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So right now, to write up a question for Math.StackExchange, I use Firefox to come here, say I'm going to ask a question, and start typing in the box (like I am now). The only way I have to test whether my MathJax markup is correct is to type it here, and see what I get in the preview box. If I'm writing a long question, I have to copy back and forth between here and Notepad, in case I get interrupted.

This seems really klutzy. It's 2012; I should have a better way to test my MathJax input, like a desktop program that interprets MathJax, or a Google Docs application. Can anyone suggest a better approach? Yes, I'm a Windows user, by the way.

Thanks for any help.

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Some ideas:

  • You can install ipython notebook which has built-in MarkDown / MathJax support
  • There are by now (2018!!) lots of MathJax capable MarkDown editors. Personally I use Joplin, I've also tried Abricotine. If you use the Atom editor, the MarkDown Preview Plus package is useful. (Note: some of these may use KaTeX as the rendering backend instead of MathJax.)
  • For an online solution notepag.es could work, though for inline math it uses the strange choice of using %% as delimiters.

For Mac users, I have heard good things about Marked.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your suggestions. I'll check them out. $\endgroup$ – MikeC Jul 25 '12 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ I went with Qute. notepag.es too mysterious, kramdown and ipython notebook not as easy to install as Qute. $\endgroup$ – MikeC Jul 25 '12 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ Minor annoyance with Qute: I would rather use _…_ for italic, but it forces me to use *…* $\endgroup$ – PJTraill Jan 18 '17 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Qute and kramdown links are dead now. $\endgroup$ – Ruslan Jun 6 '18 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Ruslan: I edited to put in links to some alive editors. Thanks for pointing it out. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jun 6 '18 at 12:23
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I use stackedit now: https://stackedit.io/

You can sync your files with google drive and dropbox. And there is even real time collaboration support. Quite a decent app.

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On the Mac, I use BBEdit with the following stationery:

<html>
<head>
    <title>MathJax</title>
    <script type="text/x-mathjax-config">
        MathJax.Hub.Config({"HTML-CSS": { preferredFont: "TeX", availableFonts: ["STIX","TeX"] }, 
        tex2jax: { inlineMath: [ ["$", "$"], ["\\\\(","\\\\)"] ], displayMath: [ ["$$","$$"], ["\\[", "\\]"] ], processEscapes: true, ignoreClass: "tex2jax_ignore|dno" },
        TeX: { noUndefined: { attributes: { mathcolor: "red", mathbackground: "#FFEEEE", mathsize: "90%" } } },
        messageStyle: "none"
    });
    </script>    
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS_HTML"></script>       
</head>
<body>
    <!-- put your test text here -->
</body>
</html>`

Then I fill in the body with my answer/question, save the file with an extension of ".html", and choose "Markup > Preview in BBEdit".

This doesn't pick up the markdown supplied by stackexchange.com, but it renders the $\LaTeX$.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I always thought Macs were for artists and writers. (Joke!) I'll consider an iPad next time I'm in the market. $\endgroup$ – MikeC Jul 25 '12 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeC: Unfortunately, BBEdit is not available on the iPad; it requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jul 25 '12 at 16:42

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