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TechNote #115: Last modified: 7/15/10

Problems printing PowerPoint files containing white MathType Equations

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 6.x (Windows & Mac)

Microsoft PowerPoint 2011 (Mac)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 & later (Windows)


Frequently, MathType equations are created and placed into dark-colored background slides in Microsoft PowerPoint with the equation characters being colored white. This applies to those equations created in MathType using white characters or when the equations were colored white after placement into the PowerPoint slide. While these slides present acceptably on screen, prints will appear as though the equations are missing or (depending on colors used) may print as black (or darkened) boxes.


When printing, PowerPoint attempts to make adjustments in the colors used on the screen with the intent being to maximize clarity in the printed material. However since MathType equations are picture objects it sometimes fails to make those color corrections to the equation object themselves, thus creating the effects noted above.


  • Create your MathType equations as you would normally (using white as the character colors) and insert them into your PowerPoint slide whose background color is black (or another dark color).
  • To print slides;
    • From the View Menu choose Grayscale (White equations will not be visible and the background will default to white.)
    • Right-click (or Control-Click) on the equation and choose Grayscale Settings>Inverse Grayscale.
  • The equations will print correctly, black on white. By switching off View>Grayscale, the presentation will again appear as white equations on a dark background and print correctly without using the Grayscale view thereafter.

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