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?

7 Answers 7


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.

  • 1
    Yep, I run Ubuntu, so no worries about Windows. Nov 24, 2009 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. :)

  • +1 An excellent work around, that uses an under used wikipedia ability. Also doesn't involve installing anything. Nice. Apr 19, 2010 at 3:43
  • 2
    With this service mathurl.com is even simpler.
    – Toc
    Feb 18, 2011 at 11:52
  • 2
    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, 2011 at 13:51
  • There's one sad thing, though — the both editors are too "latexy", which itself pretty deprecated. Nowadays peoples uses such a thing which is called Unicode. And, if you enter in the equation a \in A, that would be fine, but a ∈ A triggers an error.
    – Hi-Angel
    Oct 22, 2015 at 9:34

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.

  • 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, 2011 at 13:51
  • I agree. Also to help people get started. pickupbrain.com/ms-word/equation-editor-shortcut-word Note you can add custom /instructions . I just added one for \double1 to get an indicator symbol.
    – Tolure
    Oct 28, 2022 at 16:13

In the recent versions of Word, you can insert a LaTeX equation, with Insert -> Symbols -> Equation -> Insert new equation.

In the cell that appears you can write something similar to LaTeX syntax (sorry, I have the Italian edition):

enter image description here

pressing Enter you got:

enter image description here

Of course, not all the functionalities of LaTeX are supported, but it's a beginning.

Pay attention that big documents with many equations can cause problems (using LaTeX directly is always preferable... but not always possible).

Here there is a video on how to insert LaTeX equations in Word: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/write-an-equation-or-formula-1d01cabc-ceb1-458d-bc70-7f9737722702.

  • Could you please explain what features are supported in comparison to LaTeX? When you say "something similar", it's unclear what that means. Is there a documentation page available? That would be helpful.
    – slhck
    Sep 20, 2021 at 6:58
  • @slhck Search "equation" in the Word Guide, there is a video, too
    – CarLaTeX
    Sep 20, 2021 at 8:29
  • @slhck Look also at the other answers of this post.
    – CarLaTeX
    Sep 20, 2021 at 8:31
  • Could you provide a reference/a link still? That would be much more helpful for future readers.
    – slhck
    Sep 21, 2021 at 9:03
  • @slhck I added the link of the Word Guide.
    – CarLaTeX
    Sep 21, 2021 at 11:11

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.


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.


Use Alt+= to enter/exit LaTeX mode in Office products.

  • Are you sure? That just inserts a new equation, and those are not LaTeX.
    – slhck
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:31
  • @slhck But you can use something similar to LaTeX syntax, see my answer.
    – CarLaTeX
    Sep 20, 2021 at 6:13

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