Equation chapter/section numbers suddenly change

The information on this page applies to:
  • MathType for Windows
  • MathType for Mac
All supported versions of Word for Windows and Mac

Your Word document includes numbered equations, the numbering format includes chapter and/or section numbers, and the document includes a Table of Contents. Something like this (TOC not shown)…

Sample document showing numbered equations.

You've just generated the Table of Contents, and realize you've forgotten one equation. When you insert another numbered equations, you see all the other numbers change.

There are chapter/section breaks in one or more of the Heading styles. When you generated the TOC, this copied the entire heading, chapter/section break and all. So now there are duplicate breaks in your document, one for each break that appears in a heading. Thus, when you update the equation numbers and references, the numbering is updated based on the inclusion of these new extraneous equation breaks.

Under normal circumstances, MathType won't insert a break inside of a heading. We won't deal with the unusual cases here, but if you follow the steps on this page and things still don't work out, write us at the link below, let us know your system configuration, and send us a sample document if you can. We'll try to help.

Inserting breaks manually

Normally you won't need to insert the initial break into a document, but you'll have to insert subsequent breaks at the appropriate spots:

MathType's "Chapters & Sections" submenu.

When you click one of these commands, MathType will insert the break wherever the cursor is. If the cursor is inside any of the heading levels that will be included in the TOC, the break will be duplicated when you generate the TOC, and the equations will renumber as described on this page. To prevent this, just make sure not to insert the break while inside a heading:

OK and not-OK places to insert a break.

It's OK to have the break anywhere in the document text except a heading. It can even be in the middle of a paragraph. As long as it's prior to the first numbered equation in the chapter/section, that's a good spot for it.

Moving a break inserted at the wrong place

Hopefully you won't have too many of these, but other than the time involved it's a simple matter to correct, as this animation shows:

Moving a bad break

  1. Of course the first thing you'll need to do is make the breaks visible. To do that, toggle the Show/Hide button: .
  2. What you're looking for are breaks like the "Not OK" one in the screen shot above — breaks that are in headings. Click on each of them and drag them down to somewhere inside the paragraph following the heading.
  3. Regenerate the TOC. If you're unsure how to do that, perhaps the easiest way is to click anywhere inside the TOC. This will cause 2 buttons to appear: Table of Contents and Update Table.
    Click Update Table
  4. Click Update Table > Update entire table > OK.
  5. The numbering should be correct now.


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We hope this has been helpful. As always, please let us know if you have questions about this, or if you have additional techniques that work. We'd love to hear from you.