I have several Mathematica expressions in which subscripts are expressed with square brackets. E.g. x[12] is meant to represent x12, etc. If I evaluate TeXForm on such an expression, x[12], e.g., gets converted to x(12). Is there a way to get it to produce the x_{12} form instead?

  • $\begingroup$ The problem is then telling apart x[2] which is meant to be $x_2$ and f[x] or f[0] which are $f(x)$ or $f(0)$. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


Probably the easiest solution here is to use

Format[x[arg_],TraditionalForm]:=Subscript[x, arg]

This makes sure that the subscript form is used when the display is in TraditionalForm, which is also an intermediate step in creating TeXForm. Then you get for example



The Format can't be specified directly for TeXForm because then expressions where your x[12] is surrounded by other things as in 1 + x[12] won't get translated correctly.

  • $\begingroup$ Your answer suggests that Mathematica itself can render TeX. Can it? $\endgroup$
    – kjo
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 22:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To a certain extent you can render $\LaTeX$, but it's very incomplete. The general idea is to use something like TraditionalForm@ToExpression["\\sin\\alpha", TeXForm, HoldForm]. I discussed this in this answer $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 22:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I just realized you may be looking for something simpler: when we say "render" $\LaTeX$, it could also mean to produce traditional-looking formulas from Mathematica standard form input. That is simply done by wrapping any such input in TraditionalForm[ ...]. You could say TraditionalForm is Mathematica's "pretty-print formula" typesetting mode. $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 0:12

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