# Math markup, diagrams, etc. -- pointers please

Feeling a bit dumb as I plunge into math.stackexchange.com after many years away from the world of mathematics, but can somebody please provide a very quick tutorial -- list of reference pointers would be sufficient -- for getting math markup on math.stackexchange.com. I can use html sup, sub tags, but how to do the more complex markup like fractions, and even drawing diagrams.

Markdown doesn't do much for math, a far as I can tell, but I could be wrong.

Thanks --oldbie/newbie David

• the site has TeX markup support — so you just need to take a look at some TeX tutorial (sorry, no good source comes to mind now) Aug 6, 2010 at 12:02
• Tried Tex, with $\frac{-b}{2a}$ -- oops, may have forgotten the backslash. OK, will try again. Aug 6, 2010 at 12:19
• btw, we need to answer this question in the FAQ Aug 6, 2010 at 15:11
• I've removed the meta tag, since all questions asked on meta.math.se are expected to be meta, and added the tex tag, since TeX is the system used here to render/display math. Aug 7, 2010 at 1:56
• @Grigory: It is already in the proposed faq. I will update it to include the answers here shortly. Aug 9, 2010 at 2:57

All you have to do is find a question that uses the markup you'd like to use, then right click and select show source.

• Duh! Thanks. Thought of that, but assumed I'd see html instead. I don't know why I didn't just try it. Aug 6, 2010 at 20:27

To type inline TeX equations, surround the code with $'s, e.g. $c = \sqrt{ a^2 + b^2 - 2ab \cos \theta } ⇒ $c = \sqrt{ a^2 + b^2 - 2ab \cos \theta }$

To put the equation in its own line, surround with $$'s, e.g. $$\int_0^\infty e^{-x^2} dx = \frac{\sqrt\pi}2$$ ⇒$$\int_0^\infty e^{-x^2} dx = \frac{\sqrt\pi}2AMS math environment is also supported, e.g. \begin{align} \cos x &= \frac{\sin 2x}{2 \sin x} \\\\ \sin^2 x &= \cos^2 x - \cos 2x \end{align}  ⇒ \begin{align} \cos x &= \frac{\sin 2x}{2 \sin x} \\ \sin^2 x &= \cos^2 x - \cos 2x \end{align} Note that you need 4 backslashes for a new line. Many times you also need extra backslashes to avoid conflict with Markdown syntax, e.g. \alpha^{-1}_{-1} + \beta_{-2}$$ won't work, as _..._ is interpreted as italics.$$\alpha^{-1}{-1} + \beta{-2}$$Use $$\alpha^{-1}\_{-1} + \beta\_{-2}$$ instead.$$\alpha^{-1}_{-1} + \beta_{-2}

• The multi-backslash-issue should actually be solved Aug 21, 2013 at 13:01

If you have firefox, go to your address bar and type in "lshort" without the quotes. Read the PDF tutorial on Latex. Actually you don't even have to read it. I just bookmarked pages that have the most used commands and I just refer to them when I need it. But that was the PDF that introduced me to Latex.

• more explicitly: chapter 3 @ ctan.org/tex-archive/info/lshort/english/lshort.pdf (right?) Aug 6, 2010 at 15:10
• Yes sir. But again, I would recommend going back and forth from all the chapters so while your learning the math markup, you can also learn how to format an article or journal entry. Aug 6, 2010 at 15:18
• I would also recommend looking over Kenny's answer for the minor differences when writing on this website rather then TexWorks or similar. Aug 6, 2010 at 15:19