Equations in Pages are fuzzy when viewed in iCloud

The information on this page applies to:
MathType for MacApple Pages

You've written a class handout, using Pages on your Mac. The MathType equations looked nice and crisp on the computer (first screen shot below). When your students view it in iCloud, they report the equations all look fuzzy (second screen shot below). In addition, they are shifted up in the line and do not align with the surrounding text.

Equations look great in Pages for MacSame equations look fuzzy when viewed in iCloud

There's not anything you've done nor anything MathType has done to cause this. This is an Apple bug.

Since this is caused by circumstances beyond your control, there's no real solution. We can offer some tips and workarounds though.

  • You may know MathType is not the only way to insert equations into Pages. You can also use MathML or LaTeX. For details about that, see our main page of instructions for using MathType with Pages.
    • Inserting equations into Pages for Mac as MathML or LaTeX doesn't help this issue. Equations are still fuzzy when viewing in iCloud.
    • If you do insert equations as MathML or LaTeX, it's possible to change the font and size, but not without knowledge of how to do that in the MathML or LaTeX code. The Pages interface does not provide a point-and-click way of doing that.
  • MathType provides other means of saving equations.
    • You can save from MathType in PDF format. If you do so, you can insert or drag the equation from its location onto your page within Pages. See bullet after next for what to do after that.
    • You can save from MathType in GIF format. The default GIF setting is a low-resolution image, so if you save as GIF, it's best to first open Web and GIF Preferences (MathType > Preferences > Web and GIF Preferences). Before you save the equation, set Bitmap Resolution to Other:288, then save the equation. Insert or drag the equation from its location into your Pages document. Your equations are larger than text — 400% larger, to be exact (that's why the "288"). In the Arrange tab of the Format inspector, set the Size to 25% of what it is now. (If "Constrain proportions" is set, it's only necessary to set one value; the other will change proportionally.) See next bullet for positioning.
    • Also on the Arrange tab of the Format inspector, set Text Wrap to "Inline with Text", and drag the equation to its position within the text. You can't change the vertical alignment of an "Inline with Text" image.
  • Here's how each of these options looks in iCloud (explanation after the screen shot):
    Using GIFs is the only viable workaround to having equations on iCloud that aren't fuzzy.
    From top to bottom: Original MathType equations, MathML equations, PDF graphics, GIF graphics.

From this exercise, it's easy to see there's really no perfect (not even a good) solution to this issue. In the event it's absolutely, positively essential to have nice-looking equations while viewing the document in iCloud, it's clear which of the workarounds above you'll need to use.

Reporting this issue to Apple

Pages is a good program, but this is Apple's bug to fix. Apple has provided a feedback form for reporting issues and requesting enhancements. We encourage you to take advantage of this. While we work with Apple on making MathType work well with Pages, Apple prefers to hear from its customers and bases its development priorities on what its customers say, not on what other software companies recommend.


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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.