LaTeXiT Bridges the iWork Equation Gap

A significant omission in iWork’s Pages application is an equation editor. Apple promotes MathType in their iWork documentation as their chosen third-party solution. However, there is a free alternative to MathType called LaTeXiT, which typesets LaTeX equations. This post explains how I integrate LaTeX equations typeset with LaTeXiT into iWork Pages documents.

As well as being a superb typesetting system for large, complex documents with many cross-references, tables and figures, LaTeX produces beautifully typeset equations. LaTeX equations are coded in a concise shorthand. For example, this LaTeX code:

\[ x = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} \]

produces the quadratic formula:

The quadratic formula

To try out LaTeXiT, enter the code for an equation into the lower of the two windows in the LaTeXiT application window and press the LaTeX it! button. LaTeXiT then displays the typeset equation in the upper window.

Typesetting an equation with the LaTeXiT application

To insert a LaTeX equation into a Pages document, first enter the code for the equation in your Pages document. From the Pages menu, select the Detect and typeset equations option from the LaTeXiT sub-menu. LaTeXiT then replaces the selected code with the typeset equation. LaTeXiT typesets LaTeX equations as vector PDF images, which means the equations scale and print beautifully.

I like to keep the original equation code in my Pages documents. To store the equation code as well as the typeset equation, I copy and paste the equation code into a Pages comment. If I later want to edit the equation, I copy the equation code back into the document from the comment, edit the code and then typeset the edited code.

Storing LaTeX equation code in a Pages document comment

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