PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff

MathType, TeX, and PowerPoint: Conversation with Bob Mathews

Bob Mathews (pictured to the left) is Director of Training for Design Science. A former military pilot, Bob came to Design Science in 1999 after teaching high school mathematics for several years. MathType from DesignScience is probably the foremost equation program available today — it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office programs including PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Give us a generic profile of the typical PowerPoint user who also uses MathType.

Bob: Our customers hold such a variety of positions in education and industry that it’s hard to describe a “typical” user. We see people using MathType with PowerPoint to present a 6th grade math lesson, and we see people creating engineering proposals with these products. In almost 10 years with Design Science, I’ve had only one or two customers ever ask me about doing something with the MathType/PowerPoint combination that couldn’t be done, and those were things neither MathType nor PowerPoint were intended to do anyway. Actually, MathType can be used in a wider range of applications than just Microsoft Office (graphing tools, flowcharting tools, illustration apps, desktop publishing, etc.) — basically anything into which you can insert, paste, or drag a graphic — so its use in PowerPoint just fits into a normal day’s workflow for many of our customers.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new TeX entry feature in MathType, and how it helps PowerPoint users.

Bob: This is a really powerful feature for someone who prefers to use TeX but needs to use PowerPoint to prepare a presentation, or needs to use Word to collaborate with colleagues. Simply type the TeX or LaTeX markup into the MathType window, press Enter, and MathType converts the markup into a typeset equation. You can even mix MathType’s point & click and keyboard shortcut features with the TeX input feature in the same equation. If a colleague sends you a TeX document and you want to use one of the equations on a PowerPoint slide, you can simply copy the equation and paste the TeX into MathType. In short, the new TeX entry feature provides the utility of being able to use a familiar program you’re comfortable with, and combine it with a powerful typesetting language in order to get the mathematical expressions you need into PowerPoint.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint

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