Sadly I don't have 5 reputation yet so hope this is the right place to post.

I don't understand why this question https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/402407/how-to-convert-pdf-containing-math-made-from-latex-to-word was closed. I had the same problem and spent hours getting nowhere. A search engine led me to that question, which led to my encounter with this wonderful forum and now registration. after a search engine turned up this question.

Many students and people who do math use PDF's. I'm confident they also want to know if they can add their own math equations and symbols into a PDF. The question is related to math so I want to make a request for it to be reopened. Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ It might also be a good question to ask on tex.stackexchange.com. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Rust
    May 26, 2013 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ Well, "related to math" is not the criterion that tells whether something is on-topic for math.stackexchange . Not even "of great interest to everyone doing math". See the FAQ to find what is on-topic in math.se $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    May 26, 2013 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I too think that should have been asked on tex.SE... it's a good question, this place just happens not to be a good place for it. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2013 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ Besides the points made by previous users here, we already have a thread to gather re-open requests. meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/6424/… $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 26, 2013 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: though ostensibly (according to the question text itself and the comments) that thread should only be used when the request is less controversial and does not require a discussion of why that post was closed in the first place. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2013 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


It's related to math the same way that asking for where to buy number two pencils is. Or how to wipe a blackboard without getting one's finger wet.

MSE is meant for questions about mathematical ideas, theorems and proofs, not for questions about the tools one uses to publish those things.

That certainly doesn't imply that this might not be an interesting question, but just being interesting doesn't automatically make the question on-topic on MSE.

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    $\begingroup$ One of the highest rated questions on MathOverflow was about where to buy a type of chalk. $\endgroup$
    – zyx
    May 26, 2013 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ I think the analogy to buying pencils is weak, and that this question is more particular to the practice of mathematics. It isn't just about using pdfs and Word, it is about how to use them for doing mathematics, which I think makes it on-topic enough. With pencils I can't see how there would be anything particular to mathematics making the question on-topic. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2013 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer I'd still open the door to a load of other somewhat math-releated, but not mathematical questions. Like for example those "How do I compute ... with MATLAB" or "Why won't R fit my statistical model". How could we close those as off-topic and on the other hand allow questions such as the one in question here? $\endgroup$
    – fgp
    May 26, 2013 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ "How could we close those as off-topic..." - this is precisely what Douglas Stones was railing about in one of the other threads (and I agree with him). As already said, the question in *cough* question should probably have been migrated to tex.SE, but no one's apparently bothered to flag it for migration. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2013 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M. Hm, well, I was one of those who voted to close, and I did ponder to flag it. I don't hang out on tex.SE, though, so I wasn't entirely sure I'd be on-topic there, either... Since I also figured that what the OP wanted is very probably impossible anyway, I instead left a comment pointing that out and just voted to close. Whether or not that was the sensible thing I don't know - at the time it seemed so... $\endgroup$
    – fgp
    May 26, 2013 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @zyx Can you provide that question? I am interested in checking it out :D $\endgroup$
    – Jeel Shah
    May 30, 2013 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ mathoverflow.net/questions/26267/… , is on the first page of MO questions sorted by votes. Sounds like great chalk. @gekkostate $\endgroup$
    – zyx
    May 30, 2013 at 17:04

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