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Tex formatting

  1. Jun 26, 2007 #1
    considering all the rules and regulations on this board I wonder you guys don't make it a requirement that all math be text formatted. It's difficult enough sometimes decyphering mathematical notation, it's nigh impossible to do that and read transliterated math. Anyone's opinions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2007 #2
    Well, not everyone, in their hurry to finish an assignment due the next day, will want to learn the syntax and type everything in LaTeX. (And don't forget the time it takes to check, edit, refresh once the post has been submitted, in case of some sloppy typing.) But there are some newcomers, who take the time and present a neat post. (Incidentally, these are recognised as part of the Best Homework Threads.)
  4. Jun 26, 2007 #3


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    Not everyone that uses these boards possess knowledge about latex; much less the people that post questions in the homework section. Yes, I agree that its very annoying to read, but what can you do? Making it compulsory is not mandatory for PF to be any better than it is now.
  5. Jun 26, 2007 #4
    Apart from the issue with newcomers and the learning curve, there are also plain lazy people like me, who wouldn't want to take the trouble of formatting every little bit of math typed. Like if I wanted to mention something like "Try simplifying the log((a+b)^2) term in the expression", i would find it irksome to type everything in LaTeX.
    But yes for more elaborate expressions and equations, LaTeX is convenient and better, and should be "recommended" in the forum guidelines, if not done yet.
    Also most regular newcomers do understand the need for formatting, and seem to learn it in the space of a few posts.
  6. Jun 26, 2007 #5


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    In some cases, it might be worth it to suggest using [tex]\LaTeX[/tex]... especially for complicated expressions. A tool like the one described here https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=161272 might help.

    (It's too bad that the [tex]\LaTeX[/tex] previewing was broken way back when.)
  7. Jun 26, 2007 #6
    are those really the kind of people we want on this forum?

    if anything maybe a suggestion somewhere about using tex or latex or w/e. i don't remember if it's in the hw template. something like plz if you can use tex but if you can't it's ok

    holy moly that is awesome, from now i'm using that to type up my posts
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  8. Jun 26, 2007 #7
    It is after all a 'Physics Help and Math Help' Forum. :wink: It's usually posts from them that I find hard to understand. The regulars on the other hand, use Latex when needed and, as arunbg said, use ASCII when the expression is not very complex and its meaning easily understood.
  9. Jun 26, 2007 #8


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    When I see a post by a newbie that is using ascii where Latex would work better, I'll try to echo their question, and use LaTex in my post. That shows them that it's easy to use LaTex, and also lets them see the code for the equation by quoting my post in their response.

    [tex]E = - \nabla V[/tex]
  10. Jun 26, 2007 #9


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    I try to do the same thing. It makes the thread more understandable for everyone, and helps me help them much easier. Also, I have learned a lot of the latex I know from doing what you said berkman, looking at the source from others posts.
  11. Jun 26, 2007 #10
    you know what else would be nice, and this is just a gripe, if novices stopped using buzzwords.
  12. Jun 26, 2007 #11


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    Sorry, What's a buzzword?
  13. Jun 27, 2007 #12
    buzz·word (bŭz'wûrd') pronunciation

    1. A word or phrase connected with a specialized field or group that usually sounds important or technical and is used primarily to impress laypersons: “‘Sensitivity’ is the buzzword in the beauty industry this fall” (ADWEEK).
    2. A stylish or trendy word or phrase.

    obviously to people in the know they actually mean something so if i list off a bunch of words that i think are buzzwords you'll probably think they're legit words. so i'll just point you to a thread instead.


    and thats probably not the worst case. i've been guilty of it myself but it's basically when you hear a word that sounds interesting and you read a little about it and then you try to use it in your speech/writing.
  14. Jun 27, 2007 #13


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    Looks like a good post to me, but like you say, those words do mean something to me. Even though the poster may not be intimately familiar with the terms, they do seem to be asking good questions to expand their knowledge, and hopefully the replies that they got did help them some.
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