# MathJax: better way to prepare a Math.StackExchange question?

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.

• Somewhat related question on main: Online MathJaX editor. Nov 28, 2019 at 14:50
• The best way I've found is not writing one.
– user645636
Dec 27, 2019 at 0:57
• VerbTeX LaTeX compiler ?
– user645636
Dec 28, 2019 at 18:52

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.

• Thanks for your suggestions. I'll check them out. Jul 25, 2012 at 16:02
• I went with Qute. notepag.es too mysterious, kramdown and ipython notebook not as easy to install as Qute. Jul 25, 2012 at 17:07
• Minor annoyance with Qute: I would rather use _…_ for italic, but it forces me to use *…* Jan 18, 2017 at 23:47
• Qute and kramdown links are dead now. Jun 6, 2018 at 7:55
• @Ruslan: I edited to put in links to some alive editors. Thanks for pointing it out. Jun 6, 2018 at 12:23

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.

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

<html>
<title>MathJax</title>
<script type="text/x-mathjax-config">
MathJax.Hub.Config({"HTML-CSS": { preferredFont: "TeX", availableFonts: ["STIX","TeX"] },
tex2jax: { inlineMath: [ ["$", "$"], ["\\$","\$/extract_itex]"] ], 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>
<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 $\LaTeX$.

• Hmm, I always thought Macs were for artists and writers. (Joke!) I'll consider an iPad next time I'm in the market. Jul 25, 2012 at 16:04
• @MikeC: Unfortunately, BBEdit is not available on the iPad; it requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
– robjohn Mod
Jul 25, 2012 at 16:42

On the mac I use Macdown:

https://macdown.uranusjr.com/

The only problem I have is that it sometimes hangs with a spinning beachball. It will continue after 10 or more seconds - I just have to wait it out.