[OS X TeX] LaTeXiT and transparency

Jens Noeckel noeckel at uoregon.edu
Tue Jul 4 01:50:12 EDT 2006

On Jul 3, 2006, at 9:40 PM, Gary L. Gray wrote:

> On Jul 4, 2006, at 12:22 AM, A.R. Criswell wrote:
>> I am trying to drag and drop equations from LaTeXiT to MS Powerpoint
>> (/for Mac). However, I do not get a transparent background. The
>> background is white.
>> Is there a way to create a transparent background for the equations?
> It is transparent, it is my understanding that PowerPoint doesn't  
> properly support the transparency. It is amazing that after all  
> these versions, the huge number of users, and the massive number of  
> programmers working on PowerPoint that it is still such a crappy  
> piece of software. I recommend using beamer (free) or Keynote (not  
> free) if you can. Heck, even for sponsors who "require" PowerPoint,  
> I can usually talk them into accepting a PDF.
Interesting: I was just going to suggest a workaround using Preview,  
but saw that Preview is behaving as badly as Powerpoint here. I just  
tried dragging a PDF from LaTeXiT to Preview and got a white  
background as well, whereas Adobe Illustrator correctly keeps the  
background empty. So it's not just Powerpoint that's doing this.

Nevertheless, there is a way to get transparent images into  
Powerpoint, using Preview. My point is that Powerpoint may not be  
handling PDF or even PNG correctly, but it should definitely  
understand GIF images with transparency, and Preview can export GIF.  
What I did is to copy the LaTeXiT output as PNG (right-click on the  
output to get that option). Then I pasted that into Preview by doing  
CMD-N, and the formula appeared with a transparent background. Now  
Preview lets you save this formula as GIF with alpha channel, and  
that should work with Powerpoint.

Yes, not very pretty - so maybe you can skip the Preview detour if it  
turns out that Powerpoint accepts the PNG output that LaTeXiT can  
produce. But the GIF route should work if all else fails (I don't  
have Powerpoint on my computer, but I have at least a faint glimmer  
of trust in its capabilities...).


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