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TechNote #73: Last modified: 11/1/16

Equations Are Displayed as { EMBED Equation } in Microsoft Word


The information in this document applies to:

MathType 6.x (Mac & Win)
Microsoft Equation (Mac & Win)

Microsoft Word 2008-2011 (Macintosh)
Microsoft Word 2002 (XP) and later (Win)

Issue

Many users become alarmed when the equations in their Microsoft Word document is displayed in the cryptic form of { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } or { EMBED Equation } instead of the actual MathType or Microsoft Equation equations.


Reason

These representations are a feature in Microsoft Word called Field Codes. They are used to help Word identify objects, such as equations, in your document. You only see them when the option is turned on, in which case they appear on-screen, in printout, or in both the screen and in print.


Solution

{ EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } appears on-screen

If you find that your equations are not displaying on-screen but instead are displaying something like { EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 }, you can change your view settings from within Word to correct this. To do so,

  1. Launch Word.
  2. Select
    • Tools | Options (Word 2002-2003)
    • Office Button | Word Options | Advanced (Word 2007)
    • File tab | Options | Advanced (Word 2010 and later)
    • Word | Preferences (Mac Word 2008-2011)
  3. Click the View tab or Advanced heading.
  4. Uncheck the box for "Field Codes" or "Show field codes instead of their values".
  5. Press OK.

At this point, the equations contained within the Word document should display correctly. Other ways that you can toggle this property are:

  • Via keystroke; the Word keyboard shortcut is Alt+F9 (Win) and Option+F9 (Mac).
  • Via the Word toolbar; the toolbar button in Word looks like "{a}". This is not one of the default buttons but can be added to the Word toolbars by using Word's Customize command. For more information about customizing your Word toolbars, please consult your Microsoft Word on-line help.

Any of the above methods will allow you to toggle the field codes off and on that will allow you to see the equations.


{ EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } appears in your printout

If you find that your equations are not printing out but instead are displaying something like { EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 }, you can change your print settings from within Word to correct this. To do this:

  1. Launch Word.
  2. Select Tools | Options (Word 2002-2003), Word | Preferences (Mac Word 2008-2011), or Office button (or File tab) | Options (Word 2007 and later).
  3. Select the Print tab or Advanced heading.
  4. Uncheck the box for "Field Codes" or "Print field codes instead of their values".
  5. Press OK.

At this point, if you print your document, the objects contained within the Word document should print out correctly.


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