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I've seen a number of questions in which the moderators change html equations into LaTeX, or else people writing in the comments that the site supports LaTeX. Do we have a standard place where we can point people so they can learn how to typeset equations on the message board? There is a short section in the FAQ, but it probably isn't detailed enough for most people to learn what to do if they're not already familiar with LaTeX.

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The folks over at Math.SE have put together a brief summary of what you can do with MathJax.

Possibly the only thing left out for people completely new to TeX-style markup is emphasizing that all math is done in "math mode" delimited by one or two dollar signs. (Actually, I suppose \begin{} ... \end{} environments are recognized too, but details...) Aside from that and a somewhat dense layout, I think it suffices for showing the basics. Plus, it's already on the SE network, so the MathJax implementation is (presumably) the same as ours.

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I found this page in Google once and it is quite good for a very start (it is short in the first place -- there is nothing better to convince someone that LaTeX is easy than a thousand-page user manual (= ): http://www.haptonstahl.org/latex/basics_mathmode.php

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I found the this wikibook very good http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Mathematics

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I don't think so. The people at math.SE did come up with something but it's not really a guide, just a pointer to some resources. I think if we developed a short (but not as short as the built-in help) LaTeX guide here, it would make a great question.

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  • $\begingroup$ I started trying to implement this, but either mixing code and the MathJax delimiters is a no-no, or MathJax is not active on meta... I suppose I'll delete it soon unless someone objects. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jul 25 '11 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ It's the latter, I believe, that MathJax is not active on meta. I think it would still be a useful reference to have, we might just have to use images to show what the MathJax markup looks like rather than having it actually rendered inline. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 25 '11 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ You could ask MathJax to be enabled though. On Math.SE we have it turned on in Meta also. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 25 '11 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: well then I guess we can try that. I thought we'd asked for it to be enabled on meta here as well but the team denied the request. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 26 '11 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ I asked in the mod chat room but didn't get a response... $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 26 '11 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky I don't know what the situation was over a year ago, but check out meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/5020/… - they've got a pretty good intro guide to MathJax there. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Dec 8 '12 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisWhite it looks like that question is fairly recent. It would make a great answer if you'd like to post the link (or quote it) here. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 8 '12 at 2:19

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