I'd like to be able to insert mathematical formulas into Word or Pages. I don't necessarily need professional-looking output -- I'm not presenting this stuff to anyone.

There is no reason for your equations not to look professional. The two top stand-alone WYSIWYG editors originated on the Mac. They are

**MathEQ**, which was born as

**Expressionist**, and

**MathType**, which is

**Equation Editor**'s big brother. A relatively new entry from Korea is

**MathMagic Personal Edition**.

All the Latex editors seem really complicated. I've tried Lyx but I keep getting error messages. I'd prefer not to have to download 10 different programs.

**LyX** is a

**teTeX**-based visual document processor, not an equation editor.

**LaTeXiT** is a free

**teTeX**-based equation editor with simultaneous preview.

I've heard AppleWorks has an equation editor -- is it very good? I need to be able to do multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and statistics (e.g., integrals, derivatives, summations, matrices, etc.)

**AppleWork**'s equation editor is essentially the same as

**Word**'s equation editor. Both versions of

**Equation Editor** are cut-down versions of

**MathType** by

**Design Science**.

I am of several minds as to what to recommend in your case. I don't like

**Equation Editor** and its big brother,

**MathType**. Back when it was still

**Expressionist**,

**MathEQ** was criticized in a review for producing equations that were too perfect. Amazing

A purchase of

**MathEQ** buys two licenses, but it is copy-protected. It is my favorite editor, but I don't like the copy-protection.

**MathMagic Personal Edition** looks great. If it is not copy-protected, then it is probably the one I would recommend for the casual user.

Without question, the standard for mathematical typesetting is

**LaTeX**. The professional journals of some mathematics and scientific professional organizations require that papers be submitted to them as .tex (

**LaTeX** mark-up) with .epsf graphics. This allows them to flow each paper into their layouts without worrying about formatting issues.

**Word** and

**WordPerfect** files are a headache and may require retyping to format properly. That said, the vast majority of scientific papers are submitted as

**Word** documents.

To use

**LaTeXiT**, you must also install

**teTeX**. It is part of the

**MacTeX** distribution of

**teTeX**.

**MacTeX** installs everything at once. At free, you cannot beat the price.