenting the lesson to the class!) that one of the equations was reversed:

In each of the cases we've seen, dragging the equation to re-size it is what caused the equation to "flip", so we always recommend sizing them with the Define Sizes dialog.

That's really all there is to it! There is one more thing you can do to streamline this process and save even more time, but that's a subject for another tip. If you have a tip that you'd like to pass along to us for possible inclusion in our Tips & Tricks, email us. If you want to make sure you're among the first to find out about new MathType Tips, subscribe to our Design Science News blog.

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