Alternative to MathType?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by saotomefirst, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. saotomefirst macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Hello there once again, MacRumors Community!

    I'm in need of an addition to Pages to allow me to form both physical and mathematical expressions (eg. work with vectors, integral, limits, big divisions, give a variable multiple values depending on the circumstance, etc.). A Google search revealed this App, MathType Equations, which seems to do the deal for what I need - there's even a video showing up how it seamlessly integrates with Pages, allowing one to assemble an equation between 2 paragraphs, then come back and make changes.

    There is just 1 problem... I can't buy it on the Mac AppStore. It's simply not listed in the programs list, and I'm too scared to use my credit card on a site I have never seen before. Plus, they state that they have a reseller where I live (Brazil), but they have failed to answer all my e-mails and phone calls... Therefore I think I can't trust them.

    A search on the Mac AppStore revealed to me several alternatives, such as Daum Equation Editor, Equation Calculator, Equations - yea, the names get quite repetitive :\ - and a handful of others. Most of them are paid and therefore I'm afraid to spend 10+ bucks just to find out that the App doesn't have what I need.

    If you guys have any of these - or any other app that do what I need - pleas leave a comment here. I need to find a solution ASAP as I'm already needing it at college. And please, if your software has the same kind of integration with Pages, please let me know, as I'll definitely prefer it.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    P.S. There is an App pre installed on my Mac called 'Grapher' that behaves similarly to what I require. However, it doesn't do all that I do - e.g. it won't create vectors no matter what - and it doesn't allow me to edit what I created - it exports as a picture to Pages. Unless I'm doing something wrong, this App is not the solution I'm looking for...
  2. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    The standard for getting equations into word processors on Windows and Mac (including Pages) is MathType. I don't know if the MathType Equations you found is the same.

    MathType's website is

    This is a legitimate site and a good product. I have used it literally for decades.

    From help within Pages (search 'equation'):
    "Adding Mathematical Expressions and Equations Using MathType
    If you have MathType 6 installed, you can open it within Pages and use it to type mathematical expressions and equations. After you’ve created an equation in MathType 6, you can manipulate the equation as an image in Pages."

    So you see, MathType is touted even by Apple itself both in its product and in its press release from the last major update of iWork: "MathType 6 support lets engineers, mathematicians and students easily add sophisticated equations to their documents."

    Apple has a pointer on its own website to download a trial version of MathType:

    MathType is the standard. Just buy it.
  3. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    I second that. MathType is legit. I have purchased it through their site with no problems over multiple transactions (upgrades, purchases for other platforms). It works within Pages and Keynote as well. If you ever need to use MS Office it works with that too.
  4. BentwoodBlue macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I'll third this. I've met the owner a couple times at NCTM and he's a very nice guy. Also, when I've emailed for help, he's been very quick to respond.
  5. tiger2 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    I also have used MathType for years and would recommend it.

    However, after buying a new MacBook Pro this year I've been having problems with it. When I click on one of the pull down menus to enter, say, a fraction, it will enter the wrong symbol. It seems to enter the symbol under the pull down menu. If I enter an empty equation and delete it, then try again, it sometimes works correctly.

    I have the latest versions of OSX and MathType installed. Is anyone one else experiencing this? I've emailed MathType's support a few days ago but haven't heard back yet.

  6. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Thanks Everyone for your thoughts. MathRulz, that's precisely the same website I've found.

    If Apple itself directs you to them, it must be safe then. Still, the issue remains: the reseller listed there for my country doesn't answer my calls. I guess I'll just have to keep trying to contact them - I'd like to avoid using my international credit card online if possible.

    I guess I'll download the trial version and try to work with it until I can contact my local reseller. Just one more question: they mention that after the 30-day trial period the software goes into Lite mode. They do mention that this mode has some functionalities but I failed to find out what exactly those are. Does anybody knows what they are?
  7. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    According to their website, the Lite mode is essentially the same as the Equation Editor in MS Office.

    Online is probably one of the safest ways to do the transaction. Their site has 256 bit encryption with a valid SSL Certificate. In most cases, the vendor never even sees the credit card number except the final four digits as it usually is processed through a gateway.

    The riskiest transactions, in my experience, are credit card orders over the phone. My CC information has been hijacked twice that way by unscrupulous employees (and never again), but I have never had a problem with an online transaction. Just make sure you have a secure connection and a the site has a valid SSL Certificate. You could always email support at Design Science to find out if they use a gateway. They also have a PayPal option.
  8. tiger2 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    Just in case anyone else is having this issue, I received a response to my email to Dessci, creators of MathType. They said it is a known issue with Mountain Lion and they are working hard to fix it.
  9. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2007
    Finer stores everywhere.
    Not sure if you'd want to use LaTeX - the learning curve is steep, but it's worth considering.
  10. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    It's what I'd suggest. Otherwise consider a subset like LaTeXiT that enables you to quickly type your equation and click-and-drag the equation as png to Pages.
  11. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    I see Steve. Thanks for the insight.

    Actually, thanks to all of you... I've made my mind and installed MathType already. Now I guess I'll try to get a PayPal account to protect my CC when I make the purchase.
  12. Mr.MathType macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    I just checked our "issue list", and can confirm this issue has been fixed for MathType 6.7e, which we expect to release shortly. For tiger2, and anyone else who owns MathType 6.7 already, 6.7e will be a free upgrade.

    Regarding MathType Lite, for anyone with MathType already, the information about what you lose when the MathType trial becomes MathType Lite is in MathType Help. For those without MathType yet, this is what it says:

    When MathType runs in Lite Mode the following features are changed or disabled:

    • Saving equation files and printing are disabled.
    • Only the toolbar's symbol and template palettes can be used.
    • MathType's additional symbols and templates in the palettes are disabled.
    • MathType's Commands for Word are disabled.
    • The Insert Symbol dialog is hidden.
    • The Color menu is hidden (existing colors are still used).
    • List of functions recognized cannot be customized.
    • Preference files cannot be loaded or saved.
    • Keyboard shortcuts cannot be defined.
    • Ruler and tab stops are disabled.
    • Cannot convert equations to TeX or MathML.
    • Pasting TeX and MathML into MathType is disabled. Since many websites rely on either TeX or MathML, this severely limits the number of websites, forums, and blogs MathType will work with.
    • These commands are disabled:
      • Show Nesting
      • Fence Alignment
      • Size>Larger and Size>Smaller
      • User 1 & User 2 Styles & Sizes
      • Web and GIF Preferences
      • Workspace Preferences (size of toolbar buttons, empty slot thickness & color, etc.)

    Thanks to the positive comments from the MathType customers in this tread.

    Bob Mathews
    Design Science

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