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Installation: MathFlow for Arbortext

Main installation steps

The following steps will guide you through the installation process. After running the installer, review the additional installation steps below to complete the configuration.

  1. Double-click the file MathFlow 2.1 for Arbortext (XX-bit).msi to begin the installation.

  2. Click OK to begin the formal installation wizard. Review each dialog and proceed through the wizard by clicking Next.

  3. The installer will give you a choice of where to install the various installation files. The default installation directory is the custom directory under the Arbortext installation path. You can choose to install into a different directory if so desired.

  4. If you install MathFlow into the default location in the Arbortext installation root, you will need to be sure none of your pre-existing Arbortext customizations will get overwritten in the process. Back up your existing directory before you install. Also, do not skip the installation of any MathFlow files.

  5. If you don't install MathFlow in the default directory, you must set the APTCUSTOM environment variable to the path of this directory in order for Arbortext to use the MathFlow code.

  6. Arbortext looks for custom code in one of two places: if the APTCUSTOM environment variable is set, Arbortext first looks in the location it specifies. Then Arbortext looks in the Arbortext/custom directory. MathFlow should work when installed either way.

  7. Once you have confirmed the settings in the pre-installation summary, click Install. The installer will display a progress bar as files are copied.

  8. Click Done when prompted after reading the important notes at the end of the installation.

Once the MathFlow installation is completed, your system will contain the necessary MathFlow files and folders, which include the following:

  • Documentation — the entire set of documentation files can be found as noted previously on the intro page.

  • Application files and executables — this includes ACL scripts, a single .jar file, and (for Windows) DLLs, together with configuration and other auxiliary files. All of these are under the custom directory.

  • A sample document type, axdocbook_math. This is an example to illustrate how to configure MathFlow for a document type. The sample doctype files are included in the custom/doctypes directory and are automatically installed along with the rest of the executable code.

Additional installation steps

License File

In order to be able to use MathFlow you need to have a license file installed. Obtaining a license file is a two-step process; see the MathFlow Licensing section for complete details.

MathFlow custom files

In nearly all situations you will need to integrate MathFlow Editor with your own custom files. If you already have a working Arbortext custom directory and choose not to install MathFlow into it, you will have to manually merge MathFlow with this existing directory, file by file. All the MathFlow custom files can be found in the folder you identified at the time of Installation.

Supplemental character codes

Giving Arbortext access to a set of special character codes for mathematics will enhance the integration with MathFlow and extend its use of fonts, symbols, and entities. This final step in the installation is to set an environment variable, APTCHENTPATH, which points Arbortext to a supplemental file of character codes. The value of the variable depends on where you have installed custom:

  • If custom is under the Arbortext installation tree, add a new environment variable named APTCHENTPATH, and set its value to:


  • If custom is in <custom-path>, add a new environment variable named APTCHENTPATH, and set its value to:


More detailed information on character entities and codes can be found in the Characters section of Programmer Documentation and in the Mapping entity codes section in the Configuring MathFlow section.


MathFlow may require additional mathematical fonts. Installation of these fonts, if required, is handled by the MathFlow installer without additional input.

To re-install these mathematical fonts at a later date, you can find the font installer in C:\Program Files\MathFlow 2.1 for Arbortext\Design Science Fonts. Double-click Setup.exe to begin font installation.

MathFlow Import/Export (Windows only)

Note since MathFlow Import/Export uses MathType 7 macros for converting equations into MathML, it's necessary to have MathType 7 installed as well.

If you are using MathFlow Import/Export, copy all the .dot files from




to one of the following directories, depending on your version of Microsoft Word:

  • Word 2007


  • Word 2010


  • Word 2013


  • Word 2016

<Office-installation-directory>\Office16\STARTUP Or the appropriate Office version number\STARTUP directory for other versions of Word.

Make sure to match the MathType 7 files with the bit-level of your Office installation — either 32- or 64-bit (for Office 2007, there's only 32-bit).

Required versions of MathType 7 for Office:

  * **Word 2010 32-bit requires** MathType 6.7 or later.
  * **Word 2010 64-bit requires** MathType 6.8 or later.
  * **Word 2013 requires** MathType 6.9 or later.
  * **Word 2016 and later requires** MathType 6.9b or later. This includes Office 365.

MathFlow Import/Export will allow the importing of Microsoft Word files containing MathType equations into any properly-configured math doctype document. To set up your own doctypes for import, consult Setting up a custom doctype.

For more information, please see MathFlow Import/Export. MathFlow Import/Export is for Windows only.

You have now completed the MathFlow for Arbortext installation.

Testing your installation

When you have completed the installation, you can test it by starting Arbortext and opening the file


Try double-clicking one of the equations to open it in the MathFlow Editor. If you can open the MathFlow Editor you are now ready to begin using MathFlow for Arbortext If the MathFlow Editor will not launch or you are experiencing some other problem after installing MathFlow please contact our support team.

Once you have verified MathFlow is working properly, you will likely want to set it up to work with your own doctypes. Consult Sample document types and Configuring MathFlow.

Continue reading through the Licensing page for information on the different licensing options. If you want to get right to work on equations, skip ahead to Using MathFlow in Arbortext and the Tutorials.

Configuring MathFlow Composer

As we noted previously, MathFlow Composer works together with Arbortext Composer to generate output documents in HTML, XHTML (+MathML) and PDF formats.

In addition, MathFlow can be used in conjunction with Arbortext Publishing Engine. Arbortext's Publishing Engine is a server-based publishing tool that converts XML to various types of media such as print, PDF, the Web, HTML Help and much more.

Whether using Arbortext Composer or Arbortext Publishing Engine, you'll need to know if you are using Adobe Acrobat Distiller or Arbortext's Direct PDF to generate the PDF files. The use of Adobe Acrobat Distiller is recommended because it produces higher quality equation images. However, there are additional steps to take to use MathFlow with either Distiller or Direct PDF.

Adobe Acrobat Distiller users

  • Adobe Acrobat Distiller Server version 4.0 or later must be available to your system to access this feature. Distiller Server converts the PostScript files Arbortext Editor creates to PDF files.

  • Windows users need to select a PostScript printer as their default printer or specify one using the set pdfprinter command. If you have the Adobe Acrobat Distiller Server printer driver installed on your system (this is a printer driver; it is not the Distiller application), we recommend using that printer driver when you are composing PDF files in Arbortext Editor.

  • For Arbortext Editor 5.0 and higher, you may have to enter the following at the Arbortext command line to enable the File | Compose | PDF File option: set usedistiller=on

  • In the mathml_user.acl file described in Customizing editing enter the line: $mathml::prefer_distiller = 1;

Arbortext Direct PDF users

  1. Download and install a demo of



  2. Run gpstill.exe and drag and drop all the fonts you'll need for your math equations to the PStill dialog box. Recommended fonts are the four Times New Roman fonts in your System fonts folder and the MathType postscript fonts available from the Design Science website. You'll need to drag and drop the .pfb files for PostScript fonts.

  3. Click the "More Options" button and then the "Manage Fonts" button. When you update/install fonts, PStill will generate the metrics and widths files they use in PDF creation.

  4. Copy all of the newly created files from the PStill fonts folder to the PSFonts directory in the Arbortext file structure. Specifically, copy the files from

<YourUserFolder>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\GPStill\PSFonts to the <APE-installation-directory>\pstill\PSFonts directory.

For more information on MathFlow Composer and important notes on its usage with Arbortext Publishing Engine, please see MathFlow Composer.

Configure fonts

Font management is a significant issue for MathFlow Composer. Care must be taken to ensure MathFlow Composer is configured so characters are taken only from EPS compatible fonts, and MathFlow Composer has access to accurate information about what characters are available to it within EPS compatible fonts. Furthermore, it is desirable for MathFlow Editor and MathFlow Composer to be in sync, so the screen display of characters reflects the PDF rendering with reasonable accuracy, and users of MathFlow Editor are protected from inadvertently styling equations with fonts that cannot be used in EPS. See MathFlow Composer (EPS) for instructions on configuring fonts.