Disabling MathType commands in Word

TechNote 97
The information on this page applies to:
MathType for Windows
MathType for Mac
All supported versions of Word for Windows and Mac
  1. For various reasons, some users do not want the MathType Commands to automatically load when Word is launched, or they want to temporarily disable them while Word is running. Among other things, this allows them to increase the speed of Word's startup or gives them access to some of Microsoft Word's advanced features which are modified by the MathType Commands.
  2. MathType is not yet available for macOS 10.15 Catalina, yet if MathType was already installed when you upgraded to Catalina, the MathType macros will still load when you launch Word. This places an unusable MathType tab on the ribbon in Word. Removing the MathType macros will remove this tab.

The steps below provide users with two different resolutions to this problem. The first set of instructions will detail how to stop the MathType Commands for Word from loading at startup and provide you with an alternative way of loading the add-in when you need MathType's commands and toolbar in Microsoft Word. The second set of instructions will allow the MathType Commands to load when Word starts up, but the user will be able to deactivate the commands whenever necessary.

Moving the MathType add-in out of your Microsoft Word Startup folder:

  1. Locate your office startup folder. If the folder identified below doesn't exist, look in Program Files (x86):
    • Word 2007 - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Startup\
    • Word 2010 - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Startup\
    • Word 2013 - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\STARTUP
    • Word 2016 - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\STARTUP
  2. Delete this file if it exists:
    • MathType Commands 6.dot or MathType Commands 6 for Word 20XX.dotm or MathType Commands for Word.dotm
  3. If present, do NOT delete the file MathPage.wll as you will not be able to reactivate the commands as described below

At this point, when you launch Microsoft Word, the additional MathType commands and toolbar should no longer appear in Microsoft Word. You can now activate the add-in (as described below) when required.

Deactivating the MathType add-in when Word is running:

  1. From the Office Button or File tab, choose Word Options (2010 and later: Options).
  2. Along the left pane of the resulting window click Add-Ins.
  3. At the bottom of the window, next to "Manage" use the drop-down menu to choose Word Add-ins and click Go.
  4. In the list of currently active templates, uncheck the box next to MathType Commands 6 for Word.dotm or MathType Commands for Word.dotm.
Note that disabling the commands by unchecking the box as described will remove the MathType tab for the current Word session only. The commands will be re-enabled and the tab back in place the next time you launch Word.

The steps below provide users with two different resolutions to this problem. The first set of instructions will detail how to stop the MathType Commands for Word from loading at startup. The second set of instructions applies only if you're not using Catalina. These will allow the MathType Commands to load when Word starts up, but the user will be able to deactivate the commands whenever necessary.

Moving the MathType add-in out of your Word Startup folder:

macOS 10.15 Catalina

The best way to determine the location of the MathType macros is to open Word. In the Tools menu, click Templates and Add-ins. The resulting dialog should look something like this:

You can see the MathType macros listed in the Templates and Add-ins dialog

As you see in the Full path section, this file is located at
/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Startup.localized/Word/. Don't worry about the ".localized" suffix. Yours will probably be located at …/User Content/Startup/Word/.

You can remove the MathType tab by simply deselecting the checkbox to the left of MathType Commands 2016.dotm, but that will remove it only temporarily. The tab will be there again next time you launch Word. To remove it permanently, you must remove the file from that location. You can do so by moving it to another location if you want, but when we have a Catalina-compatible version of MathType, it will add whatever files it needs to the proper locations so there's no need to save it unless you really want to.

Note: There are at least two Library folders on your Mac. The one you need for this process is the one you'll find if you open a Finder window and in the Go menu click Home then Library. This is not the Library folder inside your User folder.

You'll notice there's also a "MathType.bundle" file in the folder. Deleting that file will neither help nor hurt. Simply deleting the "MathType Commands" file is what will remove the MathType tab from the ribbon.

macOS 10.14 Mojave and earlier

You may either:

  1. Remove the commands (MathType tab for Word 2016 and later, MathType menu and toolbar for Word 2011) by moving them out of their normal location, or
  2. Leave the macro file in-place but deactivate the commands whenever necessary.

The steps below will guide you through the process…

Moving the MathType add-in out of Word's Startup folder:

  • For Word 2016 and later, follow the instructions above for macOS 10.15 Catalina. Note: If you have both Word 2016 (or later) and Word 2011 installed, following these steps to remove the commands from that more recent version of Word will not affect MathType's operation with Word 2011. You will still be able to use MathType normally with Word 2011.
  • For Word 2011, either delete or move the file MathType Commands 2011.dotm from this location:
    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Startup/Word/.

If this is the method you choose, you may skip the next section.

Deactivating the MathType add-in when Word is running:

  1. From Tools/Templates and Add-ins, click to deselect the checkmark in the box to the left of "MathType Commands 2016 (or 2011).dotm".
  2. That's all you need to do. The MathType tab (Word 2016 and later) or the MathType menu and floating toolbar (Word 2011) will be deactivated for this session of Word only. They will be back in place when you restart Word.


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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.