There are many Mac users who need to add equations within their Microsoft Office programs -- most of these users work with the free Equation Editor that is bundled as part of Microsoft Office. Others upgrade from Equation Editor to MathType to get even more options to use in their equations. So when Microsoft released Office 2008 for the Mac, it was a matter of time until a new version of MathType was released.
In this review, we explore MathType 6 for the Mac. Beyond compatibility with Office 2008, MathType 6 is a major upgrade that adds support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and Intel Macs. Other new features include TeX/LaTeX input, and the ability to copy equations to and from Wikipedia.Back
About MathType 6
MathType is from DesignScience, a company based in Long Beach, CA, United States. You can learn more about their products from their site.
You might also want to see our review on MathType 6 for Windows.
My contact at DesignScience for this review was Bruce Virga, thank you Bruce.Back
Download and Installation
You can download a trial version of MathType 6 for Mac from their site. This trial works just like the full version of the program for 30 days -- thereafter it functions as MathType Lite, a less featured version of the program.
Once you install the program, the setup routine will launch and close your 2008 versions of Word and PowerPoint to add direct MathType commands within the Word and PowerPoint interfaces. Figure 1 shows you the Insert Equation command within PowerPoint 2008.
Figure 1: Insert equations in PowerPoint Back
Using MathType 6
There are two ways you can use MathType:
- You can call MathType from within Microsoft Office applications
such as Word and PowerPoint by clicking the Insert Equation icon
in the toolbar (refer to Figure 1).
- Or you can run MathType like a conventional program from within the Applications
folder on your Mac (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: MathType in the Applications folder
Once MathType is loaded, you can create your equations. The interface is split into two areas - the palettes and the work area. The palettes are a collection of symbols and templates - click any of them and the characters themselves are immediately copied to the insertion point within the workspace. Think of the workspace as a piece of paper - and the palettes as a virtual typewriter (or rather a keyboard). Figure 3 shows you the actual interface.
Figure 3: MathType Interface
When you are done with your equation, what you do depends on whether you are running MathType from within Word/PowerPoint or as a standalone application:
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.Back
MathType 6 is a very capable product -- and the availability of this new version on the Mac brings all the new features to this platform and makes it on par with what is available for Windows users.Back