I would like to know if there is a tablet device (iPad, Nexus...etc) on which one can install a full LaTeX environment. By "full", I mean that:

  • One can produce (compile successfully) from any .tex file the dvi or PDF file.
  • If any package is missing, one can install it manually (or better automatically, as MikTeX).

After searching on Google, it seems to me that there is no such tablet device. Most of the LaTeX editors on tablet device require an internet connection (i.e., they compile .tex on a server). In this post, the author mentioned that TeX Writer (UK store) (for iOS) doesn't require an internet connection. But it looks like it is just a LaTeX editor. I don't know how it works with LaTeX. (Does it provide a mini-LaTeX environment or something else?).

p.s. Of course I don't want to type .tex file on a tablet device for a long time. But sometimes I may need to modify an existing .tex file (e.g., when I find some errors in my paper).

  • 2
    TeX Writer compiles the files on the iPad, and so does TexPad (which also has the capability to send the send a file to a server to be compiled remotely)
    – Guido
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 17:35
  • @Guido, do you know Tex Writer and TexPad work with LaTex? I mean they provide a (mini or full) LaTex environment or the users need to install LaTex distribution themselves?
    – user565739
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 17:38
  • They work with LaTeX and they have several packages preinstalled, and you can install further package. They are usable.
    – Guido
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 17:41
  • 2
    Earlier today I was contemplating putting this on my android tablet, if you have debian linux you could install the arm texlive distribution... play.google.com/store/apps/… Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 18:25

7 Answers 7


Texpad developers here. The answer is yes - you can do this on the iPad with Texpad. Texpad for iOS has had a built in LaTeX typesetter, no internet connection required. Most commonly used LaTeX packages are now included, and we expand the distribution with every update (9 updates in the past three months), and it is now so good that one user edits LaTeX on his Mac and typesets on his iPhone because the distribution is leaner, simpler and faster.

PGF drivers are underway right now and the update with local TikZ/Beamer typesetting should be ready for download in February.

In addition to the onboard typesetter, we still provide free cloud typesetting servers with the entirety of TexLive 2012 installed. If you have any further questions, email us at [email protected].

UPDATE: Tikz and beamer are now working in 1.5 and later releases. In addition all the fonts plus latex and bibtex packages are downloadable using the Bundle Manager in Texpad now: http://support.texpadapp.com/kb/typesetting-ios/latex-bundle-manager-on-texpad-ios . Check it out and let us have your feedback via 'Contact Us' form on http://texpadapp.com .

  • Does the logicool keyboard for ipad works with Texpad? Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 8:15
  • Hi VV, I am very interested in being able to use latex on my ipad and would be willing to pay the price for a good app. Unfortunately all the apps I tried suck. Can you please update your answer to tell us, what your app does well, what it is not so good at (currently) and what you plan on improving in the near future? Thanks
    – AFK
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 2:47
  • Can texpad work with dropbox files? Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 21:36
  • I have found that some latex package are not up-to-date (eg. siunitx,...) Texpad still uses old version of siunitx that use "\SI{}{}" for unit. Newest version use "\qty{}{}". The question is how to update package of texpad on MacOS/iPadOS? Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 7:25

This answer only concerns the iPad.

I'm not going to reproduce my blog post (already linked in the question) as it is still relevant. I'll highlight a couple of points directly related to your question.

One can produce (compile successfully) from any .tex file the dvi or PDF file.

Taking the "any" at face value, the answer is "Not yet". There are (at time of writing) two iPad applications that can compile a tex document on the iPad without needing internet connectivity. One of those is TeX Writer, the other is TeXPad. Neither can compile any tex document. TeX Writer currently uses unadulterated TeX, meaning that it doesn't have the e-TeX extensions and produces DVI (which it then converts to PDF). So anything that uses the e-TeX extensions does not currently compile (nor XeTeX nor LuaTeX). TeXPad is based on KerTeX about which I know very little.

But with that taken into account - and with the knowledge that they are both in their infancy - it is now possible to compile documents directly on an iPad with no internet connection. Both come with the LaTeX format, TeX Writer also includes a plain TeX format.

If any package is missing, one can install it manually (or better automatically, as MikTeX).

Both of these applications allow installation of packages, neither is automatic.


Just have a look here: TexPortal. This is an App for Android which runs on my Nexus 7 without the need for root and an internet connection. I didn't try to compile very complex documents but for some of my simple business letters it works perfectly. Keep in mind this is only the compiler not an editor! The sources and the installation guide you can find here: https://github.com/anhoavu/TeXPortal.

  • 2
    TeXPortal seems not to exist anymore.
    – n1000
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 11:06

(Disclaimer: I'm the developer of VerbTeX)

VerbTeX may be an alternative. It's available for Android, iOS and Windows 8. It uses a full (and up-to-date) TexLive distribution in the background to generate PDF. So there's generally no need to install any missing packages (since no packages are missing). If you create custom packages you can also simply upload and use them.

  • I really can't seem to get the dropbox integration of verbtex to work Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 18:40
  • @TejasShetty After you Link to Dropbox VerbTeX will automatically synchronize all your Local Mode projects in the background (around once per minute or so). No need to manually click a button or something similar.
    – Peter
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 4:44
  • Sadly, it still fails. How can I contact you? @peter Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 7:22
  • 1
    @TejasShetty You can contact us via [email protected]
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 17:32

TeX Writer on both iOS and Android is a LaTeX editor and compiler for tablets. It has a minimal distribution. Additional packages can be downloaded automatically on demand.

iOS App Store:


Google play:



This may be be a kludge, but if you have a rooted Android device, one can dual-boot various flavors of Linux (there are apps that will help in the installation process). Inside Linux, one can install texlive and compile anything you would like.

  • 2
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You may have a look on our starter guide.
    – mafp
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 21:11

I wrote an app to meet this need on my Android. It can also output PDFs. It renders TeX in real time.


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