(This is close to some previous questions, but I wasn't able to find a question that directly covers it.)

I want a program that allows me to quickly type a snippet of LaTeX code in and will immediately give me feedback (an image) of the typeset output produced by the code.

If the program takes too long to start up or needs secondary programs to assess the results (image viewer or pdf reader), it frustrates use as a quick check of code.

An implementation of what I want is the Math Overflow question section. If I type LaTeX code, I see the results of the code immediately.

The purpose might be to quickly verify my LaTeX. I wouldn't want this to write a whole article just a few lines of code or text.

Thanks for any advice.

Edit: I am on Windows. Sorry for the crucial omission.

  • In principle, you should be able to add an html file on your own computer to Greasemonkey's "Display LaTeX" list, and switch between viewing it with a text editor and with a browser, but I haven't been able to make this work. Has anyone done this?
    – Mephisto
    Oct 23, 2010 at 14:09

7 Answers 7


Could try laeqed...

(Not used it but found it from searching latexit + windows. Latexit on mac works really nicely).

[EDIT: looks like its not quite as nice as latexit as it produces PNG only (with latexit I can copy and paste the output as PDF which allows resizing once I've pasted it into slides/documents), but if you only want it for previewing maybe it would be OK]

  • This is very good!
    – Henry B.
    Oct 23, 2010 at 14:19

LaTeXiT does that on the Mac. Its main purpose is to typeset stuff you can cut and paste into other places, but it's fast and easy and will serve your puprpose well.

  • 4
    Of course, you don't say what OS you're on. That indicates you're on Windows, so this answer will be of no use to you. (Why do Windows users always assume everybody else uses Windows as well?) Oct 23, 2010 at 5:28
  • 5
    I intended to say I was on Windows when I started writing, but I must admit I had forgotten all about it by the end of the post. Forgive an ageing brain.
    – Henry B.
    Oct 23, 2010 at 6:14

I use LyX for this purpose. You can type real LaTeX in the Mathboxes (ctrl+M, then type with the backslashes, since I do not believe copy-paste works with generating a PDF).


Gummi is a GTK-based application for GNU/Linux, which provides what you are asking for. There is also a beta version of a Windows port.

enter image description here


There are web pages that do this. See the answers to this question. There are also applications like LaTeXiT that can do what you want.

I'm not actually totally sure that this question isn't a duplicate of others here.


Assuming, like Harald, that you are on Windows: you may want to look at BaKoMa TeX

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Is there anything that's free?
    – Henry B.
    Oct 23, 2010 at 6:28
  • 3
    I think that 'free' and 'windows' don't generally combine that well together. But I am on Linux exclusively, so I have no idea. Oct 23, 2010 at 8:56
  • 1
    LyX is on Windows and is free.
    – Wok
    Oct 23, 2010 at 10:52

An implementation of what I want is the Math Overflow question section. If I type LaTeX code, I see the results of the code immediately.

(I find the word "immediately" there hilarious! That's a long way from my experience with MathOverflow.)

If you are primarily interested in equations, you could just use the MathJaX javascript. Not entirely sure how it would work in the details, but basically you would put your snippet in a file, load that file in your webbrowser and ensure that the webbrowser ran MathJaX on it.

Of course, MathJaX ain't TeX so there's no guarantee that the results will be exactly what you want.

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