Problems using MathType symbolic fonts in Microsoft Office for Macintosh
The information in this document applies to:
MathType 6.x (Mac)
Microsoft Office 2011 (Mac)
Microsoft Office 2008 (Mac)
Various other Macintosh applications
You may have problems inserting characters
from MathType's 'symbolic' fonts
in Microsoft Office applications on the Mac. By
symbolic fonts we mean non-alphabetic fonts, i.e., Euclid Symbol, Euclid
Math One, Euclid Math Two and MT Extra. We believe this
problem occurs with other companies' symbolic fonts as well.
The specific problems are:
- the fonts may not be listed in the Insert Symbol dialog in Word or
- characters from these fonts cannot be inserted into Word or PowerPoint
- if you select a symbolic font, typing on the keyboard with the standard
US layout selected causes the application to insert characters from an
alphabetic font such as Times New Roman or Lucida Sans
This issue does not affect using these fonts in MathType.
Pages, Keynote, TextEdit and
other Macintosh applications may be affected as well.
We believe this problem is due to the way Mac OS X and Office handle
keyboard input. Office interprets keystrokes as Unicode characters, and
switches to a font that contains that character, i.e. an alphabetic font. (In
earlier versions of
Office, by contrast, keystrokes are used to input a glyph from the currently
selected font, even if it is symbolic and doesn't contain the character
represented on your keyboard.)
There is no real solution to this problem until the bug is fixed by Microsoft
and/or Apple, but the following
workarounds may help.
To force missing symbolic fonts to
appear in Word's Insert Symbol list:
- Launch Word and open the 'Word Font Substitutes' file found in
- Add the missing font(s) to the [SymbolFonts] section. Adding Euclid
Symbol and MT Extra would look something like this:
- Save this file, close and re-launch Word.
- You should now see the added fonts in the Insert Symbol dialog and be
able to use many characters from them. In some cases, an incorrect character
or empty box may be inserted.
To use the OS X Character Palette to
- Select the symbolic font as the current font in the application (TextEdit
and Keynote both work with this).
- Open Character Palette (CP). You can open the Character Palette using
International preferences. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and click
International. Click Input Menu, then click the checkbox next to Character
Palette, and then choose Show Character Palette from the input menu in the
menu bar (the one that looks like a flag or character).
- Choose Glyph in the View popup of CP.
- Choose the symbolic font in the Font popup in CP.
- Double-click the symbol in CP you want to insert into the application.
Getting This Problem Addressed by Microsoft and Apple
We encourage all users to report this issue to Microsoft and Apple so
that they can appreciate the need to devote additional programming resources to
it. It is important that their customers continue to report their
own experience so that Apple and Microsoft understand how widespread this
problem is. Most often, reports from actual users have a greater impact on bugs
getting addressed than those submitted by independent software vendors such as
You can report this problem and any other problems you have with Microsoft
Office or Word at
If you can contact Microsoft Technical Support Staff by telephone your report
will likely carry even more weight.
You can contact Microsoft Technical Support at (800)
You can report this problem and any other problems you have with the Macintosh
OS at http://www.apple.com/support/.
To report and track bugs via the Apple Developer Connection, visit
You can contact Apple Technical Support at (800)