For issues related to individual problematic Word files, please see the Difficult Documents section of the site.

See below for solutions related to MathType, Microsoft OMML (EquationBuilder) equations, and other equation issues and bugs.

Fix for bug affecting Microsoft Equation Builder math objects when processed with eXtyles

Microsoft announced on June 10 that their monthly update for June 2014 includes an important fix for eXtyles users of Word 2010 and Word 2013. The fix corrects a problem when DOCX files with Microsoft Equation Builder math objects are processed with eXtyles -- in a small number of cases, one or more Greek letters in such equations would turn into Roman letters due to a bug in Word's Save to RTF capability. Inera reported this bug to Microsoft in September 2013, and through the efforts of Murray Sargent on the Microsoft Math team, a fix for the bug was included in the June 2014 Microsoft monthly update.

Word 2010 users need to install the update available at

Word 2013 users need to install the update available at

Users of Word 2003 and Word 2007 are not affected by this bug and do not need to install any update.

Inera strongly advises all users of eXtyles and Word 2010 or 2013 to install this update immediately to protect the integrity of any Microsoft Equation Builder objects in documents they process with eXtyles.

Word is unable to write an embedded object

A corrupt MathType object may trigger the following warning from Word during eXtyles processing:

Word was unable to write some of the embedded objects due to insufficient memory or disk space.

If the document has MathType equations, the warning may indicate that one or more of them is corrupt. To work with such a document in eXtyles, the corrupt MathType equation must be located, deleted, and re-keyed.

One strategy for locating a corrupt equation is the “binary search,” in which the corrupt equation is isolated by a progressive halving of the document. The procedure for a binary search in a Word document is as follows:

  1. Copy and paste the first half of the document into a new Word document.
  2. Save this new document as an RTF file (saving to RTF triggers the same problem as eXtyles processing).
  3. If you were able to save the RTF successfully, read (a); if you were not, read (b):
    1. The half of the document you just saved does not contain the corrupt equation. Return to step 2 with the second half of the original document.
    2. The half of the document you just saved contains the corrupt equation. Divide this half of the document in half and return to step 2 until you locate the corrupt equation.
  4. Once you have isolated the corrupt equation, delete this equation from the original document and re-key a new equation

eXtyles reports a MathType translation Error-14 during export

A MathType translation error-14 occurs when an equation has been set up in a manner that prevents proper conversion from MathType format to MathML. Often, but not always, this error occurs when an author has incorrectly used superscript or subscript in part of the equation.

To resolve this problem, each equation associated with the error must be corrected by hand in the Word document. Search for the following comment in the exported XML document and note which equation it precedes:


The part of the equation causing this error will be missing in the XML version of the equation when compared against the MathType version. To resolve the problem, correct the equation in Word with MathType, using MathType operations that are compatible with MathML. Once the equations have been corrected, the manuscript should export without error.

Note: MathType 6.5 has an improved MathML translation that reduces the incidence of these errors significantly. If you are not using version 6.5 of MathType with an eXtyles XML export, we recommend that you upgrade. Inera recommends any version of MathType 6.5 or later, up to the most recent release, 6.9.

Word crashes when eXtyles exports a document containing MathType equations

On rare occasions, when exporting a document containing a large number of MathType equations, a user will experience a Word crash. This crash is triggered by a bad interaction between Word and MathType, and it often occurs between the following stages of export: “checking paragraphs” and “Loading MathType translators.”

A workaround has been devised to preclude this interaction. The user should hold down the Shift key when selecting the export option and keep holding the Shift key until eXtyles displays this message box:

  • This message brought to you in place of a Microsoft Word crash

Once the box is displayed, the user may release the Shift key and click OK. The remainder of the export process will execute without issue.

Note that Inera recommends any version of MathType 6.5 or later, up to the most recent release, 6.9.

Equations are being turned into graphics

This problem can occur when authors insert equations with the Equation Builder feature in Word 2007 or 2010, but you’re using Word 2003 for editorial. The Word 2007/2010 equations are not backward compatible with Word 2003. Whenever you get a DOCX file:

  • Open the file with Word 2007/2010.
  • Run eXtyles Font Audit. Font Audit will add this message, “This document has equations created with the Microsoft Office 2007 Equation Builder” to the alert if there are any problematic equations.
  • If this message doesn’t appear, then you can just process the file as you normally do. However, if it does appear, use MathType 6.8 to convert all of the Word 2010 equations to MathType.
  • Proof the equations—the conversion is good, but it’s not bullet-proof. You may need to complete some manual cleanup of the equations in MathType.

At this point you can move the file into your regular workflow.

Double-clicking on a MathType equation after an eXtyles process is run opens a different equation

Occasionally, double-clicking on a MathType equation after an eXtyles process has been run will open an entirely different equation for editing. The problem is related to the save to RTF that’s performed “under the hood” by eXtyles. In some cases (which have not been clearly defined to Inera), saving a Word document to RTF (even without eXtyles installed) will cause this problem with MathType equations when the RTF file is then closed and reopened. To avoid this behavior, run the MathType menu function Convert Equations on the Whole Document with the type set to Convert Equations to MathType equations.

Note that this conversion does not work properly in some versions of MathType 5.x. It does, however, work in the most recent versions of MathType 5. Inera recommends any version of MathType 6.5 or later, up to the most recent release, 6.9.

A tech note from Design Science ( provides information related to this issue.