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Using LaTeX in WordPress

Comparison of online compilers

Wednesday 18th November 2009

Filed under: — Steve @ 9:12 pm

Comparison of free, on-the-fly, web based LaTeX equation compilers compares some of the services mentioned in Online LaTeX which offer compilation via a URL.

A couple of the services are unable to process the plus sign correctly, probably because the symbol is changed at some stage. In those cases + needs to be replaced by %2B, thus

Sitmo 
<img src="http://www.sitmo.com/gg/latex/latex2png.2.php?z=100&eq=z_t = \displaystyle\sum^p_{j=1}\phi_jz_{t-j}%2B\sigma_\epsilon\xi_t" alt="" />
gives

MathTran
<img src="http://mathtran.open.ac.uk/cgi-bin/mathtran?D=1;tex=z_t = \displaystyle\sum^p_{j=1}\phi_jz_{t-j}%2B\sigma_\epsilon\xi_t" alt="" />
gives

Similar changes may have to be made for other symbols, though it would be better if the services themselves could do the necessary translation.

3 Comments »

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  1. Great tip! I was never really sure why those two services rendered incorrectly.

    Comment by Cameron Bracken — Wednesday 18th November 2009 10:35 pm #

  2. Thank you for the survey, Steve. Really useful.

    The problem with ‘+’ is due to URI encoding. One needs URI encoding if the TeX source contains new lines. MathTran and, I presume, SITMO, use the standard %NN URI encoding.

    If you follow the instructions on http://www.mathtran.org/wiki/index.php/TeX_image then you’ll find JavaScript that solves this problem.

    At present there is not a standard for URI encoding that is specially adapted to TeX notation mathematics. The W3C standard for URI encoding is a little verbose.

    Comment by Jonathan Fine — Thursday 19th November 2009 9:14 am #

  3. Jonathan, unfortunately many bloggers can’t follow your instructions to add JavaScript since all they can do is add text to an already constructed page. I know CodeCogs had problems with the encoding but I don’t recall how they solved it; mathTeX & mimeTeX must also be able to cope with this.

    The ability for bloggers to be able to write img src = … and get a mathematical expression is valuable especially for people like Blogger users who have no access to the workings of the blog.

    Note: Jonathan Fine is the author of MathTran

    Comment by Steve — Thursday 19th November 2009 11:13 am #

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This site is a showcase for using LatexRender for mathematics in WordPress