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TechNote #118: Last modified: 11/03/2016

Using MathType to Create Large Print Math Materials for Accessibility

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 6.x (Windows & Mac) Microsoft Word 2002 and later (Windows)
Microsoft Word 2011 (Macintosh)



For the purpose of developing math materials accessible to students with disabilities, there is often a need to create large mathematical expressions with the intent of creating large hard copy print.


MathType can be a very effective tool for customers who need to regularly create large print math materials. The first part of the process involves creating and saving a MathType equation preference file. Secondly, applying that preference file to existing or to new Microsoft Word documents. Click on the links below for step-by-step instruction for each.

Note: The procedures below assume you have Microsoft Word installed.

Creating a Large Print Equation Preference File

  1. Launch MathType
  2. From the Size Menu choose Define.
  3. In the resulting dialog for "Full" type the desired math font size. For example "18" to create 18pt math equations, or "24" to create 24pt math equations. Leave all the proportional percentages that appear in the other setting boxes as they are.
  4. Click on the "Apply" and then the "OK" to close the Define Sizes dialog box.

Save size settings to a MathType Preference File

  1. From the Preferences menu choose Equation Preferences > Save to File...
  2. In the resulting dialog, name your preference file with an easily recognized title and click Save.
  3. This saves the MathType Preference file so that it can be applied to existing Microsoft Word documents containing MathType equations. Note, this process can be repeated to create any number of preference files. Simply repeat the steps noted above, saving each file with unique names. Once finished, exit MathType.
  4. For more information on creating and saving MathType Preference files, please consult MathType Help.

Applying a saved preference file to existing Microsoft Word documents containing MathType expressions

  1. Open an existing Microsoft Word document. It's a good idea to create a backup before proceeding to preserve the original file.
  2. If you have a Word template for large print documents, you should apply it at this point. If not, manually set font size of all non-math content to the desired font size.
  3. From the MathType menu choose Format Equations.
  4. In the resulting dialog click the radio button named MathType preference file...
  5. Click Browse...
  6. Navigate to the desired MathType Preference file and click to select it.
  7. Click Open. This selects the preference file and returns focus to the Format Equations dialog.
  8. For range click Whole document.
  9. Click OK.
  10. This will close the Format Equations Dialog and apply the preference file to all MathType objects in the Microsoft Word document.
  11. Once completed, a dialog appears indicating the number of MathType equations that were updated. Click OK.

Applying a saved preference file to new Microsoft Word documents

  1. Select the font and font size you want for the literary text as you normally would for creating large print materials, for example "Arial" and "18."
  2. From the MathType menu choose "Set Equation Preferences…"
  3. From the Set Equation Preferences dialog box, select the radio button for "This document's equation preferences" and then click on "Load from MathType Preference File…". Locate the desired preference file and select it. Click "OK" on the Set Equation Preferences dialogue box.
  4. Your Microsoft Word document is now formatted to create MathType expressions using the selected preference file.
  5. For more information about working with MathType Preference files, please consult MathType help or the MathType User Manual.

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