[OS X TeX] Latex support in Pages

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at icloud.com
Fri Apr 7 09:34:11 CEST 2017

> Le 7 avr. 2017 à 03:32, Warren Nagourney <wna at u.washington.edu> a écrit :
> Has anyone looked at the new version of Pages (6.1)? It has Latex support for equations. I tried it in the iOS version and found that it worked pretty well, but the fonts are awful. I am not sure how to get it to use the CM fonts — the information  provided by Apple for this new feature (Latex support) is very sketchy.

The fonts used by default are the STIX fonts, which are part of macOS (and probably iOS).

Apparently when an equation is started in Pages, you are in math mode already and can only use the amsmath equation environments (aligned etc.) or input text through \text. Hence I cannot see how a \usepackage (for example \usepackage{lucidabr}) could be introduced in that workflow.

Put it another way: the interface is somehow similar to LaTeXiT, except that there does not seem to be any way to add a preamble to the equation. (Which makes sense given it's not actual TeX, only MathML-emulated TeX.)

Apple seems to be updating the support page <https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202501> frequently. There is a "Sample equations" section at the bottom which I don't remember seeing a few days ago, and it has real-life equation examples with accompanying LaTeX code. So perhaps they will add some information about this at some point.

However, the original blahtex documentation <http://gva.noekeon.org/blahtexml/blahtexml-0.9-doc.pdf> doesn't seem to indicate there is any additional functionality besides what's already visible, any way to use preambles or set fonts.

On the other hand, a Debian colleague of mine a few days ago was quite enthusiastic about TeXMaths <http://roland65.free.fr/texmaths/>, a LibreOffice extension that does precisely that: insert equations using an approach similar to LaTeXiT. The extension is a descendant from OpenOffice's OOoLaTeX from a few years back.

The Mac version is aware of MacTeX and comes configured for it (ie looks for binaries in /Library/TeX/texbin).

The benefit compared with LaTeXiT is that the equations are fully integrated within the text (baselines etc.), and numbering is even taken care of. The interface is not as nice as for LaTeXiT, though.

Also, as for LaTeXiT, the equations are inserted as images (SVG or PNG here), so they are not searchable within the PDF output. And, well, LibreOffice isn't Pages, the interface has a distinct early Windows flavor (multiple toolbars and such).

Attached is an example I just quickly put together, using Lucida (both T1 and OT).

> By the way, is it appropriate to discuss Latex on iOS devices in this group? I am trying to do as much on an iPad as possible and am interested in getting up to speed using TexPad which seems a pretty complete Latex system.

Regarding Texpad, I use it at times on the Mac (don't have an iPad). Its interface is nice and elegant.

First I had difficulties with the auto-sensing of the typeset configuration (it insisted on using pdfTeX while I had specified XeTeX, or the other way round, even with auto-sensing turned off). But they listened to user's input and corrected that.

As a rule, the developers are quite active and the software updated often.

What I like most about Texpad is its auto-typesetting, reminiscent of Textures' Flash Mode: input is continuously typeset as the user types it in. This is what I miss most from Textures. Here in Texpad it's not as fast as for Textures, but quite nice though.

At some point Texpad used to create a shadow copy of the document directory when auto-typesetting was turned on (by this I mean that an invisible folder, with name starting with a dot ".", was created in the document's directory containing copies of all the .tex et al files, plus figures etc.). Fortunately I don't think that's the case anymore.

However, as much as I like it, every time I try to use Texpad I give up after a couple of hours as I start to miss some power-user features from TeXShop:

- In the previewer, the ability to scroll between pages using the keyboard (and to do that by page increments -- next page, previous page, etc. --, not just continuously using the touchpad or he mouse), and most important the ability to go back to the last page viewed (for example after following a link -- for figure or an equation say -- when you want to go back to where you came from). Maybe the functionality is there, but I couldn't find it.

- In the editor, the split window mode, so that for example you can see the body of a paper and the list of references simultaneously, or when adding a \ref you can see the location where the \label was introduced hence remember the key you used.


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