Pages has since a relatively recent update a very useful way to insert equations using LaTeX and/or MathML syntax.

On multiple occasions, I have wanted to add tags to equations—a custom equation number on the right side of the equation. However, the \tag{} command doesn't seem to work in Pages. Is there any other way I can achieve this?

Three possibilities which come to mind are a) using a table with two cells, putting the equation in the left one and the equation number on the right, b) adding the equation text above or below the equation (but unfortunately not to the right), or c) adding spaces and then the tag manually (which seems to be a terrible idea). Is there a better way to do it?

1 Answer 1


\tag is part of the amsmath LaTeX package rather than LaTeX itself. Pages doesn't support ams.

Internally, Pages uses blahtex to generate PNGs from the rudimentary maths environments. These individual equations don't have context of the page width, so it's not possible to add a correct amount of right spacing automatically within the equation environment.

However, Pages can do this. You can use the ruler to correctly center align the equation, and right align content outside of the equation.

  1. Optional Create a new paragraph style for your equation lines. This preserves the ruler adjustments so you don't have to recreate this manually for each equation. Use the blue Update paragraph style button each time you make a change to the style to preserve the adjustment.

  2. Create two tab stops:

    • Half width, center aligned. This becomes the center alignment for the equation.
      Half width can be calculated by taking the 1 column width shown at the top of Layout (here, 17 cm) and dividing by 2 (here, 8.5 cm).
    • Full width, right aligned. This becomes the right alignment for the tag.

  3. In a paragraph of your new equation paragraph style, press Tab. Insert your equation as normal. This will be center aligned on the page.

  4. After your equation, press Tab. Insert the tag for the equation, which will be auto. right-aligned.

  • This is a beautiful answer
    – Oion Akif
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 7:35
  • 1
    @SkeletonBow Thank you! I always enjoy your Pages questions — they get me thinking outside the box in an app appearing to lack in complexity and configurability.
    – grg
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 20:17
  • @grg is there any automatic numbering?
    – David
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 16:53

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