Macs in Chemistry

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LaTeX and MathML support in Pages and iBooks Author

The latest version of Pages (version 6.1) and iBooks Author (version 2.0) include support for LaTeX and MathML, this is an interesting addition that will be of interest for many scientists

LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents.

LaTeX is available for MacOSX, the MacTeX distribution contains everything you need, including a complete TeX system with LaTeX itself and editors to write documents.

MathML is a low-level specification for mathematical and scientific content and there are many Math tools

Normally in a LaTeX document any equations are enclosed in math mode commands, for example

    Square root of two:

Which is rendered by the web browser as:-

Square root of two: 2

You can check the source code of the web page if you don't believe me ;-)

In Pages instead of adding the text to the page use the Insert Equation (Option--E) and a dialog box appears that you can use to insert the equation.


If you want to correct the equation, double click on it and the dialog box will open again to allow you to edit the equation.


There is support for matrices, greek letters, colours, integrals


and the usual equation elements


Pages and iBooks Author don't support LaTeX for long division and remainders. To work with long division and remainders, you must use MathML.


This Apple support document gives more details of what LaTeX and MathML commands are currently supported.

There are a few LaTeX packages to create chemistry formulae: chemfig, ochem, streetex, and xymtex but they are not currently supported in Pages.

Last Updated 4 April 2017