I initially used \( \) instead of the dollars to enclose the math formulas. However, it doesn't seem to work on this website. So far I have only seen \( \) being used on websites which teach math typesetting and it is what I use even on my blog and I think it is more comfortable. Is it possible to enable \( \) (probably along with the dollars) to enclose the math formulas?

EDIT: Any updates on this?


  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it's hard to break the habit of using \( and \) as math delimiters? $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2011 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ $\LaTeX$ tried to replace the math-mode delimiters of plain-$\TeX$ with \( and \) for in-line and \[ and \] for display formulas, instead of $ for in-line and $$ for display. This was part of the general $\LaTeX$ philosophy (including having different symbols for beginning and ending). The display formula delimiters are widely used (and actually \[ and \] have slightly different behaviour from $$; there was a question about this in the TeX/LaTeX site that I cannot find now), but my impression is that the in-line ones are not. $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2011 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this can be done at the Math.SE level; if not, you can try the request at meta.SE. $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2011 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Arturo: Since math.SE and cstheory.SE are the only two sites using MathJax, this meta is indeed the proper one to discuss such request. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 28, 2011 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with this feature request? Why did three people downvote it? It seems perfectly reasonable to me and something that should be easy to implement. Yes, one has to live with the fact that (La)TeX here is somewhat different from what you have in the usual implementations and maybe one will have to adopt \\( instead of \( to keep it analogous with \\[ which doesn't work as \[ but otherwise I can't see a problem here. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Aug 29, 2011 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ FWIW: Backslashes are used here (as is usual in programming circumstances, and SE came from SO after all) to allow users to type special characters raw, e.g. ` for ` or \* for *. If I didn't include the backslashes in *this*, something different happens. So, for the MathJax to see the \(, you really do need the second backslash to assist the first backslash... (this at least is my understanding of markdown). $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2011 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ The TeX-SX questions are: tex.stackexchange.com/q/510/86 (for inline mode) and tex.stackexchange.com/q/503/86 (for display mode). $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2011 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


The \ character has special meaning in Markdown so you have to double-escape it like so \\(.

That's the primary reason that the dollar signs are preferred -- they don't conflict as much with Markdown syntax.


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