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TechNote #141: Last modified: 11/07/2016

Mac iBooks Author: Setting default font preferences for MathType

The information in this document applies to:  

  • MathType 6.7 (Mac)
  • Apple iBooks Author 1.0 only
    not later versions


Under normal operation, MathType controls and maintains equation preferences for font and font size settings. These settings can also be set to "Use for new equations." However, anything other than MathType's default settings are not respected when inserting new equations into Apple iBooks Author.


When inserting an equation into iBooks Author, the application places an empty equation object into the iBooks document. When the MathType window opens, it is in truth, opening the existing, empty equation for editing. That equation contains font and font size settings and MathType, as expected, respects those.


NOTE: This is only for iBooks Author v1.0. If you have iBooks Author v2.0, released October 23, 2012, this procedure will not work. You cannot set the font face (i.e., the name of the font). The font size and color will be inherited from the surrounding text.

Change the default font and font size settings:

  1. Go to your Applications folder and find the application icon for iBooks Author.
  2. Control-click the application icon and from the context menu choose "Show package contents."  
  3. From there navigate to Contents/Resources/
  4. Locate the file named equation.pdf.
  5. Open this file in MathType.
  6. From the Style Menu choose Define.
  7. In the resulting dialog, chose the fonts as you require.
  8. Click OK
  9. From the Size menu choose Define.
  10. In the resulting dialog, set your font sizes as required.
  11. Click OK.
  12. From the File menu choose Save.
  13. Save the file, making sure to keep its original file name and Adobe PDF format.
  14. Changes will not take effect until iBooks Author has been restarted.

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