Status of LaTeX or LaTeX-like emails.

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at
Thu May 9 15:15:54 CEST 2019

On Thu, 9 May 2019 at 12:22, Taylor, P <P.Taylor at> wrote:
> Peter Flynn wrote:
> >
> >> Or in TeX's terms, MIME content types generate display maths
> >> ($$...$$) whereas what is often needed is inline maths ($...$).
> > MIME content types don't generate anything: they're just containers
> > labelled with a file type. So an application/x-latex attachment is
> > currently unrecognised by any email client that I know of, so it will
> > offer for you to save it to disk. If someone wrote a plugin to accept
> > them, that code could very easily run LaTeX on the content of the
> > attachment, and pop up the resulting PDF in another window, or convert
> > it to an image and display it in the mail window like some other images.
> >
> > But to do that, any such attachment would HAVE to be a full LaTeX
> > document, even a MWE.
> Yes, that would be a good reason to work towards supporting
> application/x-tex rather than application/x-latex, since for TeX there
> would be no requirement for there to be a "full document"; for example,
> \setbox 0 = \hbox {$x^2 = y^2 + z^2$}\shipout \box 0 would suffice, and
> the final \end would be implied.
> ** Phil.

You should not have to have separate attachments for each expression
or worry about inline or display differences.

Just as people send html emails all the time without knowing the
details of html coding (which internally are usually a single base64
encode mime attachment) you can (on systems that support it) send an
html+mathml document and have the mathematics rendered.

thunderbird allows you to enter the math as latex syntax or using a
GUI palette, and renders the using the same mozilla rendering as

I attach screenshots of an email to myself and the input in thunderbird.

Unfortunately not all html rendering engines support MathML yet, but
apply pressure on the developers of the ones you do use....

This email was just entered using the syntax \sqrt{\frac{...   but if
you view source and base-64decode the email text then it is:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<body text="#000000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<p>testing...  <math

which as you see has the tex and mathml inline,.

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