LaTeX (pronounced /ˈleɪtɛx/) is a document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program. LaTeX is most widely used by mathematicians, scientists, philosophers, engineers, scholars in academia and the commercial world, and other professionals.




The latex2png script is a tool for parsing LaTeX snippets into png images. It comes in three flavors, a shell-script, a perl-script and a Matlab-script. The three scripts perform the same tasks and depending on your needs you will find one or many very useful.


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, click here.


Description Code Image
Alternating Series here here
Array here here
Gaussian distribution PDF here here
Limits here here
Integral here here
Quadratic formula here here


All three scripts require


All three scripts require a LaTeX distribution and dvipng. The shell-script will only work in a Linux distribution, e.g. Ubuntu. I have only tested this script in Ubuntu Hardy Heron and in a custom Linux distribution from Carnegie Mellon University (

To install tetex (a LaTeX distribution) in Ubuntu type in a terminal

sudo apt-get install tetex-base tetex-extra

To install dvipng in Ubuntu type in a terminal

sudo apt-get install dvipng

Comment: In most Linux distributions, you will find LaTeX in /usr/bin/latex and dvipng in /usr/bin/dvipng. If any of these programs is available but not in those defaults folders you may modify the scripts to fit your needs.


If you installed a LaTex distribution and dvipng, you are ready to go. Move the script to the location of your choice.

For, the Perl-version of the script, you also need Perl. To install perl in Ubuntu type in a terminal

sudo apt-get install perl

The perl-script hasn't been tested on Windows, although it could potentially work. LaTeX and Perl is supported by and dvipng comes with MikTex.


For latex2png.m, the Matlab-version of the script, you need Matlab. Matlab is a propietary scientific tool for Linux, Windows and MacOSX among others. I use Matlab a lot, and I thought about writing a function that would do the same job. I think that if you use Matlab Distributing Toolbox and/or run Matlab on a server you will find this script very useful. To get more information about Matlab, click here.


To download the latest version of the scripts, click here