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TechNote #129: Last modified: 05/16/2017

Inline MathType equations appear raised above the baseline in Microsoft Word

The information in this document applies to:

  • MathType 6.x (Windows & Mac)
  • Microsoft Word 2007 and later (Windows)
  • Microsoft Word 2008, 2011 (Mac)

Please note: There is a different issue that only began appearing in Word for Windows in March 2017. This article below applies only to a very specific case. Please read the Issue section carefully. If the issue you're seeing is such that equations are raised vertically in the line, and the tops of some of them are cut-off, whether in Word or in print or PDF, this is a separate issue caused by a Microsoft security update. Microsoft has corrected this with a newer update. Please see the Microsoft article about KB3191865 for more information.


Once a saved file that contains a MathType equation at the end of a line has been re-opened in Microsoft Word, the Character Spacing Position properties will have been set to "Lowered" thus causing the baseline to shift downward relative to the surrounding text. This occurs when saving the file as a .docx format (does not occur on files saved as .doc format).


This is a bug in Microsoft Word so Microsoft must fix it. We have reported this problem but to date they have not taken any corrective action. Microsoft listens to their customers, not other software companies. The more customers that complain about the problem, the more likely they are to fix it. We encourage customers to report their experience so that Microsoft can appreciate how widespread it is. You can submit feedback to Microsoft by:


Until Microsoft provides a more permanent solution, you'll need to make an adjustment to the "Position" attribute inside the "Character Spacing" properties. To do that follow the instructions below.

Fix Font Character Position (Microsoft Word 2007 and later - Windows):

  1. Place the cursor right after the equation that contains the baseline shift issue.
  2. Select the "Home" tab from the Word's ribbon.

  3. Navigate to the "Font" group and click the "Show Font Dialog" button on the bottom right corner or press CTRL+D from your keyboard to open the dialog.



  4. In the Font dialog window, select the "Character Spacing" tab.
  5. Go to the drop-down field labeled "Position" and select "Normal" from the drop-down.
  6. Click OK on the Font dialog.
  7. The cursor will now be aligned correctly next to the equation along with any text you type.

Fix Font Character Position (Microsoft Word 2008 and 2011 - Macintosh):

  1. Click on 'Font' within the 'Format' menu.
  2. In the Font dialog window click on:
    • Word 2008 - 'Character Spacing'
    • Word 2011 - 'Advanced'
  3. Go to the drop-down menu labeled 'Position' and select 'Normal.'
  4. Click OK.

Preventing this problem

A way to prevent the baseline issue from occurring is to save your file as a .doc format, rather than .docx. This will not fix the baseline shift issue, it will only prevent the issue from occurring when you re-open the document. To save the document in .doc format, follow the instructions below.

Microsoft Word 2007 - Windows:

  1. With the document open, click on the round Office button located on the top left corner of Word.
  2. Hover the mouse over the "Save As" button and select "Word 97-2003 Document" from the menu that appears.
  3. Name and save the document.

Microsoft Word 2010 and later - Windows:

  1. With the document open, click on the 'File' tab and then click 'Save as'
  2. Use the drop-down menu next to 'Save as type' and choose "Word 97-2003 Document."
  3. Name and save the document.

Microsoft Word 2008 and 2011-  Mac:

  1. With the document open, click on File > Save As...
  2. Go to the drop-down menu labeled 'Format' and select 'Word 97-2004 Document (.doc)' from the drop-down.
  3. Name and save the document.

Getting This Problem Addressed by Microsoft

It's important for Microsoft’s customers to report their experience of this problem so that Microsoft can appreciate how widespread it is and appreciate the need to devote their programming resources toward resolving it. We’ve reported the details of this issue, including sample documents to Microsoft, and we encourage all users who experience this problem to do the same.

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