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WHAT IS LATEX? LaTeX is a programming language that can be used for writing and typesetting documents. It is especially useful to write mathematical notation such as equations and formulae. HOW TO USE LATEX TO WRITE MATHEMATICAL NOTATION There are three ways to enter “math mode” and present a mathematical expression in LaTeX: 1. _inline_ (in the middle of a text line) 2. as an _equation_, on a separate dedicated line 3. as a full-sized inline expression (_displaystyle_) _inline_ Inline expressions occur in the middle of a sentence. To produce an inline expression, place the math expression between dollar signs ($). For example, typing $E=mc^2$ yields E = mc². _equation_ Equations are mathematical expressions that are given their own line and are centered on the page. These are usually used for important equations that deserve to be showcased on their own line or for large equations that cannot fit inline. To produce an inline expression, place the mathematical expression between the symbols \[! and \verb!\]. Typing \[x=}{2a}\] yields \[x=}{2a}\] _displaystyle_ To get full-sized inline mathematical expressions use \displaystyle. Typing I want this $\displaystyle ^{\infty} {n}$, not this $^{\infty} {n}$. yields: I want this $\displaystyle ^{\infty}{n}$, not this $^{\infty}{n}.$ SYMBOLS (IN _MATH_ MODE) The basics As discussed above math mode in LaTeX happens inside the dollar signs ($...$), inside the square brackets \[...\] and inside equation and displaystyle environments. Here’s a cheatsheet showing what is possible in a math environment: -------------------------- ----------------- --------------- _description_ _command_ _output_ addition + + subtraction - − plus or minus \pm ± multiplication (times) \times × multiplication (dot) \cdot ⋅ division symbol \div ÷ division (slash) / / simple text text infinity \infty ∞ dots 1,2,3,\ldots 1, 2, 3, … dots 1+2+3+\cdots 1 + 2 + 3 + ⋯ fraction {b} ${b}$ square root $$ nth root \sqrt[n]{x} $\sqrt[n]{x}$ exponentiation a^b ab subscript a_b ab absolute value |x| |x| natural log \ln(x) ln(x) logarithms b logab exponential function e^x=\exp(x) ex = exp(x) deg \deg(f) deg(f) degree \degree $\degree$ arcmin ^\prime ′ arcsec ^{\prime\prime} ′′ circle plus \oplus ⊕ circle times \otimes ⊗ equal = = not equal \ne ≠ less than < < less than or equal to \le ≤ greater than or equal to \ge ≥ approximately equal to \approx ≈ -------------------------- ----------------- ---------------