Checkout the comment section of the accepted answer in How to find the center of an ellipse?.

Notice that the second comment has a maths expression which is too long and it is not wrapped, making it unreadable beyond the right edge. Also notice that now all comments in this post too are no longer being wrapped within the boundary.

  • $\begingroup$ Bleh, done; FYI, either the align or split environments are very useful in breaking up $\TeX$-pressions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ See also Signature of comment on a new line. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ Even if there is a way around then it should be fixed, because of this only one commenter can make other comments in that post unreadable. In that case there is no workaround unless that person edits his comment. In fact he himself cannot edit his comment after some time, as it seems Edit link disappears after some time. $\endgroup$
    – AppleGrew
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ @AppleGrew: Yes there is a way, it is called "delete and re-write". $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, I don't think it "needs to be fixed". Math expressions are not designed to be automatically line-broken. MathJax's behaviour is actually consistent with what happens in plain LaTeX if you typed math expressions that are too long. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry but being consistent doesn't mean consistently replicating breakage too. Yup I agree this is MathJax issue, but not sure if this cannot be addressed by Stack. Anyway, yes I forgot "delete and re-write". :P $\endgroup$
    – AppleGrew
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: It's fine that math expressions are not line broken. It's not fine that the rest of the comments after an enormously long math expression are also not line broken! $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Wil There's a similar problem here that could use some moderator help. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill Done. Let me describe how I did it in the answer, so this partial work-around is documented. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded: Talk about necrobumping! It took you guys three years to reach this far into the queue? :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila - we sometimes work from the back of the queue... $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded: Is it a queue, or is it really a stack? And if it's a stack, do you exchange it between developers? ("Today I'll work on this stack, you work on that stack, and tomorrow we're gonna stackexchange.") $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf - we rotate devs on bug duty ever couple of weeks, but people are free to look at bugs as they wish... so more of a heap ;) $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded: I see. And have you considered changing the name of the site from "StackExchange" to "HeapExchange", or perhaps if you guys replace the heaps between yourselves then "Heap Replacement" might be a suitable name. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


As in the example Bill Dubuque pointed out in the comments, this can be a very real problem, especially in the case of a misplaced $ sign, which can cause problems with the display that (a) not only makes all comments beneath the problematic comment render incorrectly, but (b) also makes it difficult for the OP or the Moderators to edit or delete that comment.

Difficult, but not impossible.

One way to temporarily mitigate the damage so that one can access the Delete and Edit buttons for the comment is the following:

  1. Right-click on any MathJax expression (i.e. any rendered mathematics).
  2. Go under "settings", and click "Scale all math"
  3. Change the Math scaling to something like 10% or 20%.

MathJax will now re-render the page and the comments will be re-flowed, making all mathematical expressions 1/10 or 1/5 their original sizes. In many cases this will cause enough of a change that the "edit" and "delete" buttons of comments that were hidden due to the overflow will now again be visible. One can now click on them to edit or delete the comment. Then re-setting the Math scaling to 100% (or whatever it was you usually have it set on) will restore the mathematics display.

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    $\begingroup$ In case any readers are curious, what happened here is that the third comment (by Andre) had a misplaced '$'. This resulted in a very long TeX expression - one which exceeded the width of the comment pane, causing the edit/delete buttons to be displayed in the rightmost pane (the place where tags, ads, etc. are shown). In this case the comment's edit/delete buttons were not visible, being overwritten by an ad. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ Another workaround was suggested here. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 8:49

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