Converting Word 2007 equations into 2003 or MathType equations

I used the Word 2007 equation editor for a recent paper. I like the editor because it supports TeX-like commands. Unfortunately some journals do not support Word 2007 equations. PLoS Biology suggest saving down as Word 2003 and recreating the equations manually. Argh, that sounds like a terrible way to spend an afternoon.

Thankfully, MathType can convert Word 2007 equations to MathType equations. It’s hard to find any information on this on their website but the latest MathType has a Convert Equations option (above). The conversion is not perfect (it had trouble with overbars) but over all it’s serviceable. Certainly less painful than retyping the equations.

Update: Once your equations are in MathType format, you will need to use the MathType interface. To use TeX commands such \alpha, go into Preferences > Workspace Preferences… and tick Allow TeX language entry. You can then enter TeX commands in the main interface by typing \, the TeX command, then hitting the Return Key.


  1. Thanks man, googled my problem, came across your blog and your hint helped me save a lot of time!

  2. I’m also using above process and it’s very useful to convert the equations from word 2007 to lower version. Maximum equations are converting successfully. But I am getting a problem with matrix’s and very long equations within long Parenthesis etc. MathType is showing popup that equation is converted but nothing is showing in word file, equations got deleted. Could you please suggest?

    • The fix I mentioned in my November reply is still not public yet. We’re in the final stages of release though, and although we don’t have an official release date, I personally don’t believe it will be more than 3-4 weeks. Kamal, if you want to send us a sample document with equations that don’t convert, we’ll be glad to take a look at it and process it with the new version of MathType. Send it to support at dessci dot com.

  3. Nothing wrong with your document or with the process you’re using. The problem is with the MathType macros in Word. We’ve corrected this problem (where Convert Equations only converts some of the equations), and it will be included in our next release, due in a few weeks.

  4. Thank you! This helped me as I have a lot of work to do with some documents with numerous equations taken via OCR into Word. They extracted OK to Word, but came out in Word equations; I need them to be Mathtype. One odd thing though: It converted them OK (with a few minor errors). However I then needed to change the font size, and did this by applying my preferred mathtype eqp file. However in this case it it only reformatted about half the equations on the first try. Then a few more the second attempt. And finally I was left with one. Normally the format equations step works for all equations in a document — so I’m not sure what was wrong here…

  5. I had success with copying from Word 2007 and pasting into Word 2003, but that requires you have both installed on the same computer. Glad to hear you made it work with one piece of software. I might save people some time to say that using Word 2003 with Microsoft’s file conversion utility that enables Word 2003 simply puts uneditable pictures in place of the equations.

  6. I have word 2007 but the above menu MathType not showing. How to show it. Please help me

    I install math type trial version

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