Friday Software Review: Texify

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Have you ever wanted to include mathematics on your website (or in a blog post, or in a forum, or…)? If you know how to use LaTeX, you can do just that, and make it look purty, too.

The answer (or, an answer, at least) is Texify, a site devoted to rendering LaTeX for the web. It is based on mimeTeX, a script written by John Forkosh:

It parses a LaTeX math expression and immediately emits the corresponding gif image.

You can run your own installation of mimeTeX (which is great if you’re hosting things yourself), but Texify allows you to use LaTeX anywhere you want. Right here, for example:

\sum_{k=1}^n \frac{1}{k^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}

The code to generate this is:

<img alt="\sum_{k=1}^n \frac{1}{k^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}"
src=http://www.texify.com/img/%5CLARGE%5C%21%5Csum_%7Bk%3D1%7D%5Cinfty%20
5Cfrac%7B1%7D%7Bk%5E2%7D%20%3D%20%5Cfrac%7B%5Cpi%5E2%7D%7B6%7D.gif
align=center border=0>

The coolest part is that the site will generate the code for you, too. All you need to know is the LaTeX. The images are generated on the fly, so there’s no need to store a bunch of little gifs locally. It’s great for those instances when you need one or two equations in an otherwise text-y post.

Of course, Texify has its limitations. It doesn’t support more than a few of the basic packages, for one. If you need any of the less common commands, you’ll need to either install mimeTeX yourself, or use a conversion program, such as tex4ht or LaTeXRender. But for a realtime LaTeX generator, you can’t do better than Texify.

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2 Responses to “Friday Software Review: Texify”

  1. Maria H. Andersen Says:

    And actually, you don’t even need to know the LaTex if you have Mathtype 6, because MathType 6 will render any WYSIWYG math equation into LaTex, which you can then put through Texify. Cool!

  2. Batman Says:

    Cool, indeed! I’ll pass that on to our LaTeX neophytes as a way to ease the transition from Word.

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