LaTeX inline math display

It would be very valuable to me to be able to put inline LaTeX into DevonThink RTF pages. For example, here is a blog site that allows this:

There is of course the problem that RTF doesn’t have a separate code and display mode… here is one idea about that: Have a menu command that interprets selected text as LaTeX, which then replaces the text with the math image; to get the text back to edit it, you would have the reverse command, which would turn the math image back to text.

Alternatively, you could have the mark as LaTeX command keep the LaTeX text visible (and editable) while adding the math image right after the text (perhaps on a separate line, centered).

Seems like you have lots of researchers using DevonThink, so this could be a feature that would be worthwhile?

Erik N

The way I do this is with the program LaTeXiT. It allows you to highlight text in any Cocoa program, and turn it into the LaTeX image via the Services menu (or a global hotkey).

The problem with this solution is that you completely lose the original text you converted into the image. To keep both, there would have to be some kind of DT integration.

Another nice program that works like LatexIt is Equation Service. You can undo your latex compilation and get back your code whenever you want.

Also don’t forget to allow “Display PDF attachments of rich texts” from preferences.


Well here’s something very cool: The “Untypset” option in EquationService can be used to undo LaTeX typesetting created by LaTeXiT! This is good because LaTeXiT seems more full featured at creating the PDF images, for instance because it can create the PDF to match the font size of the original text.

Also, LaTeXiT is a universal binary, so better to use that. Together though, they make a great one-two combination!

Hi All,

As of 10.6, it seems that equation service is dead (I just downloaded it, and could not get it to appear as a global service like it used to). Since DT doesn’t have linkback support, is there now no way to efficiently imbed equations in rich text? The only option I could come up with is to drag back and forth from LaTeXiT, but that is dreadfully cumbersome when trying do jot down ideas quickly. What are others who use lots of equations in their research doing?


Unfortunately, PDFs… Having said that, if I insert an equation in an RTF using latexit, then if I copy it and paste it into latexit it lets me edit the source. So maybe that will work for you.

I once wrote some scripts to take latex sources from inside a DT database, copy them, compile them and insert the pdf back into the same group (this avoids all the detritus left behind by latex messing up the database). But there were problems I hadn’t thought of, so I abandoned the effort.

I am hoping that someone, someday will offer something like mellel but with decent equation support (the chances are vanishingly small though).

I have Mac OS X 10.6.2 installed and the LatexIt 2.0.1 services are working for me within DevonThink Pro 1.5.4. I select the Latex in DT and then use “typeset LaTeX Maths display”. I can also do the “Revert equations back to LaTeX code” afterwards on the picture.

There was a serious “font cache bug” that affected math TeX display which was fixed in 2008:
Here is where I got my TeX installation:

I long for the day when math support is built-in to all applications that can handle text and graphics. Browsers especially, but also apps like DevonThink. Amazing that the web was invented for physicists at CERN to discuss physics online, but 30 years later still no reliable way to use math on the web.


Thanks, ErikN! I had just supposed that the revert option involved linkback, but it works for me, as well.