LaTeX Pictures

LaTeX Pictures
Version 2.6
July 23, 2020


The LaTeX Pictures.ipf and LaTeX Palettes.ipf procedure files implement a user interface for creating high-quality typeset mathematical equations using the LaTeX markup language.

Igor 6.20 or later is required. No installation of any LaTex-related software is required, but an active and working internet connection is. If your copy of Igor can open this url, your internet connection should be fine:

Print FetchURL("")[0,60]

The pictures are rendered by the (apparently free) CodeCogs Equation Editor at:

(If you find this Igor project useful, please consider giving them a contribution.)

The LaTeX markup is rendered into either PDF or PNG format and inserted into Igor annotations or drawn with DrawPICT (Igor's drawing tools).

LaTeX Pictures screenshot



Version 2 adds "palettes" of LaTeX expressions which can be inserted into the LaTeX Pictures panel.
These palettes are stored in the provided Igor binary waves.
The palettes do not contain all possible LaTeX expressions that CodeCogs can render.

Version 2.1 allows the files to be stored in the main Igor Pro Folder's "User Procedures" subfolder.
Version 2.1 also has minor bug fixes to how LaTeX code gets inserted by the palettes, adding a space in some cases to keep the symbols from melding into some Frankensteinian non-LaTeX command.

Version 2.2 restores the readout of the LaTeX for the palette selection that was lost in version 2.1.

Version 2.3 adds Igor 7 compatibility.

Version 2.4 and 2.5 add compatibility with "Tony's Updater" . 


Place everything in your Igor Pro <version> Users folder, inside the "User Procedures" subfolder.

Select "Show Igor Pro User Files" from Igor's Help menu.

Move the following items into the now-visible "User Procedures" folder:

  • LaTeX Palettes (folder)
  • LaTeX Palettes.ipf (procedure file)
  • LaTeX Pictures.ipf (procedure file)


See the "LaTeX Help" button in the panel and search online for "LaTeX math mode syntax" to learn what kinds of
LaTeX commands will work with this implementation.
(There are some quirks about extra backslashes to get the right number of backslashes through Igor's command language and all the way across the internet to the LaTex renderer.)



To open the LaTeX Pictures panel, enter the following in your Igor experiment's Procedure window:

#include "LaTeX Pictures"

Close the Procedure window (or click Compile).
A new LaTeX menu should appear.
Choose "LaTeX Pictures" from the menu.

Either enter the LaTeX markup text directly into the "Enter LaTeX Expression" area or click the "LaTeX Palettes" popup to first load and then select the LaTeX palette(s).

Bring the Graph, Layout (or panel) you want to add the LaTeX picture to to the front, then click either New Annotation (or New DrawPICT).

If you change the LaTeX markup text manually, you'll need to click the Update Picture button, but other settings update immediately if you have LaTeX Auto Update checked in the LaTeX menu.


Clicking in a palette inserts the markup into the expressions area. Some markups incorporate the selected text into the result.

For example:

  • Type "x^2+y^2" into the "Enter LaTeX Expression" area. This is LaTeX markup for exactly what you think it is.
  • Now select what you just typed.
  • Choose the "Accents and Bars" palette, scroll down to the square root of x+y.
  • Click the square root of x+y item.
  • Your selection is transformed into "\sqrt{x^2+y^2}", and the resulting picture is shown.

If you look at the bottom of the "Accents and Bars" palette, you'll see that the LaTeX markup is shown as "\sqrt{#x+y#}", which is non-standard LaTeX.

I've used the # symbol to delimit the part that gets replaced by the selected text. (If there's no selection only the # symbols are removed.)


You can make your own palettes or amend the palettes I've provided. The LaTeX Palettes procedure has a ShowLaTeXPaletteCreator() function that implements a VERY rudimentary interface.

Adding rows and columns or rearranging items is best done with the "Show LaTeX Table" button. Enter the LaTeX into the table, then re-select the "category" (palette) to fix the listbox selection wave.

Don't forget to add # characters around what should be replaced by any current selection.

Click the "Render all Cells from Plane 1" to render all the markup to CodeCogs (the resulting pictures are stored in Plane 0).


PNG is most compatible between Macintosh and Windows.

PDF is supported by Igor 6 on Macintosh and on Igor 9 and later on Windows.

Because PNG is only a bitmap format, you might want to render a large bitmap and shrink it down to preserve sharpness when printing at high resolution. That's what the "Shrink DrawPICTs by" setting is for.

Project Details

Current Project Release

LaTex Pictures 2.6

Release File: LaTeX Pictures
Version: 2.6
Version Date: Thu, 07/23/2020 - 03:11 pm
Version Major: 2
Version Patch Level: 6
OS Compatibility: Windows Mac-Intel
Release Notes:

Version 2.6 integrates with a newer version of "Tony's Updater" .

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