LaTeX on the iPad – using apps for mathematical typesetting II

Logo LaTex TouchTeX Touch

… appears with a corresponding user interface that enables easy orientation in the app. In order to embark on the work process, users need to log into TeXCloud first. Although the TeX editor works locally, the compiling takes place via TeXCloud and is thus only possible with an existing internet connection. Synchronisation is performed via Dropbox, the format export in a .tex or .PDF file.


Figure 1: TeX Touch Editor, Screenshot

Entering the .tex contents via the virtual keypad is convenient. Many TeX functionalities can be added to the text via graphic icons, which means that syntactic knowledge of TeX is not a prerequisite for using the app.

Pro & cons

Compiling via an internet connection works rapidly. In the case of simple documents, hardly any delays are observable compared to locally performed TeX typesetting. The additional inclusion of an external server can be regarded as a disadvantage as this creates a dependency on an internet connection.

The expert gives


Logo Texpad Texpad

Once the app has been downloaded, the user can edit directly and compile locally. An additional registration in each case enables compiling via the cloud server “Texpad Connect” and trouble-free synchronisation with Dropbox. Moreover, .tex and .PDF files can be sent via an app-internal e-mail connection or exchanged via iTunes.

Thanks to a good graphic design and self-explanatory icons, the user soon gets used to the Texpad work environment. You reach the .PDF result directly from the TeX input with one click. Typing on the virtual keypad and navigating through TeX files is not always foolproof.


Figure 2: Texpad Editor, Auto-Complete,

Pro & cons

The app design is appealing and user-friendly. Users with an elementary knowledge of LaTeX can get started straightaway, without studying an instruction manual in depth. The fade-in of possible options for the auto-input of TeX commands while typing is particularly helpful. The stationary TeX commands via the virtual keypad are so limited in number, however, that you often have to swipe back and forth for a wider selection to view further commands. This interrupts the workflow.

The expert gives


Logo VerbTex VerbTex

At first glance, VerbTeX makes a rudimentary impression, which intensifies upon closer inspection. The virtual keypad isn’t adapted to LaTeX needs. Entering the source key is somewhat inconvenient as no user-defined toolbars with TeX-specific entry commands can be recorded. As a result, sometimes the virtual keypad needs to be switched over several times until a TeX command can be entered. Compiling takes place exclusively via a cloud server, which requires registration with the manufacturer.

VerbTeX Editor, Screenshot

Figure 3: VerbTeX Editor, Screenshot

Pro & cons

Compiling via the internet is swift and the quality of the .PDF files good. The editing itself, however, is very laborious as firstly the keypad is not tailored to LaTeX needs and secondly there aren’t any possibilities of supplementary user settings.

The expert gives

2 Sterne

Authors: Maximiliane Okonnek, Dr. Alfred Gautschy

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.

DOI Link: 10.16911/ethz-ib-1265-en

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