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Word is waiting for an OLE action to finish.


The information on this page applies to:

MathType for Windows

Microsoft Office for Windows


You're working on a Word document and want to insert a MathType equation. You've clicked "Inline"¹ to insert the equation and after a couple of seconds you see this error message:


Clicking Switch To has no effect, neither does clicking Retry. After clicking Cancel, this message pops up:


¹This issue also happens after clicking "Display", "Left-numbered", or "Right-numbered".


Both messages give clues as to what's going on. The first one is rather direct; the second one is a bit more subtle.

The first message mentions an OLE action. We don't need to go into what all that means, and in fact, you may already know, but the important thing here is that 1) MathType is already open and 2) there is likely a MathType dialogue open as well. This could be any one of a couple of dozen MathType dialogues, but let's say for example, you were setting the main equation font and got distracted, leaving MathType like this:


When you click the "Insert" button (or other) to insert an equation into Word, MathType can't open the equation editing workspace for you because the "Define Styles" dialogue is still open. That's the OLE action the error message is talking about.

The second message Word pops up makes less sense, but it does ask you to ensure all "dialogue boxes in Equation are closed". That's what we describe below.


The solution is generally straightforward — switch to MathType and close the dialogue box. Sometimes it's not that simple, though.

What if you see MathType icon in the Windows Taskbar, but clicking it doesn't bring the window up so you can close the dialogue? Alt+Tab is no help either. The solution is still simple, but the step to take in this case isn't intuitive.

  • Click the Windows Notifications icon windows_notifications.gif.

  • There will be a group of Windows Settings buttons at the bottom of the Notifications pane. Click Project:

  • In the Project pane, click PC screen only:

  • Once you do that, the MathType window will either be visible so you can close the dialogue, or you'll be able to click its icon in the Taskbar to bring it to the front. Either way, near the open dialogue and you, should be able to proceed.


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.