# How to send an email with LaTeX

Risking of this question being closed, I'm just wondering if any of your use ---or know--- of any email platform that supports writing in LaTeX.

I made a quick search around the site and found this question:

LaTeX on Gmail (GmailTex?)

So I'm guessing Gmail is not supporting it... or at least that seemed so as of 2012. Maybe this changed in the last year?

But what about other services? Do you know if Yahoo!, hotmail, or any other in particular is capable of handling it? How do you send e-mails with LaTeX?

PS: Using an editor and then attaching the pdf is not a valid answer :P

• Is the following a valid answer: Attach the tex file ;-) Jun 8 '13 at 13:03
• @MarcoDaniel Hahahahaha, you got me there! Jun 8 '13 at 13:05
• For the math part you can use the thunderbird addon LaTeX It Jun 8 '13 at 13:16
• Note that the answer you reference is out of date: the current version of GmailTeX (as of June 8, 2013) seems to work fine. Jun 8 '13 at 13:56
• I do not know and I really do not care if any platform supports writing e-mails in LaTeX even though that I use TeX/LaTeX circa 1992. E-mail messages should be pure text-files preferably only ascii for languages which use Latin characters. They should be wrapped to 72 characters so that can be displayed in standard terminal 80x24 so that people who use text-based mailers can actually read them. For the record I use heirloom mailx. Jun 9 '13 at 4:30

On some browsers you can install an extension called Markdown Here, which is capable of rendering markwdown syntax into HTML in some rich-editing boxes. In particular it works with the Google Mail composing message box.

Admittedly, markdown is not LaTeX, but you get anyway a simple and familiar syntax (it is the one used here at stackexchange) to format your messages. In addition, it supports TeX equations (you surround them with dollars), but the method is sub-optimal, since it calls google to render them (did you know that google can render TeX math into images? I didn't) and paste a link to the resulting image. This feature is disabled by default for privacy issues.

Here is a pair of screenshots of the compose box, first while I write the message:

Then after converting it (Ctrl-Alt-M or toolbar button):

• Now, the real subquestion: why are there privacy issues? Jun 28 '13 at 14:22
• @MarioS.E. Your formula is converted to a <img> tag, whose src points to a google service, so the image is not part of the email, but instead it is rendered and fetched when the mail is read. This can serve to track (at least by google) when the mail is read. Some people deactivates external images in emails for this reason, and thus they won't see the formula. Also, the code of the formula is shared with google, which is again a privacy issue (perhaps it is a secret formula! :-) Jun 28 '13 at 14:25
• Will the math display on the recipient's side if the recipient doesn't use Gmail?
– tvk
Jan 26 '15 at 17:36
• @FangJing Yes. The plugin translates your markdown into standard HTML, replacing equations with <img> tags. Then Gmail sends your message as a multi-part MIME message. One part contains "plain text" which should be visible in any email client (but you loss formatting and equation). The other part is HTML visible in any html-capable email client (almost all, nowadays). This client could block however the rendering of the IMG, because it contains a link to an external site. Nevertheless, the image contains a text-version in its alt attribute. Jan 27 '15 at 14:53
• Why won't it convert it to MathML? Apr 17 '15 at 22:55

Maybe it's too late to answer now, but what about Thunderbird? Thunderbird is open source software. You just have to install "LaTeX It" (it's an addon in Thunderbird). Hope it helped :-)

There is a Chrome extension called TeX for Gmail (available from the Chrome Web Store), which can typeset math expressions, equations, and theorems, among other things. I experimented with it and it has been working for me.

• I want to point out that this extension has been significantly streamlined in the past year and is now very polished. I use it daily. Crucially, it allows you to quickly convert an image back to the original TeX, modify it, and then re-convert to an image. The messages seem to look good to non-Gmail users and Gmail users alike. Highly recommended. Jul 8 '16 at 16:04
• I saw in several places (like here: mathandmultimedia.com/2012/03/20/using-latex-in-gmail) a claim that it has a Firefox version as well. But I couldn't find such a version. Does anyone know if it exists? And if not - of an alternative?
– et_l
Oct 5 '20 at 8:53
• Here's an explanation of how TeX for Gmail works: alexeev.org/help.html Dec 7 '20 at 15:33
• Just to note that this extension is no longer supported by chrome, and is now considered malware. chrome-stats.com/d/gjnmclkoadjdljnfmbnnhaahilafoeji Oct 17 at 15:37

On Mac OS X, one can install the utility LaTeXiT: http://www.chachatelier.fr/latexit/ which will allow one to type LaTeX in any Mac OS X app which understands Services and will accept an image, and then Typeset the equations in place, replacing them w/ a .pdf in situ.

The recipient will receive a .pdf as an attachment (it will display in-line on mail programs which display .pdfs), and then may invoke LaTeXiT's linkback'' support to untypeset the equations, reverting them to their source form (the source is attached to the .pdf as an attachment).

• Thanks (from the far future) for this suggestion, I've been using latexit but never thought of trying to invoke it as a service! May 1 '20 at 16:39

As an old-school (and quite primitive) alternative I may suggest using ascii-art to render LaTeX. The only requirement is that both of you need to use monospaced font:

+-+
,- \|x   2
| e    /x    dx
-'

Quite obviously it has a limited use.

There are scripts to make the formulas from latex, the above was generated with tex2mail. One can add some unicode to it to produce nicer output:

┬─┬oo ⎛   1  ⎞   ⎛ ┬─┬oo   1   ⎞-1           1            1     6
│ │   ⎜ 1-── ⎟ = ⎜ │ │   ───── ⎟   = ───────────────── = ──── = ──  ≈ 61%
┴ ┴p  ⎜    2 ⎟   ⎜ ┴ ┴p     -2 ⎟         1    1          ζ(2)    2
⎝   p  ⎠   ⎝       1-p   ⎠     1 + ── + ── + ∙∙∙          π
2    2
2    3

But be careful, not all monospaced unicode is rendered as truly monospaced.

• Humanity spent centuries to arrive at cat videos, yet we are stuck in ASCII art Oct 19 '17 at 22:37

Here is an obvious but super useful point, at least for me:

To insert LaTeX into an email composed in Outlook or some other mail client, first compose the message in Gmail using Alexeev's TeX for Gmail, then copy and paste it into your mail client's compose window! Of course, all mail client must be composing in HTML.

• Welcome to TeX.SE! Sep 25 at 22:24

Recently I have found the following Chrome extension with the help of which it is possible to send email with MathJaX equations (however I am not sure whether to read the sent emails if the receiver also needs to add the extensions). The extensions is, Math Anywhere.

Just wanted to mention that KLatexFormula is extremely easy to use, lets you copy and paste images directly into email text fields (works on email clients that aren't in browser), and has a formula history that you can use in case you messed up and want to go back to a previous image without having to type out the whole formula again.

Write LaTex in above textarea. Select svg in below and select font size as your wish. Now copy the image (svg) only now paste it in your Gmail.

That's it (•‿•)

• "PS: Using an editor and then attaching the pdf is not a valid answer :P" I suppose OP meant attaching an SVG file is also not a solution. Sep 15 '20 at 8:21

I have just noticed that Thunderbird, without add-ons, now allows inserting Mathematics as LaTex code and will display it using MathML. In other mail clients you can more or less read the original LaTeX.