8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2014 11:18 AM by Obi-wan Kenobi

    How to prepare equations for InDesign layout

    jeannetheeditor Level 1

      I am an editor and plan to work with an independent author to self-publish his book about financial markets. The manuscript was created in Word 2010 and contains many, many equations and variables that were created in Word's equation tools.


      After a little research I am finding out that the only way to get the equations and variables to render correctly in an e-book is to convert each one to an image. That will be a huge undertaking!


      I am also curious about how it will work to lay out the book in InDesign for paperback production. In a previous discussion in this forum (more than a year old), it seems the consensus is that MathType is the best way to go. I don't know anything about MathType and am looking for advice about how to proceed.


      I need to know what I can do at this early stage to best prepare the manuscript for both paperback and e-book production. I will begin the first-pass edit within the next couple of weeks and would like to plan ahead for a smooth work flow. Any advice would be appreciated!

        • 1. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
          MrMathType Level 3

          Jeanne, since the manuscript is in Word 2010 format, we have some tips on our website that should prove useful: Design Science: MathType Works With InDesign.

          • 2. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
            Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5

            Take a look to MathMagic too!    … and there's no consensus: MathType is not really the best solution. It's a solution but not only.


            [I'm not MrMathMagic, don't work for this company but make books pages for a while ...]

            • 3. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
              Fede Gianni Level 3

              MathMagic is good BUT MathType is more MSWord compatible (at least in my exp, maybe Obi-wan Kenobi can tell us more here) but in MT you just convert, format and export all the .doc equations and they are ready to place in InDesign


              advices to Math Type

              1: no overprinting in math type. you have to manually fake the overprint in the MT color menu

              2: always save equations in PDF format (EPS suddenly switches glyphs) and not try to edit in Illustrator or Acrobat.

              3: save your Equation Preferences (.eqp) to quickly format all the eqs in the doc.

              4: try the author to install MathType too. (there is a full install free for 30 days)

              • 4. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
                Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5

                Hi Fede Gianni,


                You say MathType is better, not I. What about equations written with the new free MS Equation Editor?

                • 5. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
                  Fede Gianni Level 3

                  the free eq editor? i assume is the one in the last Word Version, and yes, master, you just have to convert them before exportingconvert.PNG

                  • 6. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
                    Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5

                    Always interesting and informative to make an overview of such an exciting topic!


                    … As I can see, you work under Windows/PC. Not Mac/OSX. What about your importation process Word to inDesign? What about TeX, LaTeX or FrameMaker conversions to InDesign? What about your equations correction process? What about the insertion within a paragraph and the baseline management? What about the font styles changes? …


                    To be continued! … 

                    • 7. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
                      Fede Gianni Level 3

                      Yes, Master, I do work in mac (already printed 10 advanced math books) the screenshot i've posted is an answer to the same question you have, attached for me by the Design Science Support Team (another thing to remark, they always helped fast and precise).


                      The importing process is the same as images, once the EQs are converted i have to import them one by one.


                      the correction is by: reveal in finder --> drag to mathtype icon in dock --> correct --> save --> back to indesign --> update --> check scale 100% --> adjust if neccesary


                      LaTeX and TeX are auto-converted in MT, never faced a FrameMaker until now.


                      Fonts are well managed in MT by a kind of Paragraph Styles called Equation Preferences, you can set the sizes and spaces for every aspect of a Equation. As they are treated as images by InDy all the font work is made inside MT, you can manage several styles in a book with ease.


                      Baseline adjustment is a hard one, i have to make several character styles to align EQs or Fractions depending on the height of the image


                      the bad thing about the MT, as you can see, is the image treating of the eq, and the lack of overprint. i've tested MathMagic too, when i started with the Math Book projects (7 years ago) and the reason to go with MT was integration with MSWord, i also remember testing mt.importer and mt.editor veeery good InDy plugins parterened by adobe, but expensive (almost 600 eur.)


                      Now please, Master, Obi-wan Kenobi enlighten us with the benefits of MM as i am ready to switch to the Force Side if is that good as you claim.

                      • 8. Re: How to prepare equations for InDesign layout
                        Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5

                        As you work with MathType under Windows, if you don't know it, take a look to MT-Script [e.g., MT-Script demo video - YouTube], a very clever plugin written by Vladislav Mikizil. It truly help you to fix most of the problems you meet. I've bought a licence a long time ago and take time to test it.


                        About what you say:

                        Import, correct and enhance each equation one by one make no sense! Sorry to say that! You can do differently!

                        About Latex, Tex and FrameMaker, I talk about files, not equation format.

                        MathMagic automatically treats the baseline and its color management is perfect.


                        In my case, what I can only say is that I've no problem. I mean, all that is a problem for you is not a problem for me. This is not just a matter of equation editor, it is mostly a matter of process.

                        Vladislav has fully understood this and it is for this reason that his plugin is so amazing and why I like it, even if I don't use it in my process!


                        Thanks for this discussion! 


                        [ PS : inutile de m'appeler "Master", Obi-wan suffira ! ]