This extension is now retired. Its functionality has been impemented in Messenger natively by Facebook.

Setup

-Download the zip file from the "release" branch on GitHub
-Unzip it and run it as an unpacked extension in Chrome
-Make sure that you are using either www.facebook.com/messages or www.messenger.com as the live preview will not work on the main page with the mini chat boxes

Inspiration

As high school students who frequently discuss the sciences or mathematics with our peers or with other students who need tutoring, we found that this was very hard to do over Facebook Messenger due to its inability to recognize LaTeX text. Quite often, this process requires the hassle of going to other websites to get screenshots of LaTeX formatted equations before sending them through the chat system. Being able to integrate LaTeX recognition into Facebook Messenger itself eliminates this problem.

What it does

Messenger LaTeX allows users to input and render LaTeX formatted text and features a preview box containing the rendered text, the ability to save rendered text as a PNG file and clicking on renderings to copy the original LaTeX markup.

How we built it

The extension was built using Javascript and uses the MathJax library.

Our challenges

We weren’t able to figure out how to bypass the Messenger file upload system to automatically send PNG files or get the live preview to load on the main page. The image processing script is currently only able to convert the MathJax SVG output to PNG and allow the user to download the file. We will work on resolving these issues in the future.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Actually implementing the idea, the live preview and learning about MathJax and Chrome.

What we learned

We learned a lot about the web stack and, in particular, about how Chrome extensions work.

What's next?

Adding live preview to the main page and allowing users to send PNG files automatically over Messenger.

Built With

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