Using Pages for Physics lab report

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Invizzible, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Invizzible macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2003
    I'm using Pages v1.0.2 to write my lab report, and am wondering if there is a way to do two things:

    How can I write an x sub i [x with a small i by the lower right side of the x]?

    How can I insert a summation notation symbol [∑] WITH the index information below and above it? Inserting the symbol itself is easy with the OS X Characters Palette, but putting the i=1 on the bottom and the N on the top is what I don't know how do in a good looking way.

    And since I'm probably going to run into more things like this in the future, is there a resource where I can look this stuff up?

    Many thanks!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Doesn't Pages come with Equation Editor or MathType?

    You should really just learn the LaTeX typesetting language and do all of your lab reports in that.
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I have to agree with miles01110 on the idea of using LaTeX if you are going to be doing more than just the occasional symbol! Basics can be done with Pages but would be very clumsy for any kind of extensive use.

    With that being said, with the x sub i you mentioned (subscript) some guidance comes from the Pages "Help" menu item (a resource often overlooked in applications):
    As for the summation, I just made the one attached by using the line spacing adjustment, though I suppose a combo of the superscript and subscript tools could do the same thing if needed, but either solution would be clumsy at best.

    Attached Files:

  4. Invizzible thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2003
    Thanks! I will try the "Pages" work arounds mentioned, and also look into LaTeX (never heard of it before). I have tried MathType, but I find that the images it creates tend to knock the text around too much in Pages, requiring lots of spacing modifications.
  5. dws90 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    A good halfway point between using full LaTeX and using Pages is LaTeXit ( It lets you typeset the equation itself using LaTeX, then generates an image file you can easily drag into Pages. That way, you get the best of both programs.
  6. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I think you'll find Pages '09 (version 4) + MathType to be the easiest thing to use. Unlike images created in LaTeXiT or Grapher, you don't have to fiddle around with the alignment when you insert something. (So no dragging the image around trying to get it to line up properly with the surrounding text if you insert an equation inline.)

    So you can do things like the image shown here pretty easily.

    Also, you can match fonts more easily using MathType than you could with LaTeXiT. (Notice that both the equation in this image and the surrounding text are 12 pt Helvetica.)

    Anyway, I'd suggest looking at LaTeX (I'm a big fan of TeXShop + BibDesk myself) when you've got the time to learn something new. It's a nice alternative, but both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Attached Files:

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