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LaTeX for the Mac

  1. Aug 30, 2007 #1

    cepheid

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    Hi,

    I recently switched to Mac. Having a science and engineering background, I've developed an affinity for LaTeX. I downloaded the MacTeX-2007 package, which includes the actual TeX distribution, as well as some "front end" software (TeXShop). It also includes a nifty utility called LateXiT, which acts as a sort of "equation editor" for LaTeX that lets you skip the preamble, markup an equation much as you would in PF, then "LaTeX it" with the press of a button, and drag and drop it into any application that supports it. Export formats include PDF, EPS, PNG, TIFF, JPG.

    This is useful to me, because I don't wish to create *all* of my documents using LaTeX. Sometimes I want to make a presentation with equations, or a document, in both cases one that others can easily open and edit. For this purpose, I am using NeoOffice, the Mac OS X version of OpenOffice. Unfortunately, dragging and dropping LaTeXiT equations into, say, NeoOffice Impress doesn't work! This seems unusual to me, considering that the advertising for LaTeXiT claims that drag and drop works for both PowerPoint and Keynote. One way to get around this is to export the equation from LaTeXiT as an image file and then insert that into the NeoOffice document as a graphic. Clearly this is not ideal. A bitmap image format looks like crap. NeoOffice doesn't support importing a PDF format image. It DOES support EPS, and it looks good, but this raises several issues:

    1. Compatibility with the Microsoft crowd: if I save a document with equations as EPS images in some MS Office format (e.g. .doc, .ppt), the EPS images are not supported.

    2. The EPS images also don't survive if I export the entire NeoOffice document to PDF format.

    3. The EPS images look fine in NeoOffice Impress when you're just editing a slide, but once you actually *play* the slideshow, they don't display.

    4. None of this has the convenience of drag and drop.

    Let me pre-empt a couple of questions I'm sure you'll ask

    Q. Why don't you just use NeoOffice's built in equation editor?

    A. I'll admit. I've been spoiled by LaTeX. I prefer the *style* of the LaTeX equations. Nothing else seems as professional.

    Q. The best way to integrat LaTeX into NeoOffice is to install a package called oooLaTeX from the project website. Why don't you just do that?

    A. I suppose I could, but I already have LaTeXiT, which is such a cool concept. Doing this would basically be admitting that LaTeXiT is useless to me, practically speaking. After all, if I can't use it with NeoOffice, what the heck else would I use it with?

    What do you guys think? Have you encountered a similar situation? Should I just give in and install oooLaTeX? Or is there some work around?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2007 #2
    What exactly is the downside of trying oooLaTeX? It seems like the best case scenario is that it works better than what you have now, and the worst case is that it doesn't and you keep doing what you're doing, so you either win or are no worse off than you are now. This seems to require the same or less effort or cost than your other options:
    1. See if Equation Service or LaTeX Equation Editor work better with NeoOffice than LaTeXiT.
    2. Learn the NeoOffice equation editor.
    3. Switch to PowerPoint, Keynote, or the beamer LaTeX package.
    Which out of all of these options would work best for you depends on your priorities. If compatibility with other users is your primary concern, you're probably best off switching to Powerpoint. Compatibility is a low priority for me, so I use the beamer package.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2007 #3

    cepheid

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    Yeah good point. That is a very logical approach.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2007 #4
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