# Change equation font in Pages

During a Pages update which was pushed out a few months ago, Pages obtained the ability to write equations using LaTeX or MathML commands. According to an Apple Support article, the size and color of the equation can be changed (source):

The equation appears at the insertion point in your document (or before the selected text). The equation is an inline object, the same size and color as the surrounding text. If you change the size or color of the surrounding text, the size and color of the equation’s font also change.

This does not mention anything about the font used for the equation itself, which seems to be something similar to a Times New Roman font.

Is there any way to change the font used, preferably to something like Latin Modern Math?

I was considering the possibility of replacing the font file Pages uses with a downloaded Latin Modern Math font file, but I'm not sure what to replace. Could I replace Times New Roman in /System/Library/Fonts/ or something like that?

• Does TNR have the characters for this? I would think Apple might use the STIX fonts it provides for equations. Feb 14, 2018 at 22:47
• I never learned LaTeX (my fault) so I cannot be sure, but here it seems to explain why you cannot just select a font for the equation discussions.apple.com/thread/8031093 and here support.apple.com/en-us/HT202501 is the reference of what of LaTeX and MathML is supported in the Apple apps. Unless you also change the metadata inside the font file, don't think you can simply substitute the TMR font with another and to expect it to work... Feb 14, 2018 at 23:21

Pages uses blahtex to generate PNGs from the rudimentary maths environments. The following fonts are available out of the box with blahtex:

2.12 Fonts
\mathbf \mathbb \mathrm \mathit \mathcal \mathfrak \mathsf \mathtt \boldsymbol \rm \bf \it \cal \tt \sf \Bbb \bold

Unfortunately, Pages does not support all of these fonts, most notably mathcal. Pages does support:

…and their shorthands:

This very point has bothered me - I detest the fact that the font in my equations is so different to the rest of my doc. I explored various methods for changing font but none worked. Yesterday I stumbled across a brilliant hack for this (though not entirely fullproof). Pages supports the /text{} command, which can be embedded anywhere. The command is meant for including full words around equations so they don't look so odd.

How to use it within equations? Surround characters, or groups of characters with the /text{} command. Here are some examples:

Put an overline over a character styled like the paragraph format: \overline \text{v} \text{= ½(u+v)} ➝ v̄ = ½(u+v)

Put correctly styled characters into a fraction: \text{t =} \frac{\text{v-u}}{\text{a}} ➝ t = (v–u) / a

Put correctly styled characters into a squareroot: \text{F =} \sqrt{\text{134.6}} \text{= 11.6\ N} ➝ F = √134.6 = 11.6 N

Here is a visual example:

Code for top equation:

x + \frac{y}{x} = 4


Bottom equation:

\text{x} + \frac{\text{y}}{\text{z}} = \text{4}


A huge advantage of this is you select the equation object and do whatever font styling you like to the object and all the characters inside /text{} get styled accordingly. It's great. Makes it easy to add bespoke styling to different equations easily, e.g. choose a specific font, add italics, make one eqaution bold because it is a final solution to multiple steps.

Another benefit has been the ability to insert a correct degree symbol, º, which usually causes the equation editor to fail.

One main limitation that I am aware of is super and subscripts. You can style the characters inside a superscript or subscript command, e.g. \text{sin}^{\text{-1}}\text{(0.96)}, but the characters inherit their size from the paragraph styling so they stay normal size - doesn't look right. In these cases I have resorted to either using the default font supplied in the equation editor or using Unicode (e.g. ⁻¹).

Anyway, I hope that this method adds some value to your work if you decide to try it out.

• Thank you for adding the visual example. It should have occurred to me to do so. I was also really surprised because you chose Avenir Next as the font for the example - a font that I frequently use myself.
– Dan
Aug 10, 2020 at 20:01

This is not possible to change the font as the LaTex panel as it is strictly in maths mode.

The LaTeX insertion panel in Pages v6.2 is strictly in math mode, and does not allow changing to another font (e.g. Helvetica), as one could do in the main Pages document body, or in LaTeX proper. You can change to a different style for the default font as outlined in the blahtex/blahtexml guide (direct link to PDF). The usage of these operators is not further documented, and though \mathsf{x = y^2} works, this format does not apply for all in the following list.

(source)

Some of the fonts, not all are available: