In typography, the baseline is the line upon which characters "sit". Characters with "descenders", such as p and y, normally have their descenders extending below the baseline. In many applications such as Microsoft Word, the baseline of a MathType equation is aligned with the baseline of surrounding text, as shown in red below. See also Inline equation.

This is a style of font often used in mathematics to represent number sets. For example: ℕ for the set of natural numbers, and ℝ for the reals. MathType's Euclid Math Two font contains the commonly-used blackboard bold characters.

Suggestion: Assign the Euclid Math Two font to the User 1 (or User 2) style using the Define Styles dialog. From then on, whenever you want to enter a blackboard bold character, type Ctrl+U (or Ctrl+Alt+U for User 2) followed by that character.

Chapter/section breaks set the chapter and section number part of all equation numbers in the document up to the following chapter/section break. There are two ways to set each number: increment and explicit. An increment break causes the chapter or section number to be one greater than that of the previous part of the document; an explicit break gives the chapter or section number a specific value.

MathType stores textual character descriptions for most characters that are useful in mathematics. These descriptions are displayed in several places in MathType:

MathType uses the term character style to refer to stylistic variations of a font, such as bold or italic. MathType supports only plain, italic, bold, and bold-italic styles. Underlines and overlines can be applied using the underbar template.

Be careful not to confuse this term with style.

A temporary holding place for information (pictures, text, etc.) to transfer between one place and another using the Cut, Copy, and Paste commands on the Edit menus of most applications.

Copy places a copy of the selection on the clipboard. Cut works the same as Copy but also deletes the selection. Paste inserts a copy of the contents of the clipboard at the insertion point or replaces the current selection.

The current equation is the one you are editing in the top-most MathType window or, when working in one of MathType's dialogs, the equation in the window whose menu was used to display the dialog.

These are the settings for equation preferences, keyboard shortcuts, functions recognized, etc. for MathType as initially set by the software when it is installed for the first time, before you made any changes to them. See also Preferences Menu, Equation Preferences, and New Equation Preferences.

The default web browser is a user setting that determines which (if any) of the web browsers installed on your computer will be used when you try to access a Worldwide Web address (http://…) on the Internet from any program other than a browser.

Refer to your browser's online help to find out how to make it the default web browser.

A display equation (also referred to as a paragraph equation) is an equation on a line by itself, usually centered within the line. See also Inline equation.

EGO is a Mac software technology that allows you to add objects (in the case of MathType Editor, equations) directly into a word processing document, or any other kind of document.

To add an equation to a document, choose the word processor's or other application's Insert Equation command, which is usually located in the Insert or Edit menu.

EPS is a file format used for graphics in desktop publishing applications like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress.

For EPS output to work correctly, the font assignments in MathType's Define Styles dialog for LC Greek and UC Greek must use a font with the Symbol encoding. To verify Symbol encoding for a particular font, open MathType's Insert Symbol dialog, and beneath the font grid there will be information displaying the Font name, the Description of the selected character, and the Font Encoding:

Equation preferences are the set of styles, sizes, and spacing rules applied to an equation.

Normally, in professionally typeset mathematics, integral signs in equations are all the same size. Occasionally, however, you may want an integral to expand to the height of its contents.

To enter an expanding integral template instead of the normal one, hold down the Shift key as you insert the integral from the template palettes.

Fence characters are symbols such as brackets [ ], parentheses ( ), braces { }, etc. that are used to enclose or "fence" other characters or symbols.

A fence template is a template that uses one or more of these fence characters.

Focus refers to the part of the window to which keystrokes will be sent. It is usually highlighted in some way.


  • When a MathType equation has the focus, the insertion point blinks to indicate where characters will be entered that you type into the equation.
  • When a symbol or template in the palette menus has the focus, it is displayed with a raised outline around it to indicate that if you click it or press Enter the symbol or template will be inserted into the equation.

A font is a set of characters having a common stylistic look. MathType allows access to all fonts installed on your computer (except old-style bitmap and vector fonts). Use the Windows Control Panel's Fonts section to install and remove fonts.

Use the Insert Symbol dialog to review the available fonts on your computer and to explore the characters contained in each font.

A font encoding is a correspondence between font position (0 to 255 for most fonts) and the character in that position (also known as its glyph). A font encoding is also called a character set.

Many fonts can share the same encoding. For example, most Windows alphabetic fonts have the Windows ANSI encoding, and most Mac fonts have the Mac Roman encoding.

MathType has names for common font encodings. These can be seen in the encoding item in the Insert Symbol dialog. They are a key component of MathType's font knowledge system.

This is a style of font often used in mathematics. MathType's Euclid Fraktur font contains the full Fraktur alphabet (e.g., 𝔄, 𝕴, 𝖆, 𝖇).

Suggestion: Assign the Euclid Fraktur font to the User 1 (or User 2) style using the Define Styles dialog. From then on, whenever you want to enter a Fraktur character, type Ctrl+U (or Ctrl+Alt+U for User 2) followed by that character.

Functions are mathematical operators represented by multi-character names such as sin or cos, as opposed to single-character operators like + or –. MathType automatically recognizes standard function names as you type and gives them the Function style . You can add or remove function names from the automatic recognition process using the Functions Recognized dialog.

GIF is a graphics file format generally used for line art (as opposed to JPEG which is best for photographs) in Internet publishing applications. Save equations in this format when creating web pages. See also Save As dialog and Web and GIF Preferences dialog.

An inline equation is an equation inserted in a line of text. Many word processors position inline equations so that the baseline of the surrounding text is aligned with the equation's baseline. See also display equation.

The insertion point is a blinking line (or lines) indicating the place in the equation at which characters you type, or symbols and templates you insert, will go. Here's an example of what the insertion point looks like when it is at the end of the slot (and outside the slot) containing a summation:

Normal view: Nested view:

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of one or more keystrokes, usually involving the Ctrl, , Shift, , and/or Alt keys, that invokes a menu command or inserts a symbol or template. MathType has many built-in keyboard shortcuts. You can create your own or modify the built-in shortcuts using the Customize Keyboard command on the Preferences menu.

The keystrokes that define a keyboard shortcut are displayed in menus, the status bar, and dialogs using standard Windows and Mac abbreviations. For example, Ctrl+Shift+F1 means to hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys, then to press and release F1.

MathType allows you to define two-stroke shortcuts that consist of one stroke followed by another. For example, Command+G,A means to press and release the Command and G keys, immediately followed by pressing the A key. If you don't press the second key within 4 seconds of pressing the first, it's as if you never pressed the first key or key combination.

LaTeX is a dialect of the TeX typesetting language.

A display equation that is preceded by a left-aligned equation number on the same line.

The math axis is an imaginary horizontal line to which certain math elements align, such as the bars in plus signs, the point of curly braces, fraction bars, etc.

For example:

MathML (Math Markup Language) is an implementation of XML created to describe math equations for integration into web pages and for professional publishing in XML workflows.

These are equation preferences that are used for any equation you create from scratch by choosing New from the File menu or using Insert Object in an OLE-compatible application. See also Default settings.

Nudging is a way that you can make fine adjustments to the position of any equation elements. Just select the part of the equation you want to adjust, hold down the Ctrl key, and use the arrow keys to move in the desired direction.

You can remove all nudging from selected items using the Reset Nudge command on the Format menu.

OLE is a Microsoft software technology that allows you to add objects (in the case of MathType, equations) directly into a word processing document, or any other kind of document.

To add an equation to a document, choose the application's Insert Object command, and choose "MathType 6.0 Equation" from the list of object types.

Office Math Markup Language (OMML) is an XML markup language for representing mathematics in Microsoft Word 2007 and later and Office 2010 and later on Windows and Mac.

PICT is a graphics file format for the Mac family of computers. Although the PICT format can accommodate bitmap images, the PICTs created by MathType are "draw"-style graphics and, therefore, are scalable and will print at full resolution.

A pile is a vertical stack of lines (or slots). You can create a pile by pressing Enter in a line (slot). You can use the Align commands in the Format menu to change the horizontal alignment of the lines in a pile.

Points are a standard unit of distance in printing, graphic design, and typesetting. There are 72.28 points in an inch. A point is .3515 mm.

This is any character that MathType considers to be in the class of mathematical symbols that describe a relationship between the expression to the left of the symbol and the one to the right. Examples of relational symbols are = (equals), < (less-than), and > (greater-than). MathType surrounds relational symbols with a larger amount of space than other kinds of symbols.

A display equation that is followed by a right-aligned equation number on the same line.

A slot is a place in the equation that holds symbols and templates. Each slot behaves much like a line of text in a word processor. Empty slots are displayed as a dotted rectangle.

Each character in a MathType equation is either directly assigned a specific font and character style, or is assigned one of eleven MathType styles. MathType's styles are somewhat analogous to text styles in word processing and page layout applications. Each one is defined as a combination of a font and character style (e.g., Times/bold/italic or Symbol/bold). Styles save you from having to worry about fonts and character styles separately, and hence speed up your work and help you maintain consistency in your equations. Also, by changing the definition of a style, you can quickly change the appearance of all the characters that use it.

The styles available in MathType are Text, Function, Variable, Lower-case Greek, Upper-case Greek, Symbol, Vector-Matrix, Number, and Extra Math. MathType also has User 1 and User 2 styles. MathType will assign certain styles to certain kinds of characters automatically, based on its knowledge of mathematics and typesetting conventions. This intelligent assignment of styles is a unique feature of MathType which significantly increases your productivity and reduces typographical errors.

A symbol is another name for a single character. Symbols are inserted into equations using the symbol palettes, Insert Symbol dialog, or typed from the keyboard.

A template is a formatted arrangement of nested slots and symbols. Templates are inserted into equations using the template palettes.

TeX is a typesetting language invented in the late 1970's by Donald Knuth, a Stanford University computer science professor. It uses markup such as

     $x^2 + \alpha$

to represent equations.

Language Input is a feature in MathType that allows you to type a subset of TeX into the equation editing area. MathType will convert the TeX input to a MathType equation. See also Using TeX language input.

Texvc is a typesetting language based on TeX that is used by Wikipedia and others. Since it's a basic subset of TeX, trying one of the Texvc translators is a good idea when targeting an application or website accepting TeX formulas.

TIFF is a graphics file format originally created to be used with PostScript printing, but is also popular for use with high color depth images. You cannot save a MathType equation directly as a TIFF. One of the options in MathType for saving EPS files is to save with a TIFF preview image. This option is useful when importing EPS equations into software that either does not produce its own preview image, or produces a low-resolution preview.

In MathType, a typesize is a character size you can refer to by name, rather than by numerical value. Each character you enter in an equation is automatically assigned one of five typesizes (Full, Subscript/Superscript, Sub-Subscript/Superscript, Symbol, and Sub-Symbol) depending on its position in the equation. You will usually not have to worry about which typesize is currently in effect; MathType "knows" when you are entering a subscript, for example, and assigns the Subscript typesize automatically. By changing the definition of a typesize, you can quickly change the size of all the characters that use it.

Unicode is a character encoding standard that assigns a numerical value (from 0 to 65535 and above) to every known character used by the human written languages in use in the modern world. Although Unicode does contain many math characters, we have assigned additional code points in Unicode's Private Use Area as allowed by the Unicode standard for additional characters used in mathematics. We use the term MTCode to mean Unicode plus our MathType extensions.

For more information on Unicode, see their website ( or get the book version of the standard.

You can enter dimensions such as spaces and sizes using any one of several units by choosing from the drop-down list directly to the right of where you enter the value of the dimension. MathType accepts the following units:

  • Points (pt)
  • This is the most common unit and is MathType's default. There are approximately 72 points in an inch.
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Inches (in)
  • Picas (pi)
  • There are approximately 6 picas in an inch.
  • Percentage of Full size (%). Use this unit to make a dimension vary in proportion to the Full typesize as defined in the Define Sizes dialog. This allows you to change the overall size of your equations while maintaining the same spacing.

This is the standard graphics file format for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. Although the metafile format can accommodate bitmap images, the metafiles created by MathType are "draw"-style graphics and, therefore, are scalable and will print at full resolution. Use this format to import equations into drawing applications.

The W3C is the governing organization for the World Wide Web part of the Internet. They and their member organizations decide on standards for displaying and communicating information on the Web. Some of the important standards they administer are HTML and, for MathType users, MathML.

The W3C's website is at