MathType for Google

MathType is available for Google Docs. Creating and editing an equation is straightforward. Just find the MathType option in the Add-ons drop-down menu and start editing. Watch the videos below as instructional guides.

Activate Google Add-on

Install the MathType add-on for Google Docs just like you would install any other add-on. From the Add-ons menu, choose Get add-ons. Search for MathType and click INSTALL. Alternatively, go directly to the MathType page in the G Suite Marketplace, and click INSTALL. Either way, when you see the Get ready to install pop-up saying "MathType needs your permission to run", click CONTINUE. You'll have to sign in with your Google account and grant MathType access to your Google docs. After you click Allow on the first pop-up and DONE on the second, MathType will be available for your use.

Animation shows using MathType in Google Docs.

Once the MathType add-on is installed, it will be in the Google Docs Add-ons menu. To open MathType to write an equation, choose either Insert/edit math equation or Insert/edit chem formula from the Add-ons menu:

Choose the insert/edit math equation or insert/edit chem formula command to open MathType.

For more details about using MathType, whether with Google Docs or just in general, see the Using MathType page.

A note about equation alignment

One thing you'll notice is that inline equations (i.e., equations that are part of a sentence of text) are not vertically aligned with the text; they're positioned higher than normal, like this one:
Equations aren't aligned with the text due to a Google restriction.
This is due to a Google Docs restriction. In the future, if Google changes this behavior to allow vertical positioning of objects such as equations, MathType will be able to align its equations better.

Equations inside tables

When using the add-on in tables you might come across the following error: "Invalid selection: Please select only a single table cell."

Selecting multiple cells in a Google Docs table will produce a MathType error.

This happens because you've selected multiple table cells or rows, or your selection goes outside the table. This makes it impossible to find a definite place to insert an equation.

To avoid this message please select only a single table cell or set the cursor at the exact place you want your equation to be inserted.

If you prefer, you may enter handwritten equations into MathType for Google. We'll give a brief description here; see our separate page on Handwritten input for full details.

Example of handwritten input.

To switch from "Classic" input to handwritten input, click the Hand icon at the right side of the MathType window.

  1. Write the equation by hand, stylus, or any device you're comfortable with.
  2. As you write, MathType will continually update the equation preview in the lower right corner.
  3. To make a correction, scribble through the part you want to correct. When it turns red, quit scribbling and MathType will clear that section.
  4. You can switch to Classic input at any time and continue editing by keyboard and clicking items in MathType's interface. Switch back to Handwritten input if you want.
  5. When you're ready to insert the equation, click or tap Insert regardless of which input mode you're in.

Select the formula you want to edit and open MathType from the Add-ons drop-down menu.

Animation shows using MathType to edit an equation in Google Docs.

Large equations in Google

The way Google processes equations requires a limit on the size of each equation. The limit is not one that we can define here, because it depends on several characteristics of the equation. The purpose of this tip is to note that if you get an error when inserting a new equation or editing an existing equation, the error may be due to the size of the equation. If it's a small equation and you're still getting an error, write us and we'll try to help. If it's a large equation, try breaking it down into two or three smaller equations and see if that eliminates the error.

Debug windows

The Google Docs MathType add-in has tools integrated that allow you to see the code representing a formula. These debug windows are designed for power users, and also help report issues to MathType support.

These windows that can be accessed via a shortcut. They are read-and-write windows, so you can use them also to input data. See the sections below for details on that, especially including the tips following the section describing LaTeX.

MathML

You can open this window with the combination Ctrl+Shift+X (memory aid: X = XML). It's the same shortcut on Mac as on Windows. You can use this debug window to edit an equation by directly editing the MathML contained in the window, or paste MathML from another document. To submit the changes, click the "Submit Query" button, and you'll see your changes immediately in the MathType editing window.

Using MathML with the MathType add-in in Google Docs.

LaTeX

You can open this window with the combination Ctrl+Shift+L (memory aid: L = LaTeX). It's the same shortcut on Mac as on Windows. You can use this debug window to edit an equation by directly editing the LaTeX contained in the window, or paste LaTeX from another document. To submit the changes, click the "Submit Query" button, and you'll see your changes immediately in the MathType editing window.

Using LaTeX with the MathType add-in in Google Docs.

Tip 1: Your browser may present a warning that pop-ups are blocked. With pop-ups blocked, it's impossible to use MathML or LaTeX with the MathType add-in as described here. If this happens, it's possible to allow pop-ups from Options:

If popups aren't allowed, you won't have access to MathType's MathML and LaTeX windows.

Tip 2: You can re-use OMML equations from a Microsoft Word document by copying the equation from Word and pasting into the MathType add-in. You can paste either directly into the editor window or into the MathML debug window. Either way, you must ensure Word's equation copy options are configured to copy as MathML.

Please see our MathType Tip for complete instructions.

When you add an equation to Google, MathType Web configures the equation such that it's readable by screen readers and other accessible technology (AT). For a more detailed explanation, see MathType Web: Accessibility.

MathType equations include alt text.

ChemType is an improved user experience in MathType to create chemical notation. It includes a personalized toolbar with specialized chemistry buttons to edit your inorganic chemistry formulas.

Animation shows editing a chemistry formula in Google Docs with ChemType.

Printing a Google Docs page with equations doesn't require any special steps -- just print like any other document. One thing worth noting is that the equations will print at high quality, just like the text. This is a scan of the previous example after printing:

High-quality printout of equations in Google Docs

The system requirements of MathType for Google are very simple: if your computer and browser are capable of running Google Drive apps (specifically the Google Docs word processor), then it will run the MathType add-in for Google. Here's how it looks in Firefox for Ubuntu:

MathType in Ubuntu.

Android and iOS

The Google Docs app in Android and iOS does not support Add-ins. As soon as Add-in technology is offered by Google in tablet apps, MathType will be available.