# Suggestion Latex Feature

1. Jan 6, 2010

### Unto

Hi.

This is a very helpful forum, but your latex feature hinders this. It's very tedious to use, and for a particularly symbol/equation heavy question, the asker (like me) is often put off having to spend another 20mins getting the question set up to ask.

And not everyone has a scanner so not everyone can just upload a picture of the question.

Why not implement a new equation editor based on Microsoft 2007? This is very nice and easy and quick to use, it would also include all up to date symbols and mathematic stuff like integral signs and dervivatives ect ect.

2. Jan 6, 2010

### Greg Bernhardt

When you develop it, let me know

3. Jan 6, 2010

### Unto

Is it not possible to just rip the C++ script from Microsoft Word or something?

4. Jan 6, 2010

### Unto

And I just clicked on your blog Greg... Why have you posted one of my questions across it. I remember posting those EXACT same symbols in a question

5. Jan 6, 2010

### Greg Bernhardt

Certainly not, on many levels.

No idea what you are talking about. All my blog posts were tests that were posted way before you ever registered.

6. Jan 6, 2010

### sylas

That's actually a bug, I think. Latex works by generating images, which are stored on the site. Sometimes it seems to collect images in a strange way. For example, when I look at Greg's blog, I see some of my own formulae repeated there. I've noticed this before. I am pretty sure this is because the image finding seems to pick up images you've recently used yourself. Anyone looking at Greg's blog is likely to see their own formulae apparently appearing there.

The Latex equation feature is one of the great things about this website... and more to the point the code is freely available. MS word code is not. Furthermore, plenty of people will be more familiar with latex than the word equation editors. Me, for example.

Be that as it may, the real constraint here is that the site uses what is readily available.

Cheers -- sylas

7. Jan 6, 2010

### sylas

Let's be more specific. Here is a screen shot for me looking at Greg's blog. Furthermore, I have placed the mouse over the first LaTeX image, to show the little pop-up of LaTeX code.

You can see that the code is "latex 1-2-3", which should appear like this:
$$latex 1-2-3$$​
But the image is of an equation I entered recently. Someone else will get a different image again. I think the reason is that the url for the image is actually https://www.physicsforums.com/latex_images/preview58041-0.png [Broken] and the word "preview" in their means that somehow the code for blogs is not using a final store url for the generated image. I am guessing it picks up something you have previewed.

For comparison, the url of the latex equation in THIS post is https://www.physicsforums.com/latex_images/25/2519903-0.png [Broken]. There's no "preview" in the URL this time. I suspect something in the blog software is awry.

Can we consider this post another bug report? I won't start a new thread for it.

Cheers -- sylas

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
8. Jan 6, 2010

### Greg Bernhardt

chroot would be better to explain this to, in fact if you could send him a PM, thanks!

9. Jan 6, 2010

### sylas

I've sent the PM -- sylas

10. Jan 6, 2010

### mugaliens

Having dealt with text-based equations since the mid-1980s, I would say keep driving towards the text-based efforts in Fortran and other mid-90's programming languages.

11. Jan 7, 2010

### Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
This is an unfortunate, but known, bug in PF Latex:

See if refreshing your browser window clears it up, as it seems to be a cache issue. See post #4 here:

12. Jan 7, 2010

### Unto

So there is nothing we can do to make the latex feature more accessible? Maybe it should open up a window to show thumbnails for every symbol and mathematical function, then we can just click and type as we please without worrying about the synergy of what we do.

13. Jan 7, 2010

### Greg Bernhardt

We already have that. The option is part of the message editor.

14. Jan 7, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

That option seems to have disappeared. I don't see it anywhere. Didn't it use to be under a "sigma" button?

I never used it because I've gotten accustomed to typing my own LaTeX, but I do remember that option being there for a while.

15. Jan 7, 2010

### Greg Bernhardt

It's only in the science forums.

16. Jan 8, 2010

### diazona

Y'know, I would argue just the opposite, that the LaTeX capability is a godsend because it makes it so easy to type equations. If the forum had a MS-like equation editor instead, I'd be the one having to spend 20 minutes trying to type math. (Yes this is based on experience) And I'm sure I'm not the only one. The point is, it all depends on what you're used to.

Besides, there are the technical requirements. LaTeX is just plain text, it's easy - in fact I programmed it into my own blog in about 20 minutes.

17. Jan 8, 2010

### Unto

Can you show me how to do this?

18. Jan 9, 2010

### diazona

Now that I think about it, I may have exaggerated a bit I took someone else's code and adapted it to my own blog software... but sure, I'd be happy to share what I know. Send me a PM about it.

19. Jan 28, 2010

### stevebd1

It hardly seemed worthwhile starting a new thread so I thought I would post this in here. When adding a tilde to a letter, this works fine in standard latex but when using the same command in inline latex, the tilde doesn't show up-

standard latex-
$$\tilde{S}$$

inline latex-
$\tilde{S}$

If I'm not mistaken, this only applies to capital letters as the lowercase still works-

inline latex-
$\tilde{s}$

The same seems to apply to other accents, it's as if the top is being cut off in line with the regular text.

$\bar{t},\bar{\phi}$

$\breve{t},\breve{\phi}$

20. Jan 29, 2010

### sylas

*bump*

This problem reported here is not with the cache. It occurs with equations in a blog, and I have just discovered now that it occurs also if someone send me a PM with equations in it.

The specifics of the problem shows up in [post=2519903]msg #7[/post] of the thread. The image file used in blogs, and now I also find in PMs, has a "preview" in the URL. The image file used in posts does not.

The url with the word "preview" in it will be a different image at different times.

The problem should be fixable, if the blogs and PMs also use a stable dedicated URL one the blog is saved or the PM is sent.

Cheers -- sylas

21. Jan 30, 2010

### Fredrik

Staff Emeritus
Sylas: LaTeX in PM's has never been supported. (I don't know why).

22. Jan 30, 2010

### sylas

I got a PM just now with LaTeX included. I sent a PM with LaTeX, and the preview worked; though I removed the equations before sending because I was just checking previews of equations. The problem with LaTeX in a PM is identical to the problem with LaTeX in a blog. The url for the image includes "preview", and this URL does not seem to identify a unique stable file.

Cheers -- sylas

23. Feb 6, 2010

### diazona

Yeah, I've noticed that. It might be worth starting a new thread, although I'd be surprised if nobody's ever brought up the issue before.

24. Feb 9, 2010

### Fredrik

Staff Emeritus
There's always been some issue with inline LaTeX. chroot has been experimenting with different settings, but it has never been perfect (and it might not be possible to make everything look good). The text used to be too small. He fixed that, but now the distance between the lines is messed up. For example, this $$\vec P$$ is between tex tags, but (i have to add some nonsense here so you'll see what I'm talking about...aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa ) this $\vec P$ is the same LaTeX code between itex tags. Note that the space between the line containing the math and the next is even larger when I use itex tags. And stuff still gets cut off. I don't know how difficult it would be to do something about it. It would probably be necessary to increase the default distance between lines in plain text to get the LaTeX stuff to fit in there smoothly. But that would probably make plain text posts look weird.

The most annoying LaTeX bug must be the appearence of the \implies symbol: $$\implies$$. I find it so annoying that I don't use it. I'd rather rewrite the text around the place where I wanted to use it. Fortunately that doesn't happen too often...and hey, I just discovered that it looks fine between itex tags. $\implies$