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Thread: Equations

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    Equations

    I'm sure someone will have asked about this before. But googling isn't finding me anything up-to-date.

    I work for an academic publisher. We have Word 2003 in our production office. Our typesetters use in-house systems based in Word 2003 to do pre-edits before importing into their layout apps. But more and more of our authors are submitting manuscripts written in Word 2007 or 2010, and of course any content created in the new equation editor gets turned into those stupid low-res uneditable pictures.

    Please, please, please, is there any way to get around this? (Other than "get the new version of Word"!) Has anyone developed a third party app or SOMETHING that can turn content from the new-equation-editor into something useable by other applications such as older versions of Word, or Acrobat, or the sort of apps our typesetters will be using (InDesign, Arbortext 3B2, etc)?

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    I can't answer your actual question, but does it make any difference whether the authors send you a DOC or DOCX file?

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    I have not had the opportunity to explore the issues you are having, but I started using MathType back in 1998. With each Office release, MathType has kept up with upgrades to match. MathType is usually offerred the first time someone uses the native Equation Editor. It loads a 30-day full trial, then reverts to MathType Lite at the end of the trial, which is much better than Equation Editor. You may want to recommend to submitters to switch to MathType.

    I just tried a test. I created a Word Doc, entered some MathType equations and Equation Editor equations. I saved the file as a 97-2003 doc and the Equation Editor equations were converted to images. I have the full paid version of MathType which has a "Convert Equations" function. It oens a dialog box which allows you to choose "Equation Types to Convert" and "Convert equations to:". I chose all four types to convert, Range: to Whole Document, Prompt before converting each equation, and Convert to : MathType Equations (OLE Objects). There are other Convert to choices. I tried this three times and it worked all three times.

    Give MathType a try.

    Mark
    Last edited by msmaerz; 2011-04-21 at 15:27. Reason: New Information

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    afwings (2011-04-22)

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    @jscher2000: At the moment, no: if they down-save to doc format, doing so converts the equations to pictures. If they send us docx files, we have to use MS's free converter/compatibility plugin-thingy for Word 2003, which does the same thing. Of course, if there were some third-party tool that could do something with 'em, then we'd prefer to be sent the docx files, because then we'd have the not-yet-ruined versions to play with...

    @msmaerz: Unfortunately over the years we've learnt that any solution to any problem where the method is "get the authors to do x" is doomed, because few of them read the submission instructions at all, and those that do only do so after they've written their manuscript. So telling them to use MathType, MathType Lite, or indeed the old pre-2007 equation editor (which I believe is still in there somewhere, apparently) won't help, because they're not going to go back and re-do stuff they've already done differently. We're not big/powerful enough to just tell 'em we won't accept such files at all, the way Science reportedly can! And the small percentage of authors who are tech-headed enough to care/understand about this sort of thing are probably the ones who submit TeX files instead of Word files anyway.

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    ...actually, seeing your last edited paragraph, I'm sure our typesetters have MathType. So we could tell 'em to set up one machine with Word 2010 and use that machine to open the docx files, run MathType's equation converter, and then save the files back out to doc format for the rest of the team to do their usual stuff. Do you think that workflow would, er, work?

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    Can't say for sure... I am using the latest version of MathType (Ver 6.7 (10080200)). It shows up in its own Ribbon Tab, and the Converter appears to be part of MathType. If so, the converter's capability may be more related to the MathType version versus the Office platform it is installed on. So if the latest MathType is installed on Office 2003 you may not need to jump through 2003-2010 hoops to get what you need.

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    But I'd have to have the word file open first, wouldn't I? And that would necessarily involve down-converting it.

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    I see what you mean. Where I work my boss has primarily Win XP laptops with Office 2003. She has one Dell Inspiron with Win 7 and Office 2010. I am constantly running into the 2003-2010 issue, so I tend to create compatible (2003) docs and Excel files. I also make sure all compatability packs are instlled on the XP/2003 laptops so they can open 2010 office items (albeit the files ARE downconverted). My own Dell Inspiron is Win XP with Office 2010, so right now I have no way of confirming your concern. I suspect that there is a potential for loss of some formatting from 2010 to 2003, but unless that formatting is critical the convrsion packs should be able to preserve most of the document. And if MathType is working as it did in my test on my laptop, the equation conversion should work. Next time I am at work I will test that hypothesis.

    Pay a visit to MathType's website. They may have a more definitive answer somewhere.

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    Because of the holidays, I won't be able to discuss this with our typesetters and IT department until at least Tuesday, but thanks for your inputs so far. Yes, I'll have a look at MathType's online info. If anyone else has anything else useful to add, keep it coming please. Cheers

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    @msmaerz, thanks for the helpful information to @DTW's question. Your answers were right on the mark. Let me add one more piece of the puzzle though, which I think will help out @DTW and put their group on their merry way.

    It doesn't matter if the authors use Word 2007/Word 2010, nor does it matter which equation authoring tool they use -- "new" equation editor, Microsoft Equation 3, or MathType. They can save the document, then the editors open it up in Word 2003. As @DTW described, all the "OMML" equations (that's the technical term for equations created by Word's "new" equation editor) will be displaying as crappy-looking images. No problem. @DTW, if you have MathType installed on your machine that's running Word 2003, you have the Convert Equations command in Word's MathType menu. Set the options as @msmaerz described earlier (except "Prompt for each equation" is optional) and run the command. All those crappy-looking equation pictures should be converted to nice-looking MathType equations.

    If you have more problems, feel free to contact our Technical Support staff at support at dessci.com or continue the thread here -- your choice.

    Bob Mathews
    Design Science

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    Thanks for this info afwings; as I said, I won't be able to discuss this with our people until at least Tuesday, but then I'll ask the typesetters to confirm that they can do this. I'm sure they have MathType on their machines - dunno what version, even though we (in the production office) don't. So if what you say is right, it won't matter that the equations look like crappy images to us, since we (production) don't need to edit them, but the typesetters will be able to use that command to turn them back into proper editable equations. Will report back next week.

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    Question

    Hi Bob,

    My typesetter has confirmed the spec they are using, but says they're still having to re-key:
    We are using MS office 2007 and Math type 6.0 for equation conversion, but in this file author has supplied equation (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12) in graphics format, so we need to key them in math type.
    I'm attaching a snippet cut from one such manuscript. Can you confirm whether MathType really can convert these images back to editable equations?
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by DTW View Post
    Hi Bob,

    My typesetter has confirmed the spec they are using, but says they're still having to re-key:
    I'm attaching a snippet cut from one such manuscript. Can you confirm whether MathType really can convert these images back to editable equations?
    In this document, no. I can't tell at what point those equations became pictures, but they've become non-editable. Here's a way to tell if MathType can convert picture equations...

    Open the .doc file in Word 2007 or Word 2010, then save it as a .docx file. If the equations are now editable in the OMML equation editor (i.e., the "new one" in Word), then MathType is able to convert the equation pictures into MathType equations. If the equations are so far gone that Word can't edit them, then neither will MathType be able to edit them.

    BTW, this won't be possible with MathType 6.0 anyway; it requires MathType 6.5 or later.
    Last edited by afwings; 2011-05-02 at 16:46. Reason: clarified first paragraph
    Bob Mathews
    Design Science, Inc.

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    Hi Bob,
    This is getting weirder! We believed that the only reason equations would end up as graphics would be via downsaving from docx to doc. Therefore I assumed this author must have used Word 2007/2010 originally, and I asked him to send us a copy of the docx file. But he says we wrote it in Word 2003! So now I don't know why the equations are graphics at all! Argh. I've sent him an email to ask whether he did the equations using Word's built-in equation editor or something else. I hope I get a coherent reply!

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    PDF possibility?

    I'm not a math writer, but have you looked at the possibility of Word 2010 to PDF to InDesign? Word 2010 can make PDFs; either your team or the authors could make a PDF of their work, and the typesetters could use all or part of that PDF to set the book. Is this a possibility?

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