Gmailtex and mathjax bookmarklet


Well, if do not already know about Alexeev's gmailtex ( ), you may like to read about it before you go further.

I like gmailtex. If you like to use gmail's plain html version, there could be a few problems you may encounter. There are two modes in which gmailtex works.

  • when composing the mail in textmode (no richformatting): Only text with $ signs is sent to the recipient. If recipient has installed /gmailtex, the browser converts the latex code using mathjax locally to render math.
  • when composing in rich-text mode: image corresponding to the latex code is generated (using codecogs) and images and other non-latex text are sent to the recipient.

main problem: gmailtex extension works only in the gmail's normal mode.

Further design problems:

  • If one composes or views (a mail with latex) in gmail's plain html version, the rendering cannot be seen unless you use some sort of bookmarklet. (see below)
  • A recipient who recieves a mail sent by a mailer who uses plain-html, if has installed gmailtex, then will see latex rendered (locally). But if gmailtex is not installed, then just the latex code will appear.
  • If one composes in rich-text mode, then all latex code is tranformed into images when the recipient gets it and the original code is no longer saved in the mail (although one can see the code by hovering the mouse pointer over the image — and this only when you are not in html mode)

Is there an alternative in gmail's plain html mode ? A simple solution is to use mathjax bookmarklet ( ) that works on a host of other pages too. I prefer this although this is not as refined as gmailtex. The problems with bookmarklet include

  • pressing the bookmarklet on page that has latex
  • when using gmail in plain-html mode, there is no toggle or preview. (You may save the mail as a draft and then run the bookmarklet on it before in order to check for latex errors)

17 Feb 2013 06:59

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