Question: Are there apps (preferably free) with which you can use standard symbol menus (as in MathCad, e.g.) to code up math formulas and then automatically translate them into LaTeX that could then be pasted into the questions and answers?

Ancillary question: Are there other apps I can use to preview LaTeX before submission? I have yet to see (using Explorer or Chrome) any LaTeX rendered and previewed in my entries before submission, nor any review buttons.

Rant: Using LaTeX reminds me of using assembly language to code with. The point to using assembly language in the old days was to reduce the load on processing for the computer and place it on the programmer. With the speed and memory capacity of modern computers this seems a little silly now.

  • $\begingroup$ You can use LaTeX to preview LaTeX... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ As for your rant, it would be best if you removed it: it serves no purpose here. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ Apparently some users here use MathType. I don't know what it is and whether it is any good, but at a quick glance it seems to provide part of what you're looking for. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ You rant about LaTeX is off-topic (belongs to tex.SE website), and the bit about assembly is technically incorrect (and belongs to Stackoverflow) $\endgroup$
    – user2468
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ As pointed out in the answers below, lyx.org is what you are looking for. LyX is a great piece of software. I've used it for years before switching to plain LaTeX. There is also texmacs.org but I never tried it though $\endgroup$
    – user2468
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 3:44
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    $\begingroup$ Even though I am fan of LaTeX, I can see that Tom's rant is a valid point of view and there might be more people with similar opinion. I see no harm if it stays there. He simply wrote his opinion on (effective) typesetting of math, which IMO is a topic relevant for the users of this site. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 5:19
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    $\begingroup$ There are plenty of online LaTeX equations editor, which are definitely not the most comfortable solution, but they still might help, e.g. codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the constructive leads. I'll check them out and give some feedback in the next few days. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: Thanks, another good solution and seems to be a nice learning tool for LaTeX for a beginner like me. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, J.D. ("belongs at tex.SE"!), do you suppose that if I had similar misgivings about the utility of kanji that I would walk into a room full of Japanese ultra-nationalists and voice them? I would expect only a katana up the kazoo. $\endgroup$ Commented May 15, 2012 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @TomCopeland : If you write an answer using $\TeX$ ($\LaTeX$ is not exactly the same thing as $\TeX$, and I don't know which term is more accurate here. Probably for most answers, it doesn't matter), it instantly gets converted to what everyone will see (that is, you do get to preview your answer). So I don't understand your second paragraph. I'm pretty sure questions behave the same way. Unfortunately, comments don't seem to behave that way (I don't know if you can preview a comment). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2013 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Have you looked at LyX?

  • $\begingroup$ Great, seems to fit the bill for my question. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 6:41

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