[Fixed] Equation Icon is Grayed Out in MS Word

The Equation feature in Microsoft Word is a great tool to embed mathematical equations in the document without the need to play around with text boxes, symbols, images, etc. It is located under Insert Tab right beside the Symbol icon. However, if not done right, you will end up with a grey icon without the ability to use the feature. 

When the Equation Icon is Grayed Out

There are two things you can do to activate the equation editor.

  1. If the icon is grayed out, chances are, you have an older type of word document open. Save the document by clicking on File > Save As. Under Save as type:, choose Word Document (*.docx). The equation editor icon will now become available for use.
  2. If you cannot save your document as a .docx and must use the equation editor, then you have an option to use the older version of the editor by doing the following. Go to Insert tab. Look for a button which says “Object”. Click on the button. From Object type list, select Microsoft Equation 3.0. 

Hope this helps.

12 thoughts on “[Fixed] Equation Icon is Grayed Out in MS Word”

  1. When re-saving as *.docx, it is important to uncheck “maintain compatibility with previous versions of Word”.

  2. My document is saved at a .DOCX and was saved with the “keep compatibility” option, yet the equation button is still grayed out. Any tips? Thanks.

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