Weblog update: LaTeX now available

After Jean S’s comments written in LaTeX, I decided it was time to add TeX support once and for all. Since the webhost doesn’t have LaTeX installed, I had to use mimeTeX, which supports just basic TeX without all the flourishes, but should be good enough to produce some good quality
equations and symbols sufficient for the uses employed here.

If Steve want to use TeX within posts then he can put [ tex] and [/ tex] either side of his formulae and they will be rendered into TeX when he saves the post. (Note that I’ve put an extra space in the square brackets so that they are not rendered here, but you need to remove the spaces when you use them)

For commenters, TeX is available in the same manner, but since there is no preview, and you cannot go back and edit your comments, you get one shot at it. I would suggest that you pre-render your LaTeX commands on your favorite platform to make sure that they will work, before adding them to the comment.

For example:

[ tex] x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{b^2 – 4ac}}{2a}[/ tex]

will produce the general quadratic formula

x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}


  1. fFreddy
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 9:45 AM | Permalink


  2. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    John A., this is cool. Thanks for this. It’s particularly nice having some templates to cut and paste.

  3. John A
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 10:50 AM | Permalink


    R(k) = \frac{E[(X_i - \mu)(X_{i+k} - \mu)]}{\sigma^2}

  4. Posted May 7, 2006 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    As Einstein and Maxwell would say,

    S = \int d^4x \sqrt{-g}\left(\frac{R}{16\pi G_N} - \frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}\right)

    very good.

  5. ET SidViscous
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 12:50 PM | Permalink


  6. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Now we go back to school.

  7. Posted May 7, 2006 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    here is a latex formula writing overview

    Click to access Symbols.pdf

  8. Posted May 7, 2006 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    latex test…

  9. Posted May 7, 2006 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    didn’t work,

    john a any plans to implement images like on the phbb fora?

  10. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Re 7, Hans, thanks for the overview, very useful.


  11. The Knowing One
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    It’s really nice to have TeX support. Currently, however, the images are rendered in a fixed number of pixels and do not scale. So for someone who has a very high resolution screen, the images are almost unreadably small. (Opera sort-of scales images; Firefox and IE don’t.)

    There have been discussions about how to handle this problem at Wikipedia, and I think something is currently being implemented (to render images in em’s rather than px’s).

  12. Jean S
    Posted May 8, 2006 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

    Nice, thanks John A. Can you also put a tag which would automatically correct my bad spelling and broken English 😉

  13. John A
    Posted May 8, 2006 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    Re: #12

    Mais oui! The button “Lookup” checks words against a good online English dictionary – at no extra charge.

  14. ET SidViscous
    Posted May 8, 2006 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    Well you could have told us that before.

  15. Posted May 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Hi John. What plugin did you use in wordpress for this?

  16. John A
    Posted May 9, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Re #15

    Latexrender for WordPress

  17. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    John, if I wanted to write something that is LAtex-compatible, what software would you recommend?

  18. John A
    Posted May 10, 2006 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    Re: #17

    Probably the best is the freeware TexMaker for Windows. (it’s also available for MacOS and Linux)

    LaTeX is so frequently used in academia from anything from theses to research papers to books that I’d think it a worthwhile investment of time to learn the basics.

  19. Jean S
    Posted May 10, 2006 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    Re #17, #18: Notice that TexMaker is an editor (a shell) for LaTeX, i.e., essentially a text editor taylored for producing LaTeX code. So in order to compile your code, your need an actual TeX-instalation. Most Windows users I know use MikTeX, which is easy to install and update. Another good LaTeX editor for Windows is TeXnicCenter, which is directly integrated to MikTeX. I have that combination on my Windows laptop, but I mainly use teTeX+emacs (Linux) on my desktop.

  20. John A
    Posted May 10, 2006 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

    Quite right. I installed mikTeX on Windows before installing TexMaker. I just forgot to mention it….

  21. TAC
    Posted Jun 12, 2006 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    \Tau \Alpha \Gamma

  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 15, 2006 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    I just discovered something interesting about LaTex editing: if you don’t have your own LaTex editor, you can build LaTex expressions in the Comment section here and copy them into Word.

  23. Jim Erlandson
    Posted Jun 15, 2006 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    #22 Steve M.: Word 2007 has/will have (beta version available free) its own equation tools. Not LaTeX but still pretty.

  24. Spence_UK
    Posted Jun 15, 2006 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    For my “day job” I have to use the Microsoft Equation editor (standard where I work). I’ve been using it since Microsoft Word ’97, so it has been shipped with Office since then, but you have to use a custom install and check the equation editor option at install time. Annoyingly it uses non-standard fonts so if you subsequently look at the document on a machine that doesn’t have the equation editor installed stuff looks and prints wrong (dots over variables turn into ampersands… helpful!)

    I don’t think I would use the Microsoft Equation editor if I had a choice. It is not especially intuitive or easy to use, and although it has a fair range of capabilities, I’ve come across expressions I’ve been unable to do in it. It also seems to make Word more crash-prone as well… certainly with an early release of Word 2003 and Equation Editor 3.0 I could get it to consistently crash just by copying an equation, editing it and then trying to save the document…

  25. Mark
    Posted Jun 15, 2006 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    I DL’d an add-on to Equation 3.0, called Mathtype I think. It adds to the functionality immensely and seems to make it work better.


  26. bender
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    $latex y

  27. bender
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    y_{ij} ^2

    Stev – you need to have the closing saying [ /tex] – leave out the blank.

  28. bender
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    I tried that. I think the problem is “lt”

  29. bender
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    Who on earth decided the &lt character would make a good one for indicating a tag? Obviously not a mathematical programmer. This means it is not possible to get a cop-and-pastable &lt , which means you can’t copy and paste R scripts into posts.

    Rhetorical question. Thanks for allowing the tests.

  30. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if there’s a font handy which could be used to allow copy and paste of some of the troublesome things. Of course if the font wasn’t available on your computer things would look weird, but at least the rest of the string would be readable. There are generally lots of foreign and obsolete characters which could be replaced.

  31. Paul Linsay
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Tex test

    $$\eqalign{&dK=-\lambda Kdt+Idt\cr
    &giving\ the\ ODE\cr
    \over {dt}}=-\lambda K+I\cr}$$

  32. Paul Linsay
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    %MathType!ZZhx47!eaaadCGceeqabiXGKjXGljGH9iGHTiaHSjXGljXGKjXG0jGHRiXGjj %XGKjXG0bqad4aaaeGedsMedUeabiXGKjXG0baacyypcyylcqiBsm4s %cy4ksmysaaaa!13A5! $dK=-\lambda Kdt+Idt\cr
    {{dK} \over {dt}}=-\lambda K+I\cr$$

  33. Paul Linsay
    Posted Sep 28, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Last try

    $$dK=-\lambda Kdt+Idt\cr
    {{dK} \over {dt}}=-\lambda K+I\cr$$

  34. John Creighton
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

    Pr(N_{t1}=k)= exp(- t 1 * ( \lambda _{1} '€" lanbda _{o}) )*( t* ( \lambda _{1} +  \lambda_{o} ) ^{k}

  35. John Creighton
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Pr(N_{k1}=N)= exp(- k1 * ( t * \lambda _{1} '€" \lambda _{o}) )*(k* (t*  \lambda _{1} +  \lambda_{o} ) ^{N}

  36. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

    use the code tag


  37. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    I was trying 3 left pointed bracket 4 (3 lt 4), which showed up nice in the preview but not in the post.

    3 \lt 4

  38. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink


    [tex} a = b^c [\tex]

  39. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:43 PM | Permalink


    $latex a = b^c [\tex]

  40. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:48 PM | Permalink


    $latex a = b^{c}[\tex]

  41. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    a = b^{c}


  42. Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    You’ve now worked the syntax for tags Gerald?

  43. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    John A (#42):

    I would like to write my presentation in its entirety before submitting it. But if I have to use the tex tag in quicktags, that will not be possible. Is there some way to write the presentation in LaTeX on my home computer and then submit it so that it will interface with your blog (so I can preview the mathematical equations)?


  44. MrPete
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    Just testing. 👿 I think I understand tex a bit better. 😈 10^{11} should look better than 10^11 . Why should it be so hard? 😡

  45. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 10:59 PM | Permalink


    [ tex] x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{b^2 – 4ac}}{2a}[/ tex]

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