One of the greatest motivating forces for Donald Knuth when he began developing the original TeX system was to create something that allowed simple construction of mathematical formulae, while looking professional when printed. The fact that he succeeded was most probably why TeX and later on, LaTeX became so popular within the scientific community. Typesetting mathematics is one of LaTeX's greatest strengths.
LaTeX or Word? For physicists and mathematicians, the choice is obvious. But for scientists in other fields the merits of LaTeX have largely gone unnoticed.
There are two major modes of typesetting math in LaTeX one is embedding the math directly into your text by encapsulating your formula in dollar signs and the other is using a predefined math environment. You can follow along and try the code in the sandbox below. I also prepared a quick reference of math symbols. To make use of the inline math feature, simply write your text and if you need to typeset a single math symbol or formula, surround it with dollar signs:.
Having access to an equation editor such as MathType or the online Wiris equation editor can streamline processing and converting equations considerably. These tools are similar to equation editors found in Canvas. See below for an example of an MathML Equation.
The first time you insert an equation, select Use MathType, or turn it on in Preferences:. To make equation authoring easier, the equation editor is in math mode by default, so it isn't necessary to add math mode commands to your equations. If an equation is by itself on a line of text, the equation centers based on the equals sign.
In LaTeX backslash is used to generate a special symbol or a command. The square root of a number can never be negative by definition. The root of a quadratic equation however, can be either positive or negative.
MediaWiki renders mathematical equations using a combination of html markup and a variant of LaTeX. Only a limited part of the full TeX language is supported; see below for details. The older PNG images can be set via user preferences.