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Re: Mathematica and LyX - Graphics and equations

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg95749] Re: Mathematica and LyX - Graphics and equations
  • From: JUN <noeckel at>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 05:01:49 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <glj8bm$dln$>

> >3) And finally could someone please provide detailed instructions of
> >how to setup LyX to interact directly with the Mathematica kernel so
> >I can have some semi live  math environment. May be that way the
> >equations will come in the right form
> Given what LyX is, I doubt this is easily doable if at all.

The last remark needs fact-checking. It actually works - within
limits. It's a fun feature, but I don't really use it much.

What you have to do to make it work depends on your platform. On Mac
OS X, I first created a little script
containing the following two lines:
/Applications/ "$@"

The purpose of this is simply to make the command "math" appear in the
path visible to LyX, and point to the Mathematica Kernel (so obviously
this is Mac specific, and I don't know the  PC equivalent). Then
whenever you have a calculation that you want to do in LyX, do the
* Open a math environment.
* Type the Mathematica expression you want to evaluate (e.g.: Sin[.2])
* Highlight the expression
* While you are still in that math box, go to Edit > Math > Use
Computer Algebra System > Mathematica
* Magically, an equals sign and the result of the evaluation will
appear in the LyX math box.

In general, in particular when graphics is involved, I would just work
with the Mathematica Notebook and the LyX editor side by side, and
copy/paste between the two. In LyX 1.6, you can paste graphics into
LyX from the clipboard. Equations in Mathematica's TeXForm can be
pasted directly into LyX math environments.

In the other direction, you can copy LaTeX from LyX into Mathematica
as follows:
* enter the desired math expression in LyX (e.g., \sin\alpha)
* select all the _contents_ of the math box, but not the math box
object itself (i.e., stop highlighting when you reach the end of the
math inset).
* Copy
* Paste literally into a Mathematica Cell, perhaps wrapped by
something like ToExpression["\sin\alpha", TeXForm] (where the pasted
text goes between the quotation marks)
* The result can then be used in Mathematica Labels etc.

Although LyX has a non-LaTeX internal file format, everything it does
goes through LaTeX, and in particular all its equations can be
understood by other LaTeX-aware programs. One may still ask why anyone
would you use LyX instead of Mathematica to write equations. I think
this has already been addressed, and it may really be a matter of
taste - but it's worth pointing out that LyX has unlimited Undo and
version control (there's more, but I better stop here).

As for the customization of the LyX output, it's true that this isn't
trivial if you don't know much LaTeX. The LyX-users mailing list would
be a place to start, they are very helpful...


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