TexPoint Manual

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TexPoint inline mode


In inline mode you can write Latex macro invocations and definitions along with your regular text. Then at a press of a key or a menu button the macros are expanded. For example, you can write

\alpha_0 \otimes \beta_{\approx1} \rightarrow^\alpha \Gamma

Then you press a button and the above text is changed in place to the corresponding Latex formula (the version showed below is a bitmap. The one you will get in PowerPoint will be constructed using individual characters.)

Features in the inline mode
Limitations of the inline mode

Inline Mode Usage

The inline version of TexPoint is an interpreter for the following language:

T ::= macro   ARG*   T | ^   ARG   T | _   ARG   T | other   T
ARG ::= { T } | other | macro
macro ::= \[a-zA-Z]+
other ::= anything other than ^ or _ or \ or CR

Just like in TeX, macros consume their arguments and their occurrence is changed in place to their expansion. The expansion is then itself subject to macro expansion. Also like in TeX, macro names cannot contain digits, thus a digit can follow immediately a macro name. However, unlike TeX, macros do not consume a space that follows their name. If you want to avoid the space in the expansion write \foo\-. (\- is a predefined macro that expands to nothing and is handy for terminating macro names.). Another difference from TeX is that you should not use $ to delimit the math text to be expanded. Macro arguments cannot span multiple paragraphs.  Some useful macros: Invocation


TexPoint Display Mode


Sometimes you really want the full power of Latex. That is what the display mode gives you. In display mode you write arbitrary Latex source which is automatically processed and the first page of the resulting document, clipped at the bounding box, is inserted on the slide. Later you can change the source and the display will change accordingly.

Features in display mode
Limitations of the display mode

Display mode usage

Using EMF Displays (Windows only, trialware)

Starting in version 2.0 of TexPoint you can create displays that are not bitmaps but outline graphics format (like PDF or Postscript). The actual graphics format is called EMF (Extended Metafile). To create such a display you must make sure to have installed the "Outline displays" feature of TexPoint (available and installed unless prohibited by you, starting with version 2.0). If you have this feature installed then you will see the EMF option in the "Bitmap format" combo box when you create or edit a display

TexPoint uses the PSTOEDIT program to translate the Postscript files generated by Latex into EMF. The program pstoedit.exe is installed in the TexPoint directory.  (To see the generated EMF file you can check the "Debugging/Keep Files" box and then look into the directory that contains the presentation. You will see that these files are much smaller than the bitmap files for the same display.)

The way EMF files work is that instead of containing a bitmap rendering of the characters that make up your display they contain references to characters in True Type (.ttf) versions of the Latex fonts. The catch is that for the displays to show correctly those fonts must be installed in your system. Make sure you read how TexPoint deals with these fonts to ensure that your presentation is viewable on machines without TexPoint.

The pstoedit tool will fail to create the EMF file if it contains fonts that are not installed in the system. In that case you will see a dialog box listing the fonts that are missing. TexPoint gives you the option to let pstoedit to substitute missing fonts. Just click the "Allow font substitution" checkbox. Please let us know if this is failing for standard Tex fonts.

EMF displays are transparent by default and cannot be made otherwise.

Office 2000 users: PowerPoint 2000 "forgets" to close EMF files that it loads. This prevents TexPoint from deleting the EMF files and requires it to create new EMF files with new names. The new names are formed using the value you have in the Debugging pane (default is txp_fig) along with a random numeric suffix. It is Ok to delete these files manually after you exit PowerPoint. Their contents is already included in the presentation.

Latex Equations/Templates (trialware)

This feature opens a simplified editor where you can enter the LaTex code for one single-line equation. No $$, \begin{equation}, or \[ should be used here, just math-mode equations. In order to control the output layout you can select so-called templates and environments to generate the display. You can also specify the color for the equation easily and even select an equation number if you wish to display one. Default templates and environments are stored in the templates directory of the installation directory. Additionally to this location the user can specify a secondary directory for self written templates. Template files have the file extension tpt and contain a simple XML/Latex hybrid code to control the display generation (details see below). Environments are saved in env files, where one file can contain multiple environments. These env files have an XML structure (see below).

The dialog has also an instant preview of the entered Latex equation (activate in the Configuration [accessible via the button] if not visible). The auto-update interval can also be configured and is set by default to 10 seconds. If set to 0 the preview is updated after each keystroke and if set to values greater than 100 the auto preview is switched off. You can always manually update the preview by clicking on the preview.
Limitation: The auto-preview updates only if a key is pressed in the edit box.

If an error occurred during the preview generation (usually incomplete/wrong Latex commands or incomplete brackets) an error message is displayed in the preview.

Remarks: Template displays can be converted to regular LaTex displays (click the convert button in the editor), but this process is irreversible! To copy, paste, and cut text in the editor use the buttons above the text field or use Control+C, V, or X (also on Mac! Do not use ). On a Mac you have to use these buttons if texts to copy or paste are longer than 512 characters - this is a bug of PowerPoint for Mac.

Template file format (tpt): They basically contain a complete LaTex file code with additional TPT-tags which are used for template management and display control. Template files must contain a unique identifier - this has to be unique for all templates loaded by TexPoint and has the form <TPT:ID>id</TPT>, where id is the id containing letters and numbers only. It should also contain a short name which is displayed in TexPoint: <TPT:name>name</TPT>. Those two tags should be in the beginning of the file. To make a template useful special tags should be used in the LaTex code: <TPT>equation</TPT> for the generated equation with environment (do not enclose this tag in any math environment), <TPT>fore</TPT> is replaced by a foreground RGB color vector, and is usually enclosed as \color[rgb]{<TPT>fore</TPT>}, <TPT>back</TPT> is replaced by a LaTex command to set the background color (it is ignored for white backgrounds), and <TPT>eqnno</TPT> is replaced by the equation number. All other TPT tags are ignored and replaced by nothing. See any default tpt file for examples.

Template environment file format (env): These files have a XML structure, but TexPoint only read ENV tags, which define the environments. ENV elements have three sub tags: NAME, ID, and SOURCE. Again the NAME tag should be a short descriptive name, ID an unique ID, and SOURCE the source for the environment which includes the string %source% which is replaced by the user input in the template editor. example:
<name>equation, no number</name>

see also the default tempalte.env file for more information and examples.

Import Postscript Graphics (trialware)

This feature can be used to import an existing postscript file (ps or eps) into Powerpoint. This uses the TexPoint display mechanism to render the figure. You can select the file, bitmap format, resolution (warning: be conservative with this value - too big values lead to long rendering times and huge graphics), transparent, and blend setting. The default font substitution and transparency-bug setting is used internally.

You can edit these displays/figures by double-clicking (Windows), the right-click context menu, or with "Edit TexPoint display" from the menu. All settings, including the full filename is saved with the figure. If you edit the figure later and the original eps file has moved or you change from Windows to Mac the path to the file is removed.

Remark: The postscript figure should have a bounding box (usually eps).

Plot displays (trialware)

This feature can be used to create a function or data plot directly in PowerPoint. The current version uses gnuplot to generate the plots. Therefore you have to install gnuplot on your system and make it accessible in your PATH variable. The current officially released version (April 2007) is 4.2. Please install this version or higher, since you need at least 4.1 if you what to use the color picker to choose the plot color. Refer to the installation tips for gnuplot at the end of this section.

There are two modes available in the plot editor: a simple (function) plot or a custom, and a complete gnuplot script.

The labels can contain (latex) sub- and superscripts and you can specify fonts, e.g., type "{/Symbol=26 w}" for a ω. If you want to plot external data, specify either the full path to the data file or place it in the same directory as your presentation (or the temp path, if you specified one).

Tips: If you want to have a function graph in PowerPoint, e.g., a " wavy" line (plot a sine function), just select emf as output format (remove the box or axis) and ungroup the display to convert it to a PP object which can be modified as any line object (windows only).

Gnuplot installation Tips:

Image displays (trialware)

Import an image using ImageMagick. This gives you the option to import almost any image file format (more than 100 are supported). In order to use this function you have to install ImageMagick convert (see below) on your system and make it accessible in your PATH variable. You can specify the import format (png, jpg, or bmp) and fully control the resolution of the resuting imported image. Furthermore you can add your own convert parameters, e.g., applying various filters to the image, including the special effects (fx) operator and many more: contrast, despeckle, emboss, enhance, equalize, flip, flop, filter, gaussian-blur, etc. or add a text via the draw parameter (see http://www.imagemagick.org/script/command-line-options.php for details). Avoid operations which change the size of the image.

Tips: If you are importing an image with transparency choose the png import format.

Information: If you are using the special effect function, convert can take some time to finish. On Windows however the command is forcefully terminated after one minute. Please report if this causes problems for you. On the Mac you have to wait till it finished (or kill the convert command).

To install ImageMagick go to http://www.imagemagick.org, for Windows go to binary releases and choose ImageMagick-6.3.2-1-Q16-windows-dll.exe [if you are not sure which release you need] or newer; on Mac use i-installer.


ReTex (trialware)

ReTex is a helper which lets you edit many or even all displays in the presentation automatically. E.g. you could change the bitmap format, the resolution, or you just re-create all displays.

ReTex works for Tex, Template, and Postscript displays. It is a three step process:

  1. Select the slides and display types which you want to edit.
  2. Action: Select what you want to change. If you do not specify anything, displays are just re-created with the existing properties. If you want to edit a property, activate the checkbox and select its options. The first three properties (format, resolution, transparency & blending) are applied to all selected displays. The last three are applied only to template displays (template, environment, colors), with the exception of the "apply default source/template" option, which also applies to Tex displays. For Tex displays this options replaces the header (up to \begin{document}) of the latex source of the display by the default header.
  3. Review & Start: List all displays which are in the selected slide range (optional) and start the process. Here you could also choose to update only the internal data (tags) - this means no external commmands are executed, i.e. this is a very fast process, but the display bitmaps are not recreated.

Font Embedding

TexPoint installs a number of Latex/AMStex fonts on your machines in order to support the Inline mode insertions of Latex symbols, and for the EMF (outline) displays. These fonts have names of the form cmsy10, msam10, and you will see them both in the TexPoint/fonts/outline directory and in the "Select Font" dialog box in most of your text editing programs.

In order to make your inline symbols and EMF displays visible on machines that do not have TexPoint, the fonts must be embedded in the presentation. If the fonts are not embedded, and you open the presentation on a machine without TexPoint, you will see some garbled symbols. By default TexPoint will turn on font embedding when you use such fonts, unless you specifically disallow it.

The only disadvantage to embedding fonts is that your presentations grow by about 100kb.

When TexPoint notices that you are using a non-standard font it will prompt you to allow turning the font embedding on. We recomment that you click "Yes" to allow font embedding. Beware that this operation requires saving your presentation and you will loose the Undo history. In that is a problem, click "No" and then manually go to File/Save As/Tools/Save Options to turn on font embedding for all characters.

You can always manually turn on/off font embedding by going to File/Save As/Tools/Save Options.

There is one extra complication with EMF displays. Powerpoint has a bug that will make it ignore the fonts used in EMF displays, which in turn means that Powerpoint will not embed those fonts when it saves the presentation. To work around this bug, TexPoint will create a text box at the bottom of your first page that has the letter "A" in each of the fonts used in the EMF displays. This will ensure that Powerpoint sees that the presentation uses the named font and will embed it. Do not delete this text box, unless you are sure you do not care about font embedding.


TexPoint uses a 2-step licensing process. The licensing information is stored in a file, named TexPoint.lic by default. The location of this file is determined as follows:

You should make sure that you have write permissions to this file. The TexPoint.lic file contains zero or one license numbers, and zero or more registration keys. All of these are stored one per line. You can distinguish the license numbers by the substring ",2," immediately after the license date.

You can add a license number and registration keys by opening TexPoint/Registration menu. Using the dialog box you can only view or add registration keys for the current machine. If you want to delete license numbers or keys, or to add registration keys for other machines, you will have to edit the license file manually. Make sure that TexPoint is not running and be careful to use the same line endings (CR vs CRLF) as the original file.


TexPoint has a hierarchical configuration engine. There are three configuration levels:
  1. Global: values for the current per-user installation. These are stored in a TexPoint.ini configuration file in your user directory, and are set from default value when you use TexPoint for the first time on a machine.
  2. Presentation: A small number of configuration options have their value stored in the current document, and are set from the current global values when you use TexPoint for the first time on a document.
  3. Display: individual parameters for each TexPoint display. When you create a display, you can choose the values of these parameters starting from the current global values. Many of these values are then saved in the display, so that they are preserved even if the display is copied to another presentation.

For configuration, open the TexPoint/Configure dialog [press ALT-X-C in the English PowerPoint version for Windows]. If you open the Configuration without an open and saved document you can edit only the global parameters. In the Preferences pane each configuration option can be changed individually by choosing a setting from the list. When a setting is selected, an edit control is shown below the list, where the value can be changed (see "Value Editor" below). You can edit the global and document (if available) value or view the build-in default by choosing the appropriate tab. Changes take only effect if the button "Apply" is pressed and finally saved only if the "OK" button is chosen to close the Configuration dialog.

The global configuration options that you have modified are saved in a file called TexPoint.ini (on Windows) and TexPoint.mac on (on Mac) in your user directory. On Windows this is typically "C:\Documents and Settings\<yourname>\Application Data" and on Macs it is "Users:[user]:Library:Preferences:". However, if you defined the environment variable TEXPOINTINI, it will be used as the name of the file to use. See TexPoint/Configure/Information to find which file is being used. You should make sure that you have write permissions to this file. You can edit that configuration file directly if you wish (but we do not recommend it) being careful to do so only while there is no copy of TexPoint running, or else it might overwrite your changes. The current document options are saved in the presentation itself.

Note: If you have used TexPoint before version 2.12 then your TexPoint.ini was stored in the TexPoint installation directory. When you start TexPoint version 2.12 or higher, it will read the TexPoint.ini from the TexPoint installation directory, and will delete it. The configuration are saved from thereon in the user directory.

Some configuration options exist at multiple levels: per-display element, per-presentation, and globally. More local options override the more global ones as follows: if the configuration file does not exist or some values are not defined therein they are taken from the build-in default values. When you create a presentation, the initial values of the per-presentation options are taken from the global options; when you create a display, the initial values of the per-display options are taken from the per-presentation options. In particular, this means that when you edit global options they will not take effect for existing presentations, unless you explicitly open TexPoint/Configure and ask to copy the global options onto the presentation.

Value Editor and Edit modes

The value editor shows different views depending on the type of the variable. For example, for boolean values it shows a checkbox, and for strings and numbers it shows a text box. Some have predefined values which can be chosen from a drop-down list (Combo-Box), like format, resolution, etc. There is one special case where global and local values are different: Multi-line texts are saved as texts inside the document, but the corresponding global value represents a file name to a file which contains the actual text. This is used for the LaTex source and the initialization code for the inline mode.

For editable values you can always load the build-in default value in the edit controls (button with circular arrow). In the document value edit control you can also load the saved global value and in the global edit control the saved document value (button below the load default button). Multiline texts can be edited in an external editor and be loaded and saved from/to files (buttons).

All changes are saved only if the 'Apply' button is pressed. If you made changes and select another value from the list or close the Configuration you will get a warning that it was not "applied". If you close the Configuration dialog with "Cancel" the settings (global and local ones) are restored from the saved ones, i.e., all changes you made are lost. If "OK" is pressed they are saved to the config file and the active document.


List of editable parameters

In the table below, we show all parameters. All parameters have global values and some have per-presentation and per-display values also. The mode column contains the following abbreviations:

Option name
Mode Description

Options for the inline mode

embed fonts P Embed (AMS) fonts in the presentation. Read above for details.
use AMS  

Enables the use of AMS fonts (default on). If you turn this off, then TexPoint will attempt to find the symbols in the standard Windows fonts. Only very few symbols can be found in the Windows fonts, so we recommend that you allow the use of the AMS fonts. But be sure to read how TexPoint deals with these fonts to ensure that your presentation is viewable on machines without TexPoint.

Use Bold AMS   Since the AMS fonts use rather thin strokes I find it useful to use their bold face version.
TexPoint Initialization code P You can define new macros for the Inline mode. The global value is a filename (for file which contains the macro definition) and presenation wide macros. To define a macro you can use the \newcommand macro with a syntax similar to that of Latex (no optional arguments):
  • \newcommand{macroname}{nrargs}{body} : this defines the given macro whose scope will be the entire presentation. The body can contain occurrences of #1 ... #9 to refer to the arguments. You can redefine built-in macros and redefinitions shadow previous definitions. One of the basic uses of \newcommand is to define synonyms for the built-in commands.

Options for the display mode

Display format D The default bitmap format for the display mode
Resolution D The default resolution for the display mode.
LaTex source D The file name to be used for saving the display source for processing.
Blend D Use the host slide color scheme. Is only effective if color bitmaps are produced. Switches <Transparent> off.
Transparent D Set background color of (bitmap) equations to transparent. Switches <Blend> off and has no effect on vector graphics.
Transparency bug   Toggle this if you transparency does not work, to attempt to work around a bug in some versions of Powerpoint. Effective only if <Transparent> is on.
Allow font substitution D Whether to allow font substitution in EMF images by default. Only for Windows.

Global TexPoint options

Font size   Default font size of the display text editor
Word Wrap   Toggles word wrapping in the display text editor
ebwidth   Default width of the display text edit box in pixels
ebheight   Default height of the display text edit box in pixels
menuname   The name for the TexPoint menu item. You can insert an & character before the character that you want to use for the shortcut. The default value is "Te&xPoint", which means that the TexPoint menu can be invoked with ALT-X. You must restart TexPoint for changes to this option to become active.
External Editor L The command used to start an external editor for editing your display sources (use of such an editor is optional; TexPoint provides a primitive editor that we have found to be sufficient). This is a string that will be used as a command line after substituting all occurrences of % in it with the name of the file to be edited. If you use full pathnames, you should use backslashes not slashes! Examples of valid strings are "notepad %" or "C:\Programs\emacs-21.2\bin\emacs %"
work directory   directory in which all external commands are executed




The default Latex command name (with full path if necessary) and parameters that TexPoint uses to process the displays. The word "$(base)" is replaced with the base name of the display source. Default values (respectively):

latexcmd: latex

latexparam: "$(base).tex"




The default dvips command name (with full path if necessary) and parameters that TexPoint uses to process the displays. The word "$(base)" is replaced with the base name of the display source, and "$(res)" with the desired resolution. Defaults (respectively):


-D $(res) -E -o "$(base).ps" "$(base).dvi""




The default ghostscript command name (with full path if necessary) and the Ghostscript parameters that are used for computing the bounding box. The name "$(base)" is replaced with the base name of the display source. Starting with version 3.1.3 of TexPoint on Windows, if the setting of the gscmd value is incorrect, TexPoint will attempt to correct it using the findings of pstoedit. Default values (respectively):


-q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox "$(base).ps" >"$(base).bbx" 2>&1


The command line parameters for Ghostscript to create the bitmap. Default value:

-q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=$(GSdev) -r$(res) -sOutputFile="$(base).$(bmext)" -g$(sx)x$(sy) -c $(tx) $(ty) translate $(excom) -q "$(base).ps"

Show TexPoint Toolbar L Switch the visibility of the TexPoint Toolbar (see "Toolbar")
License file   The name of the license file.
Instant preview L Enable the instant preview in the eqution editor (see "New latex equation")
Auto-preview interval L Auto-update interval in seconds (see "New latex equation")
debug level  

If problems occur you can change the debug level (0 is default and means off). If >0 you will see debug messages with which one can trace at which point something goes wrong. Hopefully you never need to change it...


The English name of the language for the TexPoint menus.

User Interface Configuration (trialware)

The user interface of TexPoint (Menu, Toolbar, and Ribbon Tab) can be customized by editing the TexPoint GUI variable. You can customize the order of elements, the structure of the menu, the names and tooltip options for the menu options. The variable consists of a comma-separated array of the following elements: The second parameter of these elements contains a custom caption which is only shown for the menu, the <list> parameter (inside braces) defines the array of the entries of the Menu or Toolbar and contains the following entries separated by commas:

The start and stop submenu entries ([10],[11]) are only useful for the menu (but are ignored in Office 2007, since no submenus are supported). The numbers > 100 define the command, followed by the caption and a custom icon (these are PowerPoint build-in icon IDs), the latter two can be omitted if defaults should be used. For the Ribbon Tab the <list> only contains a list of the command numbers which should be hidden, i.e. <list>=201,202 if the two build-in PowerPoint function should not be shown in the TexPoint ribbon tab.
Note: the bracket type is not important []{}() are ok, list entries are spearated by ","

You must be careful when changing this variable. If you make a mistake then the menus might be unusable. In that case close Powerpoint and edit your TexPoint.ini file to remove the configuration string, and try again.

Toolbar (trialware)

TexPoint has its own Toolbar. It can be used and activated/deactivated as all other Toolbars. It supplies the functions: About, Configure, Texify, New Latex Equation, New LaTex Display, Import PS.

The position and state is saved when closing PowerPoint.

Notice that in the unlicensed versions, after the evaluation period, the Toolbar has only the first two buttons and the state is not saved. After you entered a license number you have to restart PowerPoint once to activate the full Toolbar. The Toolbar is not available in Office 2007 (see Ribbon Tab below).

Ribbon Tab (Office 2007, trialware)

In Office 2007 TexPoint has its own Ribbon tab. It can be customized by removing buttons from it, see User Interface. You can access most functions of TexPoint from there, i.e., replacing the Menu (which is still available in the Add-Ins ribbon tab) and Toolbar. Here a screen shot:
(Import & Export Latex are future features.)