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TechNote #96: Last modified: 07/21/04

Using MathType 3.x with Macintosh OS X

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 3.x (Mac)

Macintosh OS X
Microsoft Office 2004 (Mac)
Microsoft Office X (Mac)


Customers would like to know if MathType 3.x will run under OS X and work with their other software under OS X.


MathType 3.x runs in Macintosh OS X as a Classic application. You can copy or cut equations from the MathType window and paste them into programs that support embedded graphics. (Version 3.7 is designed for OS 7, 8, 9 and Classic mode of OS X. It is integrated with Office 98 and 2001 only.)

AppleWorks supports EGO (Embed Graphical Object), the technology from Apple for embedding graphics. EGO works between Classic applications and OS X applications. MathType equations can be inserted into AppleWorks documents and double-clicked on to edit them in MathType.

Microsoft Office applications use Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) a Microsoft technology. Unfortunately, OLE does not work between Classic and OS X applications.

MathType 5 for Macintosh, a new version that runs natively under OS X (and also in OS 9), is now available, and supports Office X and 2004, in addition to Office 98 and 2001. For further details on upgrading to this exciting new version, click here.

Specific Issues

This notice addresses the following specific topics:

1. Using MathType with AppleWorks

2. Using MathType with Microsoft Office X and 2004

3. Importing Microsoft Word for Windows Documents

Using MathType with AppleWorks

EGO works between Classic and OS X native applications. Most Macintosh owners receive AppleWorks free with their computer. AppleWorks supports the insertion of MathType equations using the Insert Equation command in OS 8, 9, and OS X. Equations can subsequently be edited by double-clicking on them. Inserted equations will baseline correctly relative to adjacent text.

Using MathType with Microsoft Office X & 2004 and other OLE Applications

OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) does not work between Classic applications and OS X applications. To enjoy the convenience provided by OLE, we suggest either using MathType 3.x with Office 98 or 2001 under Classic OS or upgrade to the new MathType 5 for Macintosh. You can also use Microsoft Equation, the equation editor provided with Office X and 2004.

It is possible to run MathType 3.x in Classic mode, create an equation, cut or copy it, and paste it into your Word X or 2004 document, but the equation will not properly baseline: it will appear too high relative to surrounding text. You cannot edit MathType 3.x equations in Office X or 2004 programs by double-clicking on them, but they can be edited by cutting or copying them and pasting them back into MathType, editing them, and then copying and pasting them back into your Office X application. Display equations which are inserted by themselves on a line, centered on the page, do not require baselining. While it is possible to manually baseline equations in Microsoft Word and other programs, the process is quite tedious for more than a few equations. Customers who need baselined equations and have Microsoft Office X or 2004 should use Microsoft Equation, the equation editor included with Office X and 2004 which runs as a native OS X application.

The macros included in the MathType 3.x add-in for Word 98 and 2001 do not work with Word X or 2004.

Importing Microsoft Word for Windows documents with Office X or 2004 in Macintosh OS X

If you have received a Microsoft Word document containing MathType equations that was created under Windows, the best solution is upgrade to the new MathType 5 for Macintosh, which supports Word 98, 2001, X and 2004, and allows for nearly seamless cross-platform transfers of Word documents containing MathType 5 equations. Alternately, you can open it with Microsoft Word 98 or 2001 and update it as outlined in our notice about cross-platform transfers.

If you do not have Word 98 or 2001 or do not upgrade to MathType 5, it will be necessary to copy or cut each equation from the Word document, paste it into MathType 3.x, then copy or cut it to the clipboard and paste it back into Word X or 2004 to get it to appear correctly. As noted in the preceding section, the equations will not baseline correctly, so updating the document in an older version of Microsoft Word will yield much better results in documents containing inline equations (equations that are embedded in text, rather than on a line by themselves).

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