"MathType Preferences Problem" when inserting equations into Microsoft Word

The information on this page applies to:
MathType 7.0 and later (Windows)• Windows 7 and later
• Microsoft Word 2007 and later
MathType 7.0 and later (Mac)• macOS 10.11 El Capitan and later except macOS 10.15 Catalina
• Microsoft Word 2016 and later

When inserting an equation into Microsoft Word, you get one or more "MathType Preferences Problem" error messages:

MathType error message -- "problem sending your equation preferences"

Dismissing this error message sometimes prompts the next one:

Error message from MathType.

The reason for this depends on whether you're running macOS or Windows.

  • Mac: The connection between MathType and Word has either become corrupt or was never properly established. In most cases, you won't be able to use MathType until this is resolved.
  • Windows: This is annoying, but not a fatal error. After dismissing the error, you may continue to use MathType normally.

If you're using Windows, skip to the next section.

Mac

If you're using macOS 10.11-10.13, this first section isn't for you. Skip to the section after the screen shot.

macOS 10.14 Mojave introduced a feature called automation that can, in some cases, cause this error when trying to use one of the commands from the MathType tab in Word. We recommend checking the automation settings:

  • Microsoft Word may not be granting MathType access. Configure the automation settings in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Automation > Privacy.
  • Check for "Microsoft Word" and ensure "MathType" is beneath with a checkmark in the box on the left. If MathType is listed but there is no checkmark in the box, click to place a checkmark inside the box and enable the automation.
  • While you are in the Automation settings, also ensure "MathType" is there, with both "Microsoft Word" and "System Events" below (and checked). This allows MathType to communicate with Word. Both applications need to communicate back and forth with each other.
  • After doing this, exit Word and MathType, then test it again.

If you don't allow the operating system to give MathType access to Word and give Word access to MathType, they won't work with each other.

This solved my issue:  YES!     NO 
(If no, proceed to the next section…)

macOS earlier than Mojave, or above didn't resolve the issue: If you're using an OS earlier than Mojave or if you are using Mojave and the above does not resolve the issue, you must reinstall MathType. Before doing this, make sure to exit MathType and all Office applications. Download the MathType installer file from our downloads page.

Once you have downloaded the installer file, run it to re-install MathType. Note it is not necessary to uninstall MathType before doing the re-install. After you have successfully reinstalled MathType, please test it again. Let us know if you still experience the issue.

This solved my issue:  YES!     NO 

Windows

Note there is more than one possible cause for this error. If you have assigned a keyboard shortcut to launch MathType from Word, see our other article that addresses this error.

If you have not assigned a keyboard shortcut to launch MathType from Word, like we mentioned above, this error is annoying but it is not fatal. It will not prevent you from using MathType normally. Click OK to dismiss the dialog and the error message should not appear until you completely close MathType and Word and relaunch them. This is a bug we're hoping to address in a future release of MathType.


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We hope this has been helpful. As always, please let us know if you have questions about this, or if some of the steps here seem not to work. We'd love to hear from you.