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As of Jan. 11, 2017, MacOSMath is already merged back to iosMath. Check out this link. This repo is here only for reference, and will not be updated.

Great iOS LaTeX rendering engine (iosMath) ported to Mac OS!

MacOSMath is a library for displaying beautifully rendered math equations in Mac applications. It typesets formulae written using the LaTeX in a NSTextField equivalent class. It uses the same typesetting rules as LaTeX and so the equations are rendered exactly as LaTeX would render them. It is based on Kostub's iosMath library. All credits go to Kostub, he did all the hard work and makes iosMath better and better. I only ported it to Mac platform and reformatted code a little bit. Also, part of this readme (actually, most of it), is based on his original one. Please do check out iosMath.


Here is a screenshot of Quadratic Formula this library renders:

Quadratic Formula

As of Jan. 7, 2017, Chinese characters support is added into this project.

例子 (Examples):


下面的例子无任何实际含义或不规范,仅用于演示程序功能使用 (The following examples do not have any meaning or is not writing standard, and is only used to illustrate functionality of this program):



To display Chinese characters, set the font to xits-math-cn.otf, which has Chinese font extension. You can also use your own otf font with Chinese characters. Here is an example:

self.mathLabel.font = [MTFont xitsFontAndChineseExtensionWithSize:20.0f];
self.mathLabel.latex = @"中文";


MacOSMath works on OS X 10.8+, and uses advanced memory management (aka. Manual Retain Release). It depends on the following Apple frameworks:

  • Foundation.framework
  • Cocoa.framework
  • CoreGraphics.framework
  • QuartzCore.framework
  • CoreText.framework


The library provides a class MTMathUILabel which is a NSView that supports rendering math equations. To display an equation simply create an MTMathUILabel as follows:

#import "MTMathUILabel.h"

MTMathULabel *label = [[MTMathUILabel alloc] init];
label.latex = @"x = \\frac{-b \\pm \\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}";

In storyboard (or nib file), drag and place a NSView to NSWindow, and change its class in Identity Inspector to MTMathUILabel as will render the quadratic formula example shown above. Or you can create a MTMathUILabel programmatically.

Included Features

This is a list of formula types that the library currently supports:

  • Simple algebraic equations
  • Fractions and continued fractions
  • Exponents and subscripts
  • Trigonometric formulae
  • Square roots and n-th roots
  • Calculus symbos - limits, derivatives, integrals
  • Big operators (e.g. product, sum)
  • Big delimiters (using \left and \right)
  • Greek alphabet
  • Combinatorics (\binom, \choose etc.)
  • Geometry symbols (e.g. angle, congruence etc.)
  • Ratios, proportions, percents
  • Math spacing
  • Overline and underline
  • Math accents
  • Matrices
  • Equation alignment
  • Most commonly used math symbols

Advanced configuration

MTMathUILabel supports some advanced configuration options:

Math mode

You can change the mode of the MTMathUILabel between Display Mode (equivalent to $$ or \[ in LaTeX) and Text Mode (equivalent to $ or \( in LaTeX). The default style is Display. To switch to Text simply:

label.labelMode = kMTMathUILabelModeText;
Text Alignment

The default alignment of the equations is left. This can be changed to center or right as follows:

label.textAlignment = kMTTextAlignmentCenter;
Font size

The default font-size is 20pt. You can change it as follows:

label.fontSize = 30;

The default font is XITS Math. This can be changed as:

label.font = [MTFont latinModernFontWithSize:20];

This project has 3 fonts bundled with it, but you can use any OTF math font.


The default color of the rendered equation is black. You can change it to any other color as follows:

label.textColor = [NSColor redColor];

It is also possible to set different colors for different parts of the equation. Just access the displayList field and set the textColor on the underlying displays that you want to change the color of.


The MTMathUILabel has top, bottom, left and right padding for finer control of placement of the equation in relation to the view. However, if you use auto-layout it is preferable to use constraints instead.

If you need to set it you can do as follows:

label.paddingRight = 20;
label.paddingTop = 10;
Error handling

If the LaTeX text given to MTMathUILabel is invalid or if it contains commands that aren't currently supported then an error message will be displayed instead of the label.

This error can be programmatically retrieved as label.error. If you prefer not to display anything then set:

label.displayErrorInline = NO;

Future Enhancements

Note this is not a complete implementation of LaTeX math mode. There are some important pieces that are missing and will be included in future updates. This includes:

  • Support for explicit big delimiters (bigl, bigr etc.)
  • Support for specifing fonts such as \cal or \rm
  • Addition of missing plain TeX commands

Related Projects

For people who wants to render math equation on iOS, even those who don't, I recommend to check Kostub's:

  • iosMath: Beautiful math equation rendering on iOS.

It is the original project, and MacOSMath is just a ported version for Mac.

There are also other wonderful libraries written by Kostub:

  • MathEditor: A WYSIWYG editor for math equations on iOS.
  • MathSolver: A library for solving math equations.


MacOSMath is available under the MIT license, the same as iosMath. See the LICENSE file for more info.


This distribution contains the following fonts. These fonts are licensed as follows: