Whenever I try to use Equation Editor I get an error message and the program shuts down

Article contributed by Suzanne S. Barnhill

This is a documented bug in Word 97. We do not believe this article applies to any other version of Word (yes, Equation Editor may crash, but it won't be for this reason, and this solution won't fix it...)

The problem and its extremely simple solution are described in detail in Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q167958, WD97: Invalid Page Fault Typing Symbol in Equation Editor 3.0. The problem is that Microsoft forgot to define default fonts for Equation Editor, and so it gets confused when you try to enter text because it doesn't know what font to use. Therefore, the first thing you have to do, before you try to enter any text or figures, is to specify the fonts. Click Insert | Object | Create | New | Microsoft Equation 3.0. Do not type any characters. On the Style menu, click Define. Enter font names for all the styles. The defaults are as follows:

Text: Times New Roman

Function: Times New Roman

Variable: Times New Roman Italic

L.C. Greek: Symbol Italic

U.C. Greek: Symbol

Symbol: Symbol

Matrix-Vector: Times New Roman Bold

Number: Times New Roman

Microsoft Word Equation Editor is a cut-down version of MathType, by Design Science.  Design Science maintains a very comprehensive support page here. Articles written for MathType usually apply equally well to Equation editor!