Equations Are Displayed as { EMBED.Equation } in Microsoft Word

TechNote 73
The information on this page applies to:
  • MathType for Windows and Mac
  • Equation Editor (e.g., Microsoft Equation 3) for Windows and Mac
All supported versions of Word for Windows and Mac

Many users become alarmed when the equations in their Microsoft Word document is displayed in the cryptic form of { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } or { EMBED Equation } instead of the actual MathType or Microsoft Equation equations.

These representations are a feature in Microsoft Word called Field Codes. They are used to help Word identify objects, such as equations, in your document. You only see them when the option is turned on, in which case they appear on-screen, in print, or both on the screen and in print.

{ EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } on screen

If you find that your equations are not displaying on-screen but instead are displaying something like { EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 }, you can change your view settings in Word to correct this. To do so,

  1. Launch Word.
  2. Select
    • Office Button > Word Options > Advanced (Word 2007)
    • File tab > Options > Advanced (Word 2010 and later)
    • Word > Preferences > View (Word for Mac)
  3. Uncheck the box for "Field Codes" or "Field codes instead of values".
  4. Press OK (Windows) or close Preferences (Mac).

At this point, the equations contained within the Word document should display correctly. Other ways you can toggle this property are:

  • Via keystroke; the Word keyboard shortcut is Alt+F9 (Win) or +F9 (Mac).
  • Via the Word toolbar; the toolbar button in Word looks like "{a}". This is not one of the default buttons but can be added to the Word toolbars by using Word's Customize command. For more information about customizing your Word toolbars, please consult your Microsoft Word online help.

Any of the above methods will allow you to toggle the field codes off and on that will allow you to see the equations.

{ EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 } in print

If you find your equations are not printing but instead are displaying something like { EMBED Equation } or { EMBED Equation.DSMT4 }, you can change your print settings in Word to correct this. To do this:

  1. Launch Word.
  2. Select Word > Preferences (Word for Mac), or Office button (or File tab) Options (Windows).
  3. Select the Print button (Mac) or Advanced/Print (Windows).
  4. Uncheck the box for "Field Codes" or "Print field codes instead of their values".
  5. Press OK.

At this point, if you print your document, the objects contained within the Word document should print out correctly.


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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.