This answer to How to include equations in-line with text within the cell of a table in Keynote? is quite helpful. I noticed that \text{} is interpreted as boldface, and I had to find something else to get "normal" looking text within an equation, whereas in MathJax that we use here in Stack Exchange \text{} produces "normal" text within an equation.

It seems that \mathtt{} and \tt{} produce "normal" looking text while \texttt{} and \text{}produce boldface font.

Question: When we start a recent version of Keynote or Pages, exactly what language is used to generate equations? Is it MathJax or Tex or LaTex or MathML or some mix? Is there a documentation page where I can find reliable information on how to format complicated equations with various features like matrices, aligned equal signs for several equations appearing in multiple lines, and other goodies?

Secondary question: Are there options for changing which language is used, or is it hard-coded?

Right now I only know Mathematics SE Meta's MathJax basic tutorial and quick reference and so far I've simply been lucky that most of what I do in MathJax seems to work in Notes and Pages.

\texttt{}, \mathtt{}, \tt{} and \text{} in Notes Equation


Pages supports equations written with both LaTeX commands and MathML elements. However, it doesn't support all of each language providing only a subset of available features.

In regards MathJax, it is actually also the case that MathJax supports LaTeX and MathML markup, so that's why you'll find that commands used with MathJax also work with Pages. The environments, configurations, installed packages, and so on, are not the same however, and that's why you'll find inconsistencies in how the same lines of code are displayed in the two systems.

You'll find Apple's documentation for the feature here:


There are no options to change which languages are supported by equations in Pages.

  • I see, so can we say that Pages and Keynote support a single Apple-specific set of commands that is some amalgam of LaTeX and MathML commands?
    – uhoh
    Sep 1 '20 at 12:11
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    Not really no - unless you want to play games of semantics. Basically you can say that LaTeX is a language, and that MathML is a language. A program that supports both languages is a program that supports two languages when described in ordinary terms - however you could ofcourse argue that theoretically any program that supports multiple languages is really a program that supports a single language that is the combination of those other languages. I don't know how much that helps anyone.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 1 '20 at 14:13
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    There are many LaTeX commands and features not supported by the equations editor in iWork programs. The good people regularly working with LaTeX and active in forums such as tex.stackexchange.com do not even consider the version supported by iWork programs as LaTeX. They even closed a question I had because of this! If the equation editor does not meet your needs at some point and would like to take advantage of other LaTeX commands and features as well while continuing to work with iWork programs, ‪take a look at LaTeXiT.
    – Alper
    Sep 1 '20 at 17:45
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    Yes, I wrote in the answer exactly that it is a subset. I regularly use LaTeX, but therefore I can still answer a Pages question - just keep in mind it is two different things. One is a simple way to insert math of a some complexity into a WYSIWYG word processor, the other is a world of possibilities for everything from the smallest business card to an entire doctoral thesis.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 1 '20 at 20:25
  • @Alper thank you for that, I will give it a try!
    – uhoh
    Sep 2 '20 at 19:22

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