I often encounter questions (or even answers!) which contains text-&-latex in an image.

Now, should I edit them even if they are 2 years old, already have an answer, just to remove the picture and replace it with LaTeX?

  • $\begingroup$ A bit related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1805/… $\endgroup$
    – user93957
    Nov 18, 2013 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ I support Atwood's assessment there: For searching purposes, it's better if the images get parsed to TeX. As always, when editing (in particular in the case of very old posts), make sure to fix all and every issue with the post, to make the bump worthwhile. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Nov 18, 2013 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin Thanks, I suspected it to be considered only a minor edit, which are not encouraged. $\endgroup$
    – user93957
    Nov 18, 2013 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ The standard warning applies: only edit a very small number of old posts a time. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Nov 18, 2013 at 12:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, do edit it. As well as the search advantage @Lord_Farin mentions, there are also accessibility advantages. $\endgroup$
    – dfeuer
    Nov 18, 2013 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ This is somewhat related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/11528/…. $\endgroup$
    – Shaun
    Nov 18, 2013 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ I would add, when you "transform an image into $\LaTeX$ code in a post", keep the image url hidden in it. $\endgroup$
    – user93957
    Nov 19, 2013 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Kusavil We are talking about: text-&-latex in an image, that is: text and maths and not diagrams. $\endgroup$
    – user93957
    Jan 2, 2014 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I misunderstood this a little. Sorry then, I'll delete my previous comment :) $\endgroup$
    – Kusavil
    Jan 2, 2014 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ See also: What should I do when I see a “pic-question”? $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2016 at 19:19

1 Answer 1



The advantages of replacing images with MathJax and MarkDown are:

  • It provides searchable text;
  • It is more compatible with accessibility features;
  • It is easier to read;
  • It provides MSE with a more uniform look-and-feel;
  • It does not depend on servers and services beyond StackExchange's control.

That said, please improve the post in every other aspect as well. For questions, consider a better title, more or more accurate tags; all posts benefit from a good paragraph structure. Lastly, avoid filling the front page with heaps of edited old questions.

(Answer amalgamated from the comments.)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You forgot the most important advantage. We no longer depend on external sources like imgur, or other servers. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 18, 2013 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that also weighs in. But I consider the dependence on stack.imgur.com relatively minor. Other image hosting methods are of course less reliable. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Nov 18, 2013 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ The dependence on stack.imgur.com (i.e. on uploading the images through the site itself) is considered stable by the official authorities. While images are not so important on math.SE, they are very important on other sites, so SE heads make sure that they don't disappear. $\endgroup$
    – yo'
    Nov 18, 2013 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @tohecz I know, that's why I wrote what I wrote. Not everyone posting an image on MSE uses stack.imgur. Still, it's conceivable that imgur goes offline temporarily. Hence, minor dependence. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Nov 18, 2013 at 14:27

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