Bugs & Fixes: Fixing a MathType bug in Pages ’09

With the just-released Pages ’09, you can “create equations…using MathType 6,” as Apple notes on the Pages Web site. Just select MathType Equation from Pages’ Insert menu and you’re on your way. While it works well overall, users are already complaining about a formatting bug. Happily, the bug can be squashed with a simple—although unusual—solution.

The exact symptom is that variables entered in an equation display in regular text, rather than the expected italics. The italics appear correctly when using MathType as a stand-alone application. The glitch occurs only when selecting MathType through Pages.

If this happens to you, here’s a permanent fix (which I first spotted on Apple’s Discussions boards):

  1. Launch MathType from the Finder and create a simple equation that includes variables with the desired formatting.
  2. Save the equation, using the “Macintosh PICT” format, with the name default_equation.pict
  3. Locate the Pages application in the Finder and select Show Package Contents from its contextual menu. Navigate to Contents -> Resources.
  4. Here you will find a file named (you guessed it!) default_equation.pict. Save a copy of this file, in case you want it back later. Replace the original file with the one you created in MathType.

You’re now ready to return to Pages and create an equation. You’ll find that your creation now appears as the default equation—and italics formatting works as expected.

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