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This guide is a living document to support faculty and staff working with the PressbooksEDU platform.

LaTeX in Pressbooks

Pressbooks has two options for LaTeX rendering in your book:

  1. MathJax (automatic option): You can use the native LaTeX tool by using the "LaTeX" button on the toolbar in the editor. This is best for chapters that use a small amount of LaTeX.
  2. QuickLaTeX plug in: QuickLaTeX allows for customized LaTeX rendering, and is recommended for books that need a large amount of LaTeX or need to support specific LaTeX packages. 
    • If you need to render LaTeX for an entire page or chapter, simply insert [latexpage] at the beginning of your chapter in the visual editor.
    • If [latexpage] is enabled, you can use LaTeX for both inline text and stand alone equations.

Note: LaTeX will not render in the visual editor, only the public facing side of your book. To see how it looks, use the "Preview" button after saving your work.

How to edit settings in QuickLaTeX

Screenshot of the the QuickLaTeX settings screen in Pressbooks.  Settings can be found in the left hand column.  The Basic settings tab can be used to modify font, background, and alignment.  The Advanced Settings tab can be used to edit the LaTeX preamble.

Latex Tips and Tricks

LaTeX in H5P

Since H5P is a plugin and not a native feature of Pressbooks, it is not impacted by any custom preamble you create for QuickLaTeX.

H5P uses MathJax to render LaTeX, so you can use the MathJax demo page to test if the code will appear as you expect.

If an equation must appear a certain way that MathJax cannot handle, you can present the question as an image rather than text in H5P, although this is not ideal for accessibility.

LaTeX in Headers and Chapter Titles

LaTeX cannot render in chapter headers or titles. To insert special characters, you can use the "Special Characters" option in the editing toolbar. The character can then be copied and pasted into the title. 

Alternately, you can use an HTML/XML shortcode for the character. You can use either the Numeric Character Reference or the Character Entity Reference. Character references should appear like so:&reference;  For example, to make an ampersand (&) appear in the title, you would enter one of the following:

Numeric reference: &
Entity reference: &

Additional Resources

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