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TechNote #77: Last modified: 11/01/2016

Equations Are Printed with Characters Omitted, Clipped, or Substituted


The information in this document applies to:


MathType 6.x (Windows & Mac)

Various printer drivers

Microsoft Windows OS
Apple macOS

Issue

When printing documents containing MathType equations, some equations may contain the wrong characters, some characters may be clipped from the right side of the equation, or characters may be omitted, most commonly parentheses.


Reason

The problem most likely is with the printer driver and may be corrected by updating the printer driver or adjusting its settings. Print drivers are the software program that your computer uses to control (or "drive") your printer. When an application prints a document, the printer driver is used to create the series of commands your computer sends to your printer which tell the printer how to render (draw or print) your document. If your equations appear correctly on your screen, the graphic files must be correct, otherwise your video driver (used by your computer to control your monitor display) would not be able to display the equation correctly either.


Solution

This notice provides general suggestions for resolving printing problems. Unfortunately, since printer drivers vary widely between manufacturers, and even among printer models and driver versions for the same manufacturer, we can only provide suggestions that apply to all printer drivers, making this notice generic, but universally applicable.


Check for a newer (or older) printer driver

Your first step should be to determine which model of printer you have and then go to your printer manufacturer's website and see if they provide a newer driver for it that runs under your operating system. Many common printer manufacturers are listed below:

Brother http://www.brother-usa.com/printer
Canon http://www.usa.canon.com/html/downloads
Epson https://epson.com/Support/Printers/sh/s1
Hewlett Packard http://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers
IBM http://www.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/support
Konica Minolta http://www.biz.konicaminolta.com/download/driver.html
Lexmark http://support.lexmark.com/index?page=driverSupport
NEC https://support.necam.com/printers/drivers/drivers.cfm
Okidata http://www.okidata.com/drivers
Panasonic http://shop.panasonic.com/support/
Xerox  http://www.support.xerox.com/support/enus.html

If the driver that you have is older than the one currently available, download the newer driver and install it per the instructions given at the printer manufacturers website. Once you have installed the newer driver, try printing the document again. Unlike most other kinds of devices, you do not need to remove your old printer driver to install a new one. In fact, having multiple drivers installed provides more options when you do experience printing problems. If the manufacturer provides multiple drivers, you may need to try more than one to find a driver that fixes the problem you are experiencing.

If you already have the latest printer driver installed, you can try earlier drivers, which you may be able to find on the manufacturer's website, but you will more likely have to install off of the CD-ROM that came with your printer or possibly on your Windows or Macintosh OS CD-ROM. Sometimes new bugs are introduced in newer drivers.

Every installed printer driver will have a different printer name, even though they may be associated with the same printer.

If you are using a PostScript printer and none of the drivers provided by the manufacturer, Microsoft or Apple corrects your printing problems, you may want to try the generic PostScript printer that Adobe offers on their website, which should work with any PostScript printer and may resolve your printing problem.

Adobe http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/

Accessing Printer Driver Properties

Under Windows XP, you can typically access your printer driver options by choosing Start>Settings>Printers, right-clicking on your printer, and choosing Properties. Under Windows Vista and 7, you can access your printer driver options by choosing Start>Control Panels>Printers, right-clicking on your printer and choosing properties. With Windows 8.1 and 10, press and release the Windows logo key on the keyboard, type printer, wait until Devices and Printers appears, and click it (or press Enter).

Under macOS X look in System Preferences for Printers & Scanners.


Enable the "Download TrueType fonts" or "Use Soft Fonts" option

Many printers have fonts installed on them. The default on such printers is to use their own (local) fonts when you print a document. Such printers usually have an option to send all the fonts used in your document along with your document. This option causes your printer to download the fonts needed to print the document instead of using its own. The standard way that a document is printed is that your computer sends the contents of your document and tells the printer what fonts are used, but does not actually send the fonts themselves unless the printer requests them. Less expensive printers do not have memory of their own and do not have any fonts of their own and will not have such an option available in their driver.


Enable the "Print TrueType as Graphic", "Send Fonts as Bitmap", "Raster on host", or "Image page as graphic" option

Nearly all printer drivers support an option to have your computer convert your entire document or just each character in it as a high resolution bitmap, and send it to your printer as an image. This option is typically named "Print TrueType as graphic", "Send Fonts as Bitmap", "Raster on host", or "Image page as graphic". It may be named something else but the effect of selecting this option is to have your computer, not the printer, determine what the final output should look like. This option will correct the problem if the equation appears correctly on your screen, because the same method is used to generate the image of your document. If you cannot find this feature in your printer driver, contact the printer driver manufacturer and they can provide you with instructions to activate this option if it is provided.

Note: Having your computer, rather than your printer, generate the final printed output fixes most printing problems, but it will increase your printing time by approximately 20%, which is why we recommend trying different drivers first. If you do not print out a lot of documents containing MathType equations, we suggest turning this option back off after successfully printing your document.


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