The title pretty much says it all:

How can I use TikZ when writing my math questions on this site?

I have written out my question in LaTeX using the TikZ and it took me quite some time, now I realize I can't just use it here. I saw an older post on this very same question but it was two years old and the answer was that it wasn't possible yet. So I am hoping it might be possible now.



1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, you cannot use TikZ. Though I would strongly recommend the stackexchange/MathJax personnel (whoever is responsible for it) to incorporate it.

The best way out is to use TikZ on your own machine and copy the image generated and paste it here. This is what I have been doing in the last three years. Below are some of my posts, where I have used TikZ and copy pasted the image from TikZ.

Why is the definition of "limit" difficult to understand at first?

Prove by mathematical induction that $1 + 1/4 +\ldots + 1/4^n \to 4/3$

How to show that $S^1\sim\Bbb R$?

Computing a sum of binomial coefficients: $\sum_{i=0}^m \binom{N-i}{m-i}$

Generic Question Regarding modular arithmetic

Cosine function is decreasing on $(0,\pi)$

Parabolas and projectiles

The cross product of two sets

For those unfamiliar with TikZ, TikZ/PGF is a powerful TeX package for creating beautiful vector graphics. You can read more about it and look at some nice pictures here.

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    $\begingroup$ The MathJax "personnel" is the factor to reckon with here, not the SE staff. I recall them stating that since TikZ admits no natural MathML handling, it is unlikely that it will be supported on a shorter time scale. Or perhaps you were suggesting to move away from MathJax; but as the general performance of MJ is nothing short of stellar, this seems unlikely and unnecessary to me, too. I regret it, though. TikZ is great. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, this is what I was afraid of but copying and pasting does not seem too bad. It needs to be in .png format right? And how do I paste this in a question? sorry I have never used images in my questions. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Slugger
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ I usually use images in .png format, though I would assume other formats like jpg,gif are also supported. When you answer a question you will see an icon immediately above your answer window, which if you click on it will help you to upload your image. Another way is to upload your image to http://imgur.com/ and copy the http link from there and paste it in your answer. $\endgroup$
    – user17762
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @TeunVerstraaten This post is relevant on how to upload images. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75491/… $\endgroup$
    – user17762
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Copy/pasting doesn't seem to be a natural approach. It'd be best to use some software to convert it to .png. I use Kile which contains a converter. But there are other options, e.g. convert in a Linux terminal. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ Just a guess: another problem that the SE team, at any rate, might have with allowing TikZ to run on their websites is that it is so powerful it may be possible to for malicious code to be put in (TeX itself is Turing-complete, but MathJax makes no attempt to incorporate all of TeX, so this problem does not already exist). This wouldn't be an issue for people running MathJax on their personal websites, where user-contributed code is not an issue. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @TeunVerstraaten If you are very specific about not copy pasting, then you could externalize the image generated by TikZ and then convert it using convert or other similar commands as Douglas points out and then upload. $\endgroup$
    – user17762
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:44
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    $\begingroup$ @ZevChonoles MathJax does not run on the server it runs in the browser (unlike the conversion of markdown wiki syntax to html). mathJax does not use TeX in any way, it implements a subset of TeX math functionality in JavaScript Thus it is not a case of allowing TikZ to run, the entire pgf/tikz graphic stack would need to be implemented in javascript before it could be incorporated into mathjax. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2013 at 22:04

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