I would like to insert a formula in a Pages document (under El Capitan). But when I chose Insert -> Formula in the menu all entries in the submenu all entries are greyed out. Also Insert -> MathType equation is greyed out.

Do I need to install further software to have the options available?


I am looking for a way to typeset a mathematical formula in a document (i.e., a kind of formula editor). Does any tool like this come together with Apple's office tool?

2 Answers 2


To insert a formula in normal text you need to download and install MathType. Then that menu option should be available.

  • Hello Tom, thanks for your answer. Is there no way to typeset a mathematical formula only using Apple office tools (I don't want to buy an external tool)? Mar 31, 2016 at 18:33
  • The trial of Mathtype is free and its capabilities even when expired suffice for many users. Another possibility is the Grapher utility supplied with OS X. Mar 31, 2016 at 21:59

Functions and formulas can only be inserted into table cells. So, you have to insert a table first. If needed, the table can be configured in the Table section of the Inspector to consist of only a single cell: 1 row, 1 column, 0 header. Also, the table can be set to have no border stroke/line.

If you are in a word processing document and want to position the table/formula freely on the page, you need to set the table to be a floating object (Inspector: Object Placement).

(This answer is based on Pages version 4.3, but might apply in principle to newer versions as well.)

User manual for Pages 5.5: http://help.apple.com/pages/mac/5.5/#/tana41710df7

  • Hello Dictionaries Anonymous, thanks for your answer. But actually my intention was to typeset a mathematical formula. I think I misinterpreted the menu button because I thought it's for starting a kind of formula editor. But now I see it's for inserting a tabular formula. Mar 31, 2016 at 18:32

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