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TechNote #78: Last modified: 02/28/01
Last reviewed: 03/01/02

Keyboard Shortcuts Fail Under Mac OS 8.5 and Later

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 3.6 (Mac) and earlier

Macintosh OS 8.5 and later


Many customers outside the U.S. find that some or all of MathType 3.6's built-in keyboard shortcuts, such as Command+C to copy, Command+A for Select all, Command+Z to undo, and others, do not work.


This problem is unique only to the combination of products listed above. Mac OS 8.5 and later handle international keyboards differently than Mac OS 8.1 and earlier. As a result, the MathType keyboard shortcuts, which worked up to version 8.1, no longer function correctly.


Currently, you have three options for correcting this problem:

1. Upgrade to MathType 3.7 for Macintosh

2. Install Mac OS 8.1 or earlier

3. Enable the U.S. keyboard layout and switch to it when using MathType

Of the three options, upgrading to MathType 3.7 is by far the simplest. MathType 3.6 users may download MathType 3.7 at no charge. The other alternatives are presented for customers who have versions of MathType earlier than 3.6 and do not wish to upgrade.

Upgrade to the latest version of MathType for Macintosh

If you already own MathType 3.6 for Macintosh, please contact our Sales department and provide your MathType 3.6 registration number for instructions for updating your copy of MathType.

If you own MathType 3.5 or earlier, it will be necessary to order an upgrade.

Install Mac OS 8.1 or earlier

This option requires you to sacrifice many features added to later versions of Mac OS, but it does solve the problem. No other action is required on your part for Command keys to function.

Enable the U.S. keyboard layout and switch to it when using MathType

Once you have enabled the U.S. keyboard along with your own keyboard layout, you will see an icon in the upper right hand corner of the Macintosh menu.  This icon will be the flag of the country whose keyboard layout you are currently using.  Clicking on this icon will drop a menu that will list the keyboards that you have enabled (one of which will be the U.S. flag for the U.S. English keyboard).

To enable the U.S. keyboard layout as described above, do the following:

  1. Open the Keyboard control panel.
  2. Place a checkmark next to the U.S. entry.
  3. Close the Keyboard Layout dialog.

At this point you will notice the new icon on the right side of the Macintosh menu bar. To switch keyboard layouts, simply click on the icon and select the layout you wish to use. 

Additionally you can customize a keyboard shortcut to toggle between the keyboard layouts that you have enabled through the Keyboard control panel.

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