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MathType 6

Read the Indezine review of MathType 6.

Introduction
New Features
Download and Installation
Using MathType 6
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

MathType 6 is the newest version of a well known program that allows you to create math equations and more within Word, PowerPoint and several other applications. MathType itself is available in both Windows and Macintosh platforms, but MathType 6 is available only for Windows at the time of this writing.

  • MathType 6 has several improvements over the older versions of the program -- you can read a review of MathType 5 here

    MathType is from Design Science, a company based in Long Beach, CA, United States. You can learn more about their products from their site.

    My contacts at Design Science for this review were Bob Mathews and Julie Heifner - thank you, Bob and Julie.

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    New Features

    MathType 6 improvements include:

  • Compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007
  • More symbols, templates, and fonts.
  • In addition to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, you can use MathType 6 to add equations to QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign layouts, Excel spreadsheets, HTML pages, and many more applications and document types.
  • Works with Wikipedia.
  • Equations can be created quickly by choosing templates from MathType's 6 palettes.
  • Use Type TeX or LaTeX to create equations.
  • Apply colors to the equations.
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    Download and Installation

    Download the installer from the their site, run the setup routine and follow the instructions.

    When installed, the add-in creates an MathType tab in the Ribbon within Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, as shown in Figure 1.


  • Figure 1: MathType tab in the Ribbon

    Figure 2 shows a MathType toolbar within Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions.
  • Figure 2: MathType toolbar

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    Using MathType 6

    Follow these steps to use MathType 6. This example uses Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, but the process is similar for users of older PowerPoint versions:

    1. Create a new, or open an existing presentation in PowerPoint. Within the MathType tab of the Ribbon, click on the Insert Equation button as shown in Figure 3.

    2. Figure 3: Insert Equations
    3. This will launch the MathType 6 interface as show in Figure 4.


    4. Figure 4: MathType 6 interface

      The interface provides plenty of equation palettes based on different subjects such as Algebra, Geometry, Sets, Statistics, etc.
    5. Choose a palette by clicking on the tabs visible. Then click in the work area to set an insertion point.
    6. Click any of the characters within the palettes, and they are placed on the insertion point within the work area. Think of the work area as a piece of paper -- and the palettes as a virtual typewriter keys.

      For fractions contained within equations, you'll need to often change the insertion point, and click-select within the palette. Numbers can be directly input from your keyboard after setting the insertion point.

      When done, choose File | Close and Return to (document name), as shown in Figure 5.


    7. Figure 5: Update presentation

      Note: Close and return to (presentation name) will insert the equation on the slide, and close the MathType 6 interface. The other option: Update (presentation name) will insert the equation on the slide without closing the MathType interface.
    8. Either way, this will apply the equation on PowerPoint slide (see Figure 6).


    9. Figure 6: Inserted equation
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    Pricing and Support

    MathType 6 costs $97.00. Upgrade pricing is $49. There's also a more cost-effective Academic version available.

    Support options include e-mail assistance, on-phone support, online tutorials, and FAQs.

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    Conclusion

    MathType has long been the best solution to input equations and similar content into Microsoft Office documents. This new version improves the integration and compatibility factors -- and provides a great new interface. There's tons of other improvements -- looks like MathType will continue being the best product in its category.

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