I am about to submit my article to one of the scientific journals.

However, it is very likely that they would only accept files in .doc, whilst my article is written in .docx and tons of formulas are in native Word 2010 Formula format. Saving those formulas as images could work as a last resort, but I don't think the guys in the publishing office will be happy with that.

Is there a way to convert new Word formulas to the old Microsoft Equation format without too much pain?

Thank you!

  • Why dont you save the document in compatibility mode - in Word 2000/XP DOC format? This should solve the problem. – Juhele Jul 5 '12 at 9:50
  • Won't it convert all the formulas to images? – wh1t3cat1k Jul 5 '12 at 10:12
  • I think it should not. When I load word document in libre office and save as ODT it also converts the formulas to opendocument format. Just try it - save as DOC, then open again and try to edit some of the formulas and you will see. :-) – Juhele Jul 5 '12 at 10:29

Many journals (such as PLOS: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/static/guidelines#textfiles) requires DOC files and MathType. Word does not provide any conversion solution. But I was able to convert the Word 2007/2010 DOCX file to DOC preserving all the equations by using LibreOffice

Simply open the DOCX file in LibreOffice and then save as DOC. You can then reload it in LibreOffice, which can natively edit them. If you open them in Word, the equations show up as Microsoft Equation 3.0 objects.


This worked for me (borrowed from here: http://www.dessci.com/en/support/mathtype/tsn/tsn103.htm)

If you have Mathtype but your equations are in the format provided by Word (not Mathtype) you can convert the equations to Mathtype, then save as .doc and the quality will be good.

One way to save time changing the format of the equations is following the steps below:

  1. Open the document in Word and save it as an RTF (Rich text format) document.
  2. From the MathType menu (or Tab), choose Convert Equations.
  3. Choose the following settings in the Convert Equations dialog: Under “Equation Types to Convert”, select: “MathType or Equation Editor Equations”, “Microsoft Word EQ Fields”, and "Word 2007 and later (OMML) equations". Set the Range to “Whole Document”. Under "Convert equations to" select MathType equations (OLE objects).
  4. Click the “Convert” button to start the conversion process.
  5. When the conversion is complete, a dialog will appear confirming the number of equations converted.
  6. Save the document from Word as either a .doc or .docx file.
  7. The document and hopefully all equations should now be editable using any version of Word along with MathType. Note that sometimes this conversion method cannot recover all equations in a document. If this is the case, equations will have to be re-created and there is nothing MathType can do to auto-recover them.

You should try MathType. This is a plugin to word for writing equations. If you buy it or use the free trial you should be able to convert your Word equations to MathType which would be viewable in Word.

You also might want to check with the journal if they are able to accept .docx files. To me, that would seem a pretty standard format nowadays.

  • You can also convert formulas into Latex if that would be any use. Also, how about submitting as a pdf? – Chogg Jul 13 '12 at 15:12

The journal probably accept Rich Text Format "rtf" format. Your problem is solved by converting to rtf format.


  • what makes you think they do? – Pierre.Vriens Nov 9 '18 at 17:54

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