How to type math clearly

Rules for posting and helping, along with guides for formatting and explanations of what to expect. Post "test" messages here.
User avatar
PM_Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:29 pm
Contact:

How to type math clearly

Postby PM_Admin » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:57 pm

A common problem with typing math is that single-line type doesn't always mean the same thing as the nice formatting in your textbook. For instance, "1/3x" could mean either of the following:

. . . . .

. . . . .

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
        -----------------------------------
                    - 2x^3 - 4x^2 + 2x + 10
                    - 2x^3 - 4x^2 + 2x + 10
        -----------------------------------
                                          0

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

User avatar
maggiemagnet
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: How to type math clearly

Postby maggiemagnet » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:10 pm

And maybe no "Caps Lock"? Because SHOUTING seems rude, ya know? :thumb:


Return to “Forum Rules & Guides”