I've never been active on an SE site where MathJax/LaTex, etc. was used extensively. I never learned to do it. Many on the site seem to be quite adept at it, so in terms of its use on this site, do you render it locally first, and if so, with what program?

I know this is teeter-tottering on the off-topic side, but for people coming to this site with no background in LaTex, etc., it might be helpful to know.

Edit: Without committing too many cardinal sins associated with bad questions:

I'm asking from a practical perspective, as someone who needs to post an equation or two as part of a question or answer. I'm willing to get up to speed on the markup, but I'm looking for the "Microsoft Equation editor"-type solution so I can strive for the status quo of making the equations in the posts look incredibly professional in the meantime while I learn.


Well, I'm picking up a few things here and there, so I had to edit. I'm now getting that the MathJax is the server side of things, so no wonder my initial question was confusing.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking for tutorials for the two markup languages, (or) a discussion of the technicalities of making sure the appearance is correct before posting, (or) a website hosting issue? $\endgroup$ – rwong Aug 24 '11 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ @rwong Hopefully that clarifies it a bit, it's closest to your second reason. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Aug 24 '11 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ @jonsca I created a sandbox question where you can play around with features. So go ahead, go crazy on that one and try out typesetting your equations, etc on answers there if you need to learn $\endgroup$ – Lorem Ipsum Sep 25 '11 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ @yoda Thank you! $\endgroup$ – jonsca Sep 25 '11 at 8:26

I generally put my equations into the Online LaTeX equation editor to proof them. It works pretty well for me. It's faster than rendering them on my own to check.

  • $\begingroup$ This site seems to be down today. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Oct 27 '11 at 19:47

It's very simple. Take a look at the preview that is below the text box that you are entering. You will notice that it takes into account image tags, latex, etc. So, simply type your answer, and take a look below the text box.


I ended up downloading MiKTeX which includes TexWorks, which has a nice preview feature so I can "prototype" questions and answers and then cut and paste.

  • $\begingroup$ This works, but gallamine's solution above has a nice "equation editor" type interface. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Oct 27 '11 at 20:10

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