Inline MathType equations appear raised above the baseline in Microsoft Word

TechNote 129
The information on this page applies to:
  • MathType for Windows
  • MathType for Mac
All supported versions of Word for Windows and Mac

Once a saved file that contains a MathType equation at the end of a line has been re-opened in Microsoft Word, the Character Spacing Position properties will have been set to "Lowered" thus causing the baseline to shift downward relative to the surrounding text. This occurs when saving the file as a .docx format (does not occur on files saved as .doc format).

This is a bug in Microsoft Word so Microsoft must fix it. We have reported this problem but to date they have not taken any corrective action. Microsoft listens to their customers, not other software companies. The more customers that complain about the problem, the more likely they are to fix it. We encourage customers to report their experience so that Microsoft can appreciate how widespread it is. You can submit feedback to Microsoft by:

Until Microsoft provides a more permanent solution, you'll need to make an adjustment to the "Position" attribute inside the "Character Spacing" properties. To do that follow the instructions below.

Fix Font Character Position (Microsoft Word 2007 and later - Windows):

  1. Place the cursor immediately to the right of the equation that contains the baseline shift issue.
  2. Select Word's "Home" tab.
  3. Find the "Font" group and click the "Show Font Dialog" button on the bottom right corner or use the shortcut Ctrl+D
    Font dialog launcher
  4. In the Font dialog, select the "Advanced" tab.
  5. Go to the drop-down field labeled "Position" and select "Normal".
  6. Click OK.
  7. The cursor will now be aligned correctly next to the equation along with any text you type.

Fix Font Character Position (Microsoft Word for Mac):

  1. Click 'Font' within the 'Format' menu or use the shortcut +D.
  2. In the Font dialog, select "Advanced".
  3. Go to the drop-down menu labeled 'Position' and select 'Normal.'
  4. Click OK.

Preventing this problem

A way to prevent the baseline issue from occurring is to save your file as a .doc format, rather than .docx. This will not fix the baseline shift issue, it will only prevent the issue from occurring when you re-open the document.

Getting This Problem Addressed by Microsoft

It's important for Microsoft's customers to report their experience of this problem so that Microsoft can appreciate how widespread it is and appreciate the need to devote their programming resources toward resolving it. We've reported the details of this issue, including sample documents to Microsoft, and we encourage all users who experience this problem to do the same.


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.