Answers to Add equations that flows with the text in the keynote explain that in Keynote we can insert an in-line equation when typing text. I use option-command-E or the same from pull-down Insert menu and it works fine for text in a text object.

However: when I'm writing text inside of a cell of a table this fails. No matter what I do the equation pops out of the text and becomes a floating equation.

If I copy a line of text that contains an in-line equation and paste it inside the cell of a table, the text appears but the equation is dropped.

Is there any way to include equations in-line with text within the cell of a table in Keynote?

Keynote version 9.2.1 (6529)


Is there any way to include equations in-line with text within the cell of a table in Keynote?

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    I know, I forgot the dx in the integral, that must be it! :-)
    – uhoh
    Aug 24, 2020 at 23:57
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    Be sure to teach us what you learned in an answer. I know this error will hit others.
    – bmike
    Aug 25, 2020 at 0:01
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    I thought you were about to provide a fix and I didn’t understand the comment.
    – bmike
    Aug 25, 2020 at 0:15
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    I thought I had this... works in Pages. Works in Keynote without a table. When I create a table and try it ... I also get a floating equation (detached from cell text). <sigh> Suggest you visit apple.com/feedback Aug 25, 2020 at 2:52
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    @uhoh I can. One caveat (kind of a big one) is that after creating the table in Pages with a cell that includes text and equation, if I then try to copy the table onto a Keynote slide, the equation gets left behind. Aug 25, 2020 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


It is not possible to have an equation created by the equation editor (Insert > Equation menu from the top) inline with text inside a table cell in Keynote. This is possible in Pages but not in Keynote.

The problem stems from a Keynote table not being allowed to accept a picture as a text element in a cell. This behavior leads to an equation not being accepted inside a table cell as a text element in Keynote because an output of the equation editor is handled as a picture by the programs in the iWork suite (Numbers, Pages, Keynote).

A partial solution to this problem within Keynote is to create all of the contents of a cell using the equation editor and paste it inside the corresponding cell (automatically as a picture). The appearance of each "equation" picture can then be adjusted using Format > Cell > Fill menu on the sidebar on the right as shown in the example below (Keynote v10.1). Note that, once pasted, one can not edit the equation picture in a cell. If any change is needed to a cell with an equation, then the whole "equation" needs to be re-created and pasted into the corresponding cell.

enter image description here


This isn't a clean answer (does not solve the issue presented in the original question) but I'll post what I've learned and possibly an alternative.

When I test this using Keynote (v10.1) I see the same behavior ...

If I create a simple text box, I can perform an Insert -> Equation... in mid sentence and this works provided the text is not in a table cell.

If I perform the same action inside a table cell, the equation becomes a floating element (no longer tied to the text or cell).

If I perform the same action in Pages (v10.1) this works correctly even within a table.

LaTeX equation embedded within text inside a table cell

The bad news is that if I then attempt to copy this table onto a Keynote slide, the equation is dropped.

This seems like a bug considering it is implemented as expected in Pages ... but Keynote has an issue with it.

You can send feedback to Apple here: https://www.apple.com/feedback/keynote.html

  • Thank you for your informative post! I've tried this and I get the same behavior as well. For my current need I can actually switch to using Pages so that can be a workaround for me at the moment, but I'll keep this question open until a more definitive conclusion can be reached.
    – uhoh
    Aug 25, 2020 at 23:19

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