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If you would like to learn how to format using the LaTeX plug-in, as shown above, there are any number of good articles on the topic. This forum uses the "mimetex" package, which provides its own tutorial.

A quicker way to start, however, might be to learn the generally-accepted rules of web-safe math formatting. Note that the largest cause of confusion is the omission of grouping symbols. For instance, the two displays above can be typed very simply, respectively, as:

. . . . .1/(3x)

. . . . .(1/3)x

If you are working with something such as complex fractions, synthetic division, or matrices, where its nearly impossible to avoid the multi-line formatting, use "Code" tags (there's a button above the message-entry box) to "force" the characters to line up. For instance, long polynomial division might look like this:

- Code: Select all
`x^3 + 2x^2 - x - 5`

-----------------------------------

x^2 - 2 )x^5 + 2x^4 - 3x^3 - 9x^2 + 2x + 10

x^5 + 2x^4 - x^3 - 5x^2

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- 2x^3 - 4x^2 + 2x + 10

- 2x^3 - 4x^2 + 2x + 10

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Try always to remember to "Preview" your message first, to make sure you're posting what you meant to say. Thank you!