Latex (native) configuration

Summary

A plug-in for displaying LaTeX in Confluence.  It requires a TeX distribution to be installed separately on the server to function.

 

since 1.7.3 The apps rendering of Latex has been done historically though native binary execution, we’ve optimized this process (limiting native renders to first render only) for DC but can understand that requiring and even invoking native binaries as part of page load is not a great solution, so we’re working on supporting a migration of latex macro definitions to our ppl-mathjax variant. You will be able to preview the MathJax rendered output ahead of us supporting a full page content migration, so you can see what impact this could have. See:

  • Latex > Render Migration > Use MathJax Engine

Prerequisites

  1. You must have a working version of TeX installed on your Confluence server

  2. The commands latex and dvipng must be reachable by the $PATH system environment variable.

Both latex and divpng are included in many TeX distributions.

Installation

Linux/Ubuntu Notes

1 2 sudo apt-get install dvipng sudo apt-get install texlive texlive-base

There are many many more TeX packages you could install and reference, texlive-full is 2GB.

It's a great idea to test your environment before installing the LaTeX plug-in. Make sure you generate a PNG file from a valid latex file at the command line. For instance, download simple.tex and type the following:

1 2 latex simple.tex dvipng simple.dvi

This should generate a file named simple.png containing a familiar equation:

If not, you'll need to troubleshoot your TeX installation before continuing. Try http://www.tug.org/tetex/ and http://sourceforge.net/projects/dvipng/ for more information. (Mac OS X users might prefer the handy MacTeX installation, but be warned that you'll need to add the appropriate /usr/local/teTeX/bin/ subdirectory to your $PATH. And the TeX Users Group recommends the proTeXt package for installing LaTeX on Windows.)

Finally, if you peeked at the simple.tex file contents, don't be discouraged by its complexity. The LaTeX plug-in simplifies the code you'll need to add to your wiki mark-up.

Windows Notes

Some Windows users have had difficulty getting dvipng to work. In response to this problem, James Matheson has graciously contributed a mimetex-based version of the plug-in: mimetex-plugin.zip. Thanks, James!

Note that to use the above mimetex version, you will need to ensure that you have a copy of mimetex.exe in the system path. You can find a copy of mimetex.exe in the Mimetex download package at http://www.forkosh.com/mimetex.exe/windows/mimetex.zip.

Installation and configuration

Once you've tested your TeX installation as above, follow these steps to install and configure the LaTeX plug-in. (Note that CONFLUENCE_HOME_DIR should be replaced with the directory specified in your confluence-init.properties file).

  1. Install the latest version of the add-on using the Confluence Plug-in Manager or manually download from the Atlassian Marketplace and install

  2. Create a directory called CONFLUENCE_HOME_DIR/shared-home/latex and copy the following files into it:

The properties files you installed in your CONFLUENCE_HOME_DIR/shared-home/latex directory allow the simplification of LaTeX commands in your wiki markup. This is because the header and footer files specify LaTeX commands that are prepended and appended, respectively, to your wiki markup commands.

Also, the properties file includes parameters to send to dvipng to further tailor the image generated.

You won't need to edit these files to use the LaTeX plug-in, although the LaTeX Jedi (you'll know if you are one) won't be able to resist tweaking these files.

Please do not specify an output file for the dvipng parameters in latex.properties, as this disables the LaTeX macro!

3. Go to Confluence Administration>Add-ons>Manage add-ons and click the Configure button for the LaTeX Plugin. You will see the add-on configuration screen.

Setting

Description

Setting

Description

Latex Paths Configuration

Enter the full path to the latex and dvipng commands.  For example, if you are using a Linux environment it may look something like the below. 

Latex deactivated

Allows Latex to be disabled. Set to NO to enable. For the first time of use the Latex app, Latex is disabled by default. If you are an existing user then Latex will be enabled.

Use MathJax Engine

The MathJax engine will now render previously created Latex macros and when creating a new macros.

We are working on enabling a low level macro migration from native latex rendering to a MathJax powered output. Whilst we work on that, we have the following feature that will cause current native latex macros to be temporarily rendered by MathJax (no changes to your page content, it can be turned off at any time). We welcome feedback on this through support@thepluginpeople.com!

This feature will show you how the native Latex macros will look like using the MathJax engine. This functionality allows you to preview the macros in two ways:

  • on the submitted page

  • by creating a new macro in the preview mode

By disabling this functionality you will get back to using Latex engine to render the native Latex macros

4. Save the configuration when done.

Usage

Do not use the 'Rich Text' editor to write LaTeX markup. The rich text editor escapes some of the LaTeX characters, generating unpredictable output.

In your wiki mark-up, use the parameter-free {latex} macro to wrap your LaTeX code. For example, to generate the same equation you saw in the simple.tex test above, your wiki mark-up would look like:

Older Confluence versions

Newer Confluence versions

Older Confluence versions

Newer Confluence versions



1 2 3 {latex} \( E=mc^{2} \) {latex}




When the page is previewed or published, the macro should now render the following in your Confluence page:

You'll notice that the wiki mark-up is much simpler than the test example. See the Configuration section below to learn why.

Here is a more complicated example.

Common problems

Error formatting macro

If you just install this add-on without getting Latex installed on your platform (and visible to the confluence install via path - a nod to contegix hosted systems), then you may see the following.  A secondary cause is not putting the 'latex' folder in the confluence nominated 'confluence.home' location.

To remedy, find, install and make available to the Confluence PATH (and verify the latex folder is in the right place and readable), the location of the latex binary:

1 2 3 4 5 6 Error formatting macro: latex: java.lang.NullPointerException ( E=mc^ Unknown macro: {2} )

Making Markup larger?

1 2 \Large \( E=mc^{2} \)

Unable to find DVI conversion log file

This is often the result of the paths for the latex and dvipng commands not being correctly configured in the add-on's configuration screen. First however, check that these commands are working correctly outside of Confluence (see the above Linux installation notes for an example of how to do this). Once you have confirmed that they are working correctly:

  • Go to Confluence administration>Manage add-ons and expand the LaTeX Plugin section

  • Click Configure

  • Verify that the correct paths to the commands have been entered

  • Click Save (this is important to do even if the paths have not been modified to ensure the configuration is saved)

Logging

since 1.5.3

To turn logging on, add the following text to CONFLUENCE_INSTALL_DIR/confluence/WEB-INF/classes/log4j.properties (replace CONFLUENCE_INSTALL_DIR with your actual installation directory):

1 2 3 4 5 6 #### # LaTeX debug messages #### log4j.logger.com.pluginpeople.confluence.plugins.latex=DEBUG,confluencelog log4j.logger.com.pluginpeople.confluence.plugins.mathjax=DEBUG,confluencelog log4j.additivity.com.stepstonetech.confluence.plugins.latex=false

This will print all LaTeX debugging messages to your atlassian-confluence.log file.

To turn logging off, change the word DEBUG to ERROR.

Compatibility

Please see the complete version history for a complete picture of compatibility with Confluence: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/207/latex-plugin/version-history.

Security

In Latex using special markup will make it vulnerable. Therefore, since Latex version 1.6.0 , for security purposes, the following TEX commands are blocked:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 \include \read \newread \write \newwrite \openin \openout \closein \closeout \file \fileline \immediate \write18 \ifeof

By using them in your macro, you will hit the following error message

 

Tips & Tricks

If you would like to reuse Latex statements several times on a page, or across multiple pages, you may like to start a Latex statement library. Create a page specifically for storing statements and add a child page for each statement. Then use the [Include Page macro|DOC:Include Page Macro] to embed those statement pages wherever they are needed.

EULA

This software is licensed under the provisions of the Standard EULA from the Atlassian Marketplace Terms of Use as a Marketplace Product.

The "Standard EULA" is reproduced here for convenience. In this case, the "Publisher" is The Plugin People Ltd:

(i) The Publisher is the licensor of the Marketplace Product and Atlassian is not a party to the Publisher EULA or this Standard EULA, as applicable.

(ii) If the Marketplace Product does not include a Publisher EULA that specifies Marketplace Product license rights, Publisher grants you a limited, worldwide, non-exclusive, non-transferable and non-sublicensable license to download and use the Marketplace Product only on hardware systems owned, leased or controlled by you.

(iii) Licenses granted by Publisher are granted subject to the condition that you must ensure the maximum number of Authorized Users that are able to access and use the Marketplace Product concurrently is equal to the number of User Licenses for which the necessary fees have been paid to Atlassian and/or its authorized partners (each, an "Atlassian Expert"). You may https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/mathjax/3.1.2/es5/tex-svg-full.min.jspurchase additional User Licenses at any time on payment of the appropriate fees to Atlassian or an Atlassian Expert. "User License" means a license granted under this EULA to you to permit an Authorized User to use the Marketplace Product. The number of User Licenses granted to you is dependent on the fees paid by you. "Authorized User" means a person who accesses and uses a Marketplace Product under the EULA and for which the necessary fees have been paid to Atlassian and/or an Atlassian Expert.

(iv) Any information that Publisher collects from you or your device will be subject to any Publisher EULA, privacy notice, or similar terms that the Publisher provides to you, and will not be subject to the Atlassian Privacy Policy (unless Atlassian is the Publisher).

(v) You may not modify, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Marketplace Product in whole or in part, or create any derivative works from or sublicense any rights in the Marketplace Product, unless otherwise expressly authorized in writing by Publisher.

(vi) The Marketplace Product is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and treaties. Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Publisher EULA, Publisher or its licensors own all title, copyright and other intellectual property rights in the Marketplace Product, and the Marketplace Product is licensed to you directly by the Publisher, not sold.


Additional Terms

This product is covered by the General Software Product EULA.