I gather that the method for adding arbitrary rich content to Apple's iBooks using iBooks Author is to install a "widget", bit none of the reconfigured widgets support LaTeX.

Is there a LaTeX widget for iBooks Author?

  • I seriously doubt it, at least for the moment. You'd be better off sticking with LaTeXiT to generate equations and such and then drag and drop.
    – qubyte
    Jan 20, 2012 at 17:17
  • For simple equations see how to export a equation as a image without background, for figures see crop entire document around figure, and for more complicated stuff see minimize automatically the page size of the pdf outputs Jan 20, 2012 at 17:40
  • @PeterGrill: Just to note: Without background is the default behaviour of LaTeXiT, and LaTeXiT isn't limited to equations, and I regularly use it for pgfplots etc. The added benefit over the manual route is that the image can be dropped back into LaTeXiT to recover the original code.
    – qubyte
    Jan 20, 2012 at 17:50
  • 1
    What would be even more interesting is if widgets could support the use of MathJax. Where is the documentation for iBooks widgets? Stephen Moye
    – user11120
    Jan 24, 2012 at 15:44
  • 1
    When you use this approach, the image file for the equation stay in between the text when the iPad is in portrait mode, or it's moved to the left side as every other image inserted to the page?
    – user11132
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:28

4 Answers 4


The widgets available at the moment are listed here. There seems to be some confusion in the question though. Widgets are the name given to dynamic elements, such as audio or video, and other interactive elements. LaTeX does not really fit into that broad definition. If you need LaTeX for equations then the best option it to write equations or other self-contained snippets in LaTeXiT and use the generated pdf files in iBooks Author.

enter image description here


MathJax 2.0 supports an SVG output and equation numbering. The SVG output is noted to be compatible with iBooks, so this would seem to be an ideal solution.

  • I apologize for unaccepting this answer (which is still great): version 2.0 no supports LaTeX equations.
    – orome
    Oct 24, 2012 at 16:57
  • No need to apologise! Kudos for keeping the question and answer fresh and relevant. :)
    – qubyte
    Oct 25, 2012 at 1:28

As of version 2.0, iBooks Author now supports both LaTeX and MathML equations.

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    Barely! For example, iBooks Author version 2.0 does NOT support the amsmath environments such as cases.
    – murray
    Oct 24, 2012 at 17:36
  • @murray: Correct, as the Apple page indicates, the support is limited to simple insertable widget-type equations.
    – orome
    Oct 24, 2012 at 17:48

Althogh iBooks Author offers the link to MathType, it looks MathType equations are not in PDF format.

LaTeXit or MathMagic equation editor supports PDF format, with the font embedding feature. You can also copy & paste the PDF equation back to the original equation editor to reedit if necessary. The quality of PDF equations looks much better and sharper, especially for the lines, root/radical signs, and small script/accent characters.

It turns out that using Insert... command in iBA is not faster than inserting via Drag&Drop or Copy&Paste, if you have to deal with many equations and symbols. Or, it would be better if there is an equation button on the toolbar.

  • Isn't this exactly what I wrote without the pretty picture?
    – qubyte
    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:01

It seems that iBooks authors does support Mathtype which has some latex capabilities. I am not sure though that there is anything that allows for automatic equarion numbering and cross referencing. Hopefully in the future.

  • Did you mean to say there is not instead of there is? Jan 24, 2012 at 16:09

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