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TechNote #140: Last modified: 06/14/2017

Mac Office 2011: Equation Editor opens instead of MathType

The information in this document applies to:

  • MathType 6.7 (Mac)
  • Microsoft Equation Editor
  • Microsoft Office 2011 (Mac)


Clicking on any of the insert equation buttons, or choosing any of the Insert Equation functions from the MathType menu in Word or PowerPoint 2011, results in Equation Editor opening instead of MathType. This can also happen when double-clicking existing equations for editing.


When Microsoft Office 2011 updates are installed, beginning with update version 14.1.0, they may disrupt the OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) registration for using MathType with Office 2011.


To correct this, MathType must re-register itself as the application to handle math in the Office 2011 applications. Follow these instructions to do so:

Resetting MathType's OLE Registration:

  1. It's critical that you follow these steps to the letter. Specifically, there are at least 2 Library folders on your Mac. If you don't follow these instructions, you likely will open the wrong one, and you'll not find the files mentioned in steps
    3 & 5.
  2. Please exit MathType and all Microsoft Office applications before beginning the process outlined below.

First, the removal of all the OLE registration database files:

  1. In a Finder window, expand the Go menu by clicking it. With the Go menu expanded, press & hold the alt/option key. When you do so, you'll notice a Library entry appear between Home and Computer. Click this Library entry.
  2. Continue to Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011/.
  3. If present, delete the file called OLE Registration Database.
  4. Now back out of Application Support, but in the same Library folder as above, scroll down to Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011/.
If the Microsoft folder is not present in step 4, that is ok. Skip step 5 and continue the process
  1. If present, delete the file called OLE Registration Database.

Next we need a new OLE Registration Database file to be created.

Launch Word to an empty document, and leave the empty document open for a minute or two so the new OLE Registration Database file can be created. Then quit Word. This will cause a new OLE Registration Database to be written.

Last, we need to have a MathType entry

  1. Download the MathType installer from Please ensure you download the correct version of MathType for your product key. If you're unsure which version of MathType you own, open MathType and in the MathType menu, select About MathType. Beneath the name MathType you should see your version number. Your product key will only work for this version, but if there's a letter following the version number, it is unimportant for unlocking purposes. That is, MathType 6.7d and MathType 6.7h can both use the same product key. MathType 6.7h however, cannot be unlocked with a MathType 6.0 product key. (And MathType 6.0 will not install on Yosemite -- OS X 10.10 -- or later.)
  2. Once downloaded, run the installer as you would do so normally (There is no need to uninstall MathType first).

You should now be able to open Word and insert an equation.

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