MathType equations compiling to MS Word as images


I am one of the people who has the problem that Scrivener compiles MathType equations in such a way that MS Word does not recognize them as equations, but as images (and the MathType “Convert Equations” command in Word doesn’t help).

Here’s what this looks like: I have a document that includes equations. I compile it to .docx format (.doc and .rtf do the same thing). I open it in Word. Every equation is a picture, not an editable equation.

Note: this has the same effect, but is a different problem, from the problem internal to MS Word where Word’s autosave reduces to images even MathType equations native to Word. I have followed the steps here and also turned off Word’s autosave function, and no longer have the problem with Word documents that don’t originate in Scrivener.

After reading this, I suspect that the issue is that something about the way Scrivener compiles the equations is the equivalent of copy/pasting them in Word, rather than in MathType. Does that make sense? For years I have thought this was Microsoft’s problem, but after reading this I started to think maybe this is really a Scrivener bug, that Scrivener could compile in a way that would work.

I’m a new user to this board, so I hope I have posted in the right place. I would really appreciate either an effort by L&L to fix this, or advice about any way I can make my equations compile successfully, or both. Thank you. I have loved Scrivener for many years; this is the only thing that really limits its functionality for me.

Have you tried toggling which converter you’re using under Preferences? Scrivener for Mac can use either the system standard converter or the enhanced Java-based converter (which if I recall correctly is a third-party library, not developed by L&L). I don’t know which one is on by default, but looking at the trial install on my ancient iMac I see the enhanced converter is selected.

Might be worth toggling that option and trying it again to see if the behavior changes.

Thank you, that is a very good suggestion! I am going to experiment with this and see how far it gets me. I really appreciate the tip.

Hi elizaful, any success in getting mathtype equations as editable equations in word rather than an image? I’m having similar trouble.

This workflow may not be ideal for you, but if you use LaTeX for your Maths in Scrivener and compile to MMD -> Pandoc DOCX then equations are all converted into editable equations in Word.

I wonder if I could get your advice on my current predicament. I have written the first draft of a technical book in Scrivener, using Mathtype for the equations. For a book workshop I simply compiled to Word and then within Word saved the whole thing as a PDF, and that worked fine. But a book editor now notes that my equations in the Word file are pictures, not editable Word equations, and she says the press will want them editable in Word. So now I’m panicking. I’ve spent the afternoon convincing myself that if I still want to write in Scrivener, the only way I can proceed is to rewrite the book in Markdown syntax, with the equations copied from MathType in LaTex format, and then use Pandoc to convert the Multimarkdown file to docx.

I am not excited to rewrite the entire book in Markdown. Nor would I be excited to just go through a Word doc equation by equation to replacing every picture with a native equation using the Equation Editor. Can you think of some alternative workflow that might work for me?

Have you tried playing with the new converters in the Preferences (disabled by default, you can try to see if it helps): — if it doesn’t work perhaps it is a feature Keith may consider to add as he is developing? How about exporting to RTF then importing to Word, does something else happen in this case?

Would this tool work: … ation.html

Or this: … ices/tn103

Apart from that I have no experience of MathType (I’ve never installed it), I’ve always used LaTeX equations (via that OCRs equations in images to LaTeX, but that would be quite a lot of work and baroque as hell.

So I can’t think of a cool workflow hack, you will need to either do some brunt work in Scrivener (where you’ll get a more advanced workflow, you can do it in steps), or Word… :open_mouth:

Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply. I don’t think any of those solutions will be reliable, beyond perhaps begging Keith to include something that would help me in his custom compile tools. Unless that works, I think I’m stuck writing in Markdown using LaTex equation code produced by MathType where needed. Then I can compile Multimarkdown to LaTex, and then use pandoc to convert LaTex to docx. Does that sounds right?

Have you tried contacting MathType support? I’m sure they have lots of experience with helping their users beat Word into submission.


I will try that. Thank you.

Not exactly. I use Scrivener’s Styles to transform editor styles to Pandoc flavoured Markdown (Scrivener calls it ‘Multimarkdown’, but actually supports Pandoc directly). Pandoc converts to any output directly, so Scrivener > Pandoc > DOCX or Scrivener > Pandoc > LaTeXyou don’t need intermediates. Pandoc converts LaTeX equations to editable Word equations directly.