Mathtype equations huge

I’m trying to convince myself to use Scrivener to write something that will have multiple export capabilities: epub, LaTeX, and ibook. I have questions:

  1. epub is…I presume epub2? If it were epub3, then MathML would be a part of it and I suspect some of my headaches would go away. So - is there epub3 in the future, or even the present?

Nonetheless, if I resort to Mathtype and insert an equation and then export it, the equation appears, but it’s ENORMOUS! How do I control the size in which the Mathtype equation renders??

  1. LaTeX…my standard way of thinking. I can think of three ways to enter equations for LaTeX export. Each is broken in some way as far as I can tell:

a. type like LaTeX and then export using MMD. A display equation adds unwanted blank lines around each equation within the equation environment guaranteeing that the .tex document will not compile without removing those blank lines every time.

b. The trick with Latexit that makes use of a service to show the equation as a png, I think. That sort of works but in LaTeX export again the size of the exported equation graphic is not right. Too big, but not as badly as the Mathtype rendering.

c. Mathtype again. (Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is so enamored of this program? Please connect to Latexit!) Just like in the epub export, the equation that results is ENORMOUS when it renders even when compiled from a .tex file.

  1. ibook. This is through the trick of making a .docx file that you should drag to the ibook spot. This almost works for equations…but how in the world do I get the text formatting to match the destination in the ibook style? It seems to ignore the unchecked box that says to keep the formatting from the origination.

Lots of questions. Scrivener has always had a lot of promise for technical writing, but it’s always been about 80% there and not complete.

Any help would be appreciated.


  1. Generally speaking, the size of the MathType equation is set by MathType. Try the “Size” menu. The base size should be roughly whatever the font pt size is for the body text. Maybe also check the Web & Email preferences section. I’m not sure if that applies to integrating it into other programs, but if the DPI setting is off–72 here that could cause problems.

  2. (a) I’m not an expert on what is going on with the TeX output, but all of the specifics involved in converting MMD syntax into output format is the domain of MultiMarkdown, not Scrivener, so you’d be better off asking on the MMD support board.
    (b) Maybe it is what you are using to view the ePub files with? Scrivener just sets the display size to be equal to the image size. Check the DPI of the images, too. Older readers can have issues with images that are not 72 DPI. But as with MathType, it’s LaTeXiT where you have to change the display size. Scrivener has nothing to do it, it’s just passing your settings along dutifully.

  3. Have you tried using the iBooks Author compile format? It creates a series of .docx files based on your page breaks. IBA can import a folder of .docx files as chapters. I’m not sure if this program in general will be helpful though since IBA doesn’t produce real ePub files, and they can only be sold through Apple.

There are many technical authors that would disagree with you. :slight_smile: Perhaps you mean Scrivener is 80% toward creating something you can export a PDF for and hand to a printer… with that I would agree, but that extends beyond technical writing (although other fields can probably get a lot closer to 100%, it remains that Scrivener was never designed to get there anyway—it’s always been an organisation and writing platform rather than focussed on layout and typesetting).

Similar reason “everyone” uses Endnote for their bibliography, I would imagine. :wink: To my knowledge LaTeXiT doesn’t have a direct integration API but does everything through services. The two you would want to use with external software like Scrivener are:

  • Typeset LateX Maths… This will take the text you’ve typed into Scrivener and turn it into a vector PDF.
  • Revert Equations Back to LaTeX Code As it sounds, when you select and right-click on a LaTeXiT PDF, it will extract the original equation from the PDF meta-data and replace the selection with that text in Scrivener. Now you can fix the typo or whatever and then render it back.

I’d consider adding keyboard shortcuts to these to avoid having to go through the Services menu system every time. If you do like using the LaTeXiT software to compose the equation, then that is still to integrate with other programs since you can just drag and drop the typeset equation out of the preview area into a text editor. You end up with the same thing you would have had using the service, so it can be edited at a later date.