Following question Now has two answers both written by same user, one of them without $\LaTeX$

Using an Integral to Solve for a Variable a

I've also commented about using $\LaTeX$ and I got following response.

I know wrinting with LATEX but it takes much more time than the other method. Is it opposit to the rules of this forum to scan and then post scanned figures instead of LATEX?

I don't really understand what I should I answer him! Is it really okay to post this kind of answers? If not, Do we have any guidelines regarding this?

Note: One of those two answers were posted after my comment

If it's not okay to post links to particular users or posts, feel free to remove it

  • $\begingroup$ You can do almost anything in LaTeX. But that nice diagram he drew would take some serious TeX know-how. At least the other answer does use TeX for the more basic stuff. $\endgroup$
    – user153918
    Dec 1, 2014 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @AlonsodelArte That answer was posted after my comment there! $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2014 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ @AlonsodelArte No one is asking about making drawings in $\LaTeX$ $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2014 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ Poor formulation, deceiving a reader into “LaTeX vs else” dimension. In fact, pros and cons of: MathJax, plain text, HTML/Unicode, and images shall be discussed explicitly and separately. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2014 at 17:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've got to say, that scanned solution looks pretty good to me. I doubt the average "scanned solution" looks this clear. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2014 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


Good typesetting is one of the many dimensions on which answer quality is measured. All other things being equal, a well-typeset answer is better than a badly-typeset one. A badly-typeset answer might still be worth an upvote, but it is laboring under a handicap.

Scanned photographs of handwritten documents have less utility than properly typeset LaTeX, for several reasons: They cannot be searched. They are less resilient to changes in display equipment. They are harder for blind people to read.

But I don't think we should rule them out.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Scanned photographs take longer to display. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Nov 27, 2014 at 5:04
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I remember that being a serious concern in 1997. Is it still? $\endgroup$
    – MJD
    Nov 28, 2014 at 17:49
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @MJD Having slow internet connection (and paying for traffic by volume) isn't uncommon in developing countries. That said, I think the biggest delay is that photographs take longer to read. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Nov 28, 2014 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MJD Plus what if we lose net neutrality in America? Would StackExchange be able to pay for a special fast lane? $\endgroup$
    – user153918
    Dec 1, 2014 at 19:01
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Accessibility (for the blind) is a great, oft-overlooked advantage. Also consider that for somebody on a mobile device or other form factor, a LaTeX answer might wrap in a more displayable way, while an image will require frustrating scrolling. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2014 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisHayes actually Latex answer isn't properly shown on my device, it takes long for latex answer and it doesn't even properly fits in my screen, but handwritten image wins over this. $\endgroup$
    – RE60K
    Dec 7, 2014 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ @ADG This is not at all an excuse for posting answers without using $\LaTeX$ $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2014 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ If I am viewing SE on a network where Imgur is blocked then images are pretty much pointless.t $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2014 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisHayes How does Latex provide better accessibility for the blind? That sounds interesting! $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2016 at 22:03

Isn't one of the features of stackexchange that one can improve each other's posts. So what keeps you from editing posts to change the scans to mathjax?

In the end this is a mathematics site: and not knowing latex should not be something that limits people from posting their correct solutions. - But the answers should be improved by people who do know latex.

  • $\begingroup$ Then make your post community wiki, I'll be more than happy to improve it. $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2014 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ And no one is stopping me from editing, I'm a free man. $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2014 at 2:05

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