Some times I need to check the typesetting - wither I've made a formula right. For such cases I need to have an interactive TeX interpreter -- with no customisations - I just want to check the formula. Maybe You know something like that?

  • 1
    Could you define a little more precise what you mean when you say that you want to "check the formula"?
    – Speldosa
    Nov 3, 2011 at 11:00
  • I mean sometimes I write a TeX code in the forum for example - and I want to make sure it'll render correctly.
    – Adobe
    Nov 3, 2011 at 11:06
  • 1
    @Adobe This is mathjax which is a JavaScipt application based on TeX.
    – yannisl
    Nov 3, 2011 at 11:14
  • Which forum? There are lots of maths-enabled fora and there are several ways to get maths rendered. Although many are based on TeX syntax, not many actually use TeX. MathJaX is one, iTeX is another. If you could be more specific, it might be easier to help you. Nov 3, 2011 at 11:23
  • 1
    None of the solutions (including your own) is actually what you want. What you need is a webpage with a text box in which you could write some LaTeX maths and have MathJaX work on the result. That doesn't involve TeX at all. Nov 3, 2011 at 13:54

10 Answers 10


Prepare a file sample.tex containing



and then, from the shell, run

pdflatex '\input{sample}$\rho$\stop'

This may be turned into a shell function, just to read standard input and putting it in place of $\rho$ in the example command line.

You can add to sample.tex all packages allowed from the forum.


If online version is good for you, check http://www.codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php! This is an online LaTeX equation editor, which renders real-time the inserted LaTeX-code. Plus you can download your equation as an image :)

  • 1
    Could you add a little more detail? It is better to explain in the post what a link is about so that someone can have a reasonable idea what they are going to click on and make an initial assessment as to the value of the contribution without having to click on links. Thanks. Nov 3, 2011 at 13:36
  • 1
    Okay, you've right. Edited.
    – uzsolt
    Nov 3, 2011 at 13:42
  • This one works well, but it's so slow! =) Aug 29, 2017 at 6:29

For Mac OSX there is the superb LaTeXit LaTeXit tool for this purpose. It even provides means to copy&paste the resulting PDFs into other applications (such as Keynote or LyX) with the LaTeX code embedded into the PDF metadata. Thereby you (or your colleague) can later copy&paste it back to LaTeXit to edit the results.

I use it mostly for TikZ figures in my Keynote presentations.

enter image description here


Oh I found that: sage notebook provides the functionality. You type in the cell


just renders the latex.


You could try the Gummi editor. It offers a live preview and should be available in the repositories of your Linux distribution.


There's also OOLaTeX -- which is an extension to LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org) -- and it provides the required functionality.


You should try the online equation editor at formulasheet.com. It has an instant live preview. It will also help you find symbols if your forget their LaTeX syntax.


You can run tex as an interactive interpreter.

You need to start with \relax and end with \bye

For example:

$ tex
This is TeX, Version 3.141592653 (TeX Live 2022/Debian) (preloaded format=tex)

*$2 + 2 = 5$

Output written on texput.dvi (1 page, 224 bytes).
Transcript written on texput.log.

You'll need a DVI viewer such as xdvi to open the output file.

  • This is pretty much the same as egreg's answer. Also note that TeX is not LaTeX, and depends on the formula expect to be surprised.
    – user202729
    Nov 25, 2023 at 14:29

Yet another on-line free service: http://www.sciweavers.org/free-online-latex-equation-editor


If you're using macOS, then you may already have installed MacTeX, which includes the TeXShop editor/front end app. In that app, if you already have a compilable .tex file open, you can use the menu command Edit > Experiment to open a new source window. What you type in that new window will then be processed by TeX with whatever TeX setup you have in that compilable .tex file window.

For example, if you're using LaTeX (pdfLaTeX, XeLaTeX, etc.) then when you typeset the text in the Experiment window will be LaTeX'ed using that premable—but without processing the rest of what is in the main window.

What's especially nice about this TeXShop feature is that if you highlight some text in the main source window and select the Edit > Experiment menu item, then that text will automatically be pasted into the Experiment window ready for you to try to test as is, or as you may modify it.

Thus you can test out little bits—or not-so-little-bits—of source code without processing the body of the main source document.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .