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You are on page 1of 4

Apple's Keynote presentation software makes it easy to create great looking presentations

with professional themes, transitions, and charts and tables. If you need mathematics,

though, you're out of luck. For some reason, Apple's designers failed to include anything

more than the most basic tools for creating mathematical expressions, leaving

mathematicians and scientists with little incentive to switch to Keynote.

The LaTeX Equation Editor provides an elegant graphical interface to LaTeX, a powerful

typesetting engine for mathematics, enabling you to quickly generate professional-looking

mathematics for inclusion in your slides. All equations are produced as single-page PDF files,

so they can be smoothly resized and rotated like any other graphic object in Keynote.

All of Keynote's graphic operations can be applied to PDF files just as easily as bitmapped

files. This includes rotation, constructing mirror-images, and applying shadows. Since the

PDF files produced by the LaTeX equation editor are transparent except for the actual text,

shadows applied to PDF equations only have the mathematical expressions casting

shadows. Here's an example (click to enlarge):

http://evolve.lse.ac.uk/software/Eq… 1/4

26/10/2008 LaTeX Equation Editor

Typesetting mathematics.

If you are already familiar with LaTeX, creating an

equation is straightforward: You type in a description

of the mathematical expression in the main text

window, press the "LaTeX" button, wait a few seconds

while the LaTeX engine works in the background, and

then (assuming you didn't make any mistakes) the

typeset equation appears in the graphic display. You

can then drag-and-drop the equation into Keynote.

The Library

Previously typeset equations

can be saved in equation

libraries, so that you can

reload entire batches of

equations from presentations

and make minor modifications

without having to retype the

entire equation.

http://evolve.lse.ac.uk/software/Eq… 2/4

26/10/2008 LaTeX Equation Editor

The preamble

For those who know how

to use LaTeX, the

Equation Editor lets you

customize the preamble

used when typesetting

the equation. The

preamble is saved

automatically whenever

you quit the program, so

all of your definitions,

macros, and

customizations persist

from session to session.

Exporting equations

Equations can be exported to PDF files by choosing the "Export..." option beneath the file

menu. You can also drag-and-drop the equation to the desktop, a folder, or any application

that can accept a PDF file as input. (If you want bitmaps, there is a preference setting to

make all equations exported via dragging TIFFs.) Normally this isn't necessary, since

Keynote saves a copy of the equation as a PDF file whenever you paste one into a

presentation. But the feature is there in case you want it.

One advantage of exporting your equations, though, is that they can later be read back into

the Equation Editor. A copy of the LaTeX source code is saved inside the PDF file so that it

can be extracted later. To open an equation from a saved file, either choose the PDF file

from the "Open..." menu or drag it onto the main graphic display window.

You can download the editor below. In order for it to work, you first need to have a working

LaTeX distribution. A well-known, and widely used, distribution for Mac OS X is maintained

by Gerben Wierda and can be downloaded from www.rna.nl/tex.html.

Once you have a working distribution of TeX and ghostscript, download the following:

If you intend to use the program in a Japanese language environment, it won't work without

a little tweaking.

http://evolve.lse.ac.uk/software/Eq… 3/4

26/10/2008 LaTeX Equation Editor

After downloading, you should start the application and make sure that it knows where your

LaTeX and ghostscript binaries are stored. Open up the Preferences pane and verify that

these paths are correct. Once they are, you're ready to go!

If you want the source code (it's kind of ugly), you can download it here.

Version history

Version 1.3

Fixed a number of bugs, added save capability to the equation library, reworked the

interface so that the main graphic image window was resizable, added an "adjust bounding

box" tool, and many other things.

Version 1.1.1

1. Style of main image well frame. (If you modify the application to make it non-

metalicized, you might find the produced equation difficult to read. This option

lets you change the image well to one of five different formats, one of which

might help increase the visibility of the equation.)

2. Recompute bounding box before distilling. (Although dvips often produces EPS

files with accurate bounding boxes, occasionally it is wrong. This occurs most

frequently when the EPS file contains graphical output from PStricks or other

programs. This option recalculates the bounding box to insure that the bounds

of the PDF file are accurate. This option additionally lowers the bounding box by

two points to adjust for the clipping error that occurs when displaying some PDF

files in the main image well.)

Version 1.1

Fixes to all bugs reported thus far. (The "You MUST view the error log!" bug, in

particular.)

Typeset equations stored inside a unique subdirectory of /tmp rather than the bundle.

Preamble and paths stored as normal user preferences.

Some GUI polishing (attaching a text formatter to the Pt. size. text box so that no

non-numbers can be entered), removing bogus menu choices.

Some documentation enhancements.

Removed the "thick" client as a download option.

Version 1.0.1

Version 1.0

Original release of the "thick" client, which generally didn't work, thus producing much

chagrin and wasting of download time. Sorry.

J. McKenzie Alexander

Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

http://evolve.lse.ac.uk/software/Eq… 4/4

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