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LaTeX is a system for preparing documents to be printed or displayed. It is built on top of the Donald Knuth's TeX typesetting system. You can learn more about LaTeX on TeX Users Group FAQ, WikiPedia, CTAN (Comprehensive TeX Archive Network). The rest of this article focus on getting Inkscape to work with LaTex.

How to embed a LaTeX equation inside Inkscape

Recent versions of Inkscape (since 0.48?) have built-in support for including a LaTeX formula inside a drawing. It is on the menu bar: Extensions->Render->LaTeX Formula.

This menu might be hidden if Inkscape cannot find these helper programs: latex, dvips, pstoedit. On Ubuntu, you can install these programs with the command,

 sudo apt-get install texlive pstoedit

Alternatively, you can use the textext extension. It is similar to the build-in LaTeX support, but has a slightly more polished input interface.

How to embed an Inkscape drawing inside a LaTeX document

From the menu : File -> Save a Copy. On the lower right corner, choose file type "Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps)"

In your LaTeX file, use "\includegraphics{filename.eps}". For a tutorial on how to use the EPS file inside LaTeX, search on Google: latex import graphics.

How to turn an Inkscape drawing into an editable LaTeX document

From version 0.48, Inkscape has a special PDF+LaTeX output option. All lines and shapes are saved into a PDF file, while all texts are saved into a LaTeX file. Compiling this LaTeX will give you back the whole drawing.

This method allows you to use LaTeX equations. You can also export EPS+LaTeX or PS+LaTeX. More details is here: SVG in LaTeX (CTAN).


LyX provides a GUI frontend for creating and editing a LaTeX document. If you want to use PDF+LaTeX from Lyx, you have to put this in your Latex preable (in Lyx, menu "document" -> "preferences" -> "latex preamble"):


Where you want to include a graphic, you make a \figure using the menu "insert" -> "float" -> "figure", then press control-l to insert as Evil Red Text:


Using Inkscape 0.4.8 on Mac OS X 10.5.8 and MacTex 2008, the Latex extensions will not show up in inkscape, but all normal text will be interpreted as Latex.