Equations Are Printed with Characters Omitted, Clipped, or Substituted

TechNote 77
The information on this page applies to:
  • MathType for Windows
  • MathType for Mac
  • Various printer drivers
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple macOS

When printing documents containing MathType equations, some equations may contain the wrong characters, some characters may be clipped from the right side of the equation, or characters may be omitted, most commonly parentheses.

The problem most likely is with the printer driver and may be corrected by updating the printer driver or adjusting its settings. A printer driver is the software program your computer uses to control (or "drive") your printer. When an application prints a document, the printer driver is used to create the series of commands your computer sends to your printer which tell the printer how to render (draw or print) your document. If your equations appear correctly on your screen, the graphics files must be correct. If they were not, your video driver (used by your computer to control your monitor display) would not be able to display the equation correctly either.

This notice provides general suggestions for resolving printing problems. Unfortunately, since printer drivers vary widely between manufacturers, and even among printer models and driver versions for the same manufacturer, we can only provide suggestions that apply to all printer drivers, making this notice generic, but universally applicable.

Check for a newer (or older) printer driver

Your first step should be to determine which model of printer you have and then go to your printer manufacturer's website and see if they provide a newer driver for it that runs under your operating system. Many common printer manufacturers are listed below:

If the driver you have is older than the one currently available, download the newer driver and install it per the instructions given at the printer manufacturer's website. Once you have installed the newer driver, try printing the document again. Unlike most other kinds of devices, you do not need to remove your old printer driver to install a new one. In fact, having multiple drivers installed provides more options when you do experience printing problems. If the manufacturer provides multiple drivers, you may need to try more than one to find a driver that fixes the problem you are experiencing.

If you already have the latest printer driver installed, you can try earlier drivers, which you may be able to find on the manufacturer's website. Sometimes new bugs or other incompatibilities are introduced in newer drivers.

Every installed printer driver will have a different printer name, even though they may be associated with the same printer.

If you are using a PostScript printer and none of the drivers provided by the manufacturer, Microsoft, or Apple corrects your printing problems, you may want to try the generic PostScript printer Adobe offers on their website, which should work with any PostScript printer and may resolve your printing problem.

Accessing Printer Driver Properties

  • Windows 7. Access your printer driver options by choosing Start > Control Panels > Printers, right-clicking on your printer and choosing properties.
  • Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. Press and release the Windows logo key on the keyboard, type printer, wait until Devices and Printers appears, and click it (or press Enter).
  • macOS. Look in System Preferences for Printers & Scanners.

Enable the "Download TrueType fonts" or "Use Soft Fonts" option

Many printers have fonts installed on them. The default on such printers is to use their own (local) fonts when you print a document. Such printers usually have an option to send all the fonts used in your document along with your document. This option causes your printer to download the fonts needed to print the document instead of using its own. The standard way a document is printed is your computer sends the contents of your document and tells the printer what fonts are used, but does not actually send the fonts themselves unless the printer requests them. Less expensive printers do not have memory of their own and do not have any fonts of their own and will not have such an option available in their driver.

Enable the "Print TrueType as Graphic", "Send Fonts as Bitmap", "Raster on host", or "Image page as graphic" option

Nearly all printer drivers support an option to have your computer convert your entire document or just each character in it as a high resolution bitmap, and send it to your printer as an image. This option is typically named "Print TrueType as graphic", "Send Fonts as Bitmap", "Raster on host", or "Image page as graphic". It may be named something else but the effect of selecting this option is to have your computer, not the printer, determine what the final output should look like. This option will correct the problem if the equation appears correctly on your screen, because the same method is used to generate the image of your document. If you cannot find this feature in your printer driver, contact the printer driver manufacturer and they can provide you with instructions to activate this option if it is provided.

Note: Having your computer, rather than your printer, generate the final printed output fixes most printing problems, but it will increase your printing time by approximately 20%, which is why we recommend trying different drivers first. If you do not print out a lot of documents containing MathType equations, we suggest turning this option back off after successfully printing your document.


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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.