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TechNote #65: Last modified: 07/16/03
Last reviewed: 09/14/00

Mouse Pointer Disappears over MathType 3.x Window

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 3.x (Win) Windows 3.1
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows NT


Some users of earlier versions of MathType find that their mouse pointer disappears over the MathType window but it does appear elsewhere. Some customers perceive the mouse pointer as going behind the MathType window. 


The issue is that the video display driver is having trouble displaying the mouse pointer over a 16-bit application, which MathType 3.5 and earlier are. This is why the mouse pointer returns when you move it back over any other 32-bit application, like Word 97 or the Windows desktop.


Our primary recommendation is to upgrade to MathType 4.0, which eliminates this issue as a 32-bit application. If you have questions about pricing or would like to upgrade to this version, you can do so by visiting our on-line sales page. If you choose not to upgrade to this version, you may still be able to address the problem so you may continue working with MathType. This will most likely require downloading the latest video driver for your display adapter.

Note: Having a new computer or new video card, does not mean that you are using the latest drivers. In fact, for very new models or video cards, they are more likely to have a new driver released for them.

If your computer is new or you installed a new video card, you are twice as likely in need of updating your drivers. Computers that are put together by companies like Dell, Gateway, Micron, etc. typically use the drivers that come with the hardware that is installed. This does not take into account the fact that drivers for new products are updated at a much higher rate then older hardware. As a result, the drivers that are included with most new computers are already out-of-date. Manufacturers of video cards make available new drivers for free on their web sites to combat problems of this nature. Make sure you are using the latest version for your adapter by visiting your video card manufacturers web site.

Verifying that you have the latest video card drivers

The following procedure may be used to obtain your video card driver version information. This procedure may vary from driver to driver and as a result the following steps may not be the correct procedure for your driver. If they are not, contact your video card manufacturer for their specific instructions on locating the version information for their drivers.

  1. Choose Control Panel from the Settings menu off the Start button on your taskbar.

  2. Double-click on System; this will display a dialog with 3 tabs.

  3. Choose the Device Manager tab.

  4. Expand the Display adapter branch by clicking on the [+] located in front of the item; this will expand the branch to show you all of your installed video card drivers. Typically, there should only be one entry listed here.

  5. Write this entry down as you will need to remember the model name if you need to proceed to the next section later.

  6. Click on the display adapter listed.

  7. Click Properties.

  8. Choose the Drivers tab.

  9. Press Driver File Details.

At this point, the dialog will display the version information about the video card driver. Write this number down as you will use it later when you are visiting your video card manufacturers web site to verify that it is the latest version. 

If after visiting you video card manufacturers web site, you find that the drivers that you are using are out of date, download the latest version and install them. After the installation of the newer drivers, try to reproduce the problem. If the newer drivers corrects the problem, you may finish here.Otherwise proceed to the next section: Setting up the Standard VGA driver.

Setting up the Standard VGA driver

Note: Try the following as a diagnostic test only after verifying that you have the latest drivers installed for your video card. 

The procedure listed below will allow you to switch to the Microsoft generic video driver. This will show if it is your video driver that is the source of the problem:

  1. Choose Control Panel from the Settings menu off the Start button on your taskbar.
  2. Double click Display in your Control Panel; this will bring up the Display Properties dialog.
  3. Choose the Settings Tab.
  4. Click Advanced Settings to display the Advanced Display Settings dialog on the Adapter tab.
  5. Click Change to display the Select Device dialog.

At this point you will see a list of Compatible devices and their creation dates. Make sure the date listed after your driver is the most current one; check the manufacturer's web site to verify this. If it isn't, then download the latest driver before continuing.

  1. Click Show All Devices.
  2. Scroll to the top of the list of Manufacturers and choose "(Standard display types)".
  3. In the list of Models choose "Standard Video Adapter" or "Super VGA".
  4. Press OK on the Select Driver dialog.
  5. Press Close on the Advanced Display Properties dialog.
  6. Press Close on the Display Properties dialog.
  7. When prompted to restart, click Yes.

After windows has restarted, try to reproduce the problem. If the problem goes away, contact you video card manufacturer and let them know what you are attempting to do and what you have done so far. They will need to address the issue of the mouse pointer refreshing in the video driver directly before the process will work correctly with MathType 3.5 and earlier.

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