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How can I turn something like:

\[
H = \sum_{x \in X} p_x \log p_x
\]

into an image file that can be used to place into a MS Word or OpenOffice Document?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are several ways:

  1. You can use LaTeX2HTML. Perl based It will convert the entire document, but one side-effect is that all the formulae are converted to images.
  2. L2P. Perl based. Uses imagemagick. Just the math - you pass in the equation on the command line.
  3. There is latexmath2png. Python based. Just does the math.
  4. Install LyX. Write your equeations and save as a Word doc.

The conversion tools could be run in windows, but they are mostly intended to run under linux. On windows they might require some tweaking. LyX runs just fine in mac, windows & linux.

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Yep, I run Ubuntu, so no worries about Windows. –  Jeremy Powell Nov 24 '09 at 17:36

My personal "folk" solution: goto http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sandbox, and insert your formula between <math> and </math> tags, then force preview and save formula image as a file. :)

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+1 An excellent work around, that uses an under used wikipedia ability. Also doesn't involve installing anything. Nice. –  DaveParillo Apr 19 '10 at 3:43
1  
With this service mathurl.com is even simpler. –  Toc Feb 18 '11 at 11:52
    
I think it'd be better to use a dedicated service like the one Toc suggested rather than tax Wikimedia's servers? –  ZoFreX Aug 12 '11 at 13:51

There's some option (not installed by default) called the "Microsoft Equation Editor".

MathType is a related product which can do LaTeX.

OOoLatex is a set of macros designed to bring the power of LaTeX into OpenOffice.

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Microsoft equation editor is under-used. It's not as good as LaTeX by a long shot, but if you only need a handful of equations in a document it often makes do. –  ZoFreX Aug 12 '11 at 13:51

I use Humanized Enso along with the beta latex product: http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://www.humanized.com/enso/beta/all/ (Currently this site seems to be infested with malware, so don't go there, though the software is completely trustworthy because the creator Aza Raskin is a VERY well known person). Now select your tex/latex expression and press Caps-L and you're done. NOT perfect, but works for my basic needs, and mostly because Enso is something I can't live without, so its really no extra installation for me.

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New site is here. Quite pretty. humanized.com/enso/beta/ensotexanywhere –  syockit Mar 16 '11 at 14:40

Depending on why you want the equation to end up in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, you might be better off setting up a formula than trying to create an image and paste that in.

OpenOffice can actually do equations without any additional plug-ins. I like this tutorial for explaining how to format equations using the word processor. However, you can also use OpenOffice Math as a stand-alone program.

If you prefer a static image rather than a Formula object, you could do that too -- just take a screenshot and paste it in.

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