On the question How can I get rid of indentation after an equation?, the code block has had the bit between the dollars turned in to an image. Looking at the javascript scripts loaded via firebug, I notice one called 'math-tex'. I'm guessing that this is the culprit.

Could whoever decided that this was a good idea please turn it off. The question linked to above demonstrates all the reasons why this is a Very Bad Idea. I'd also like to point out that my answer to the We need Tex markup is the only one with net (strictly) positive votes.

Unless, of course, this is some subtle plan to encourage everyone to write their source code properly (ie using \( ... \) instead of dollars) in which case I whole-heartedly approve.

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    I can only agree. I still think it would be useful to have some sort of mechanism to explicitly (rather than implicitly) render TeX/LaTeX code, e.g. LaTeX sand-box? Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 21:20
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    agree, here is an example of where the math-tex really screws things up. The whole point is to be able to see the LaTeX code itself.... Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 0:20
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    I agree. LaTeX rendering would be useful when we want it (though, I would argue, not so much here as on the physics or math SE sites), but it should be very difficult to trigger accidentally. I have run into this same problem on my blog - I enabled LaTeX markup for anything in $...$ but there have been several times I've had to rewrite some normal text so that it doesn't use multiple dollar signs in one line.
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 3:43

3 Answers 3


We have removed TeX processing for now.

  • Thank you, thank you! Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 8:47
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    Thank you for adding the "for now" qualifier! Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 19:42
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    Mmmm.. It's odd for a newbie to this site that math.SE, stats.SE, cs.SE etc. etc. all use math-tex, while tex.SE doesn't. Very off-putting. Couldn't it just be disabled inside code blocks? The number of false positives outside code-blocks seems like it would be pretty small.
    – naught101
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 4:08
  • @naught101 - it would be even more confusing if tex.sx had a third behaviour that is even trickier than math.sx, etc. Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 18:17
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    @CharlesStewart: Um, no, this "third behaviour" is there even on Physics and Maths.
    – user32552
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 8:51

I also agree. If there is one Stack Exchange website on which TeX math markup should be displayed exactly as typed, it's this one. We mostly want to discuss TeX itself here, not mathematics, so it's almost always better to show TeX source rather than render it as mathematics.

(There would be some benefit sometimes to being able to show how some bit of code is rendered in TeX — BTW, the output of Google Charts or MathJax may not always be up to the task here — but if such a feature exists, it should come into effect only when explicitly asked for, not automatically.)

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    And anyway, we'd want to show how it actually renders in TeX, not some knock-off...
    – SamB
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 1:47

I was also surprised that my code was rendered on a different question, but I think that a rendering service is very useful. Whether it's as a LaTeXit style box in the sidebar, or as a mouseover-to-view-source service (my personal preference), it needs to be present in some form.

I'm not always at a computer with LaTeX installed (and even if I am, this site is for TeX, LaTeX, and Friends, many of which I don't have or want to install). It takes far longer to copy, compile, and preview a piece of code than it does to view it in my browser. I expect to see new, confusing code, possibly with subtle bugs on this site, and I'm not going to be able to do the compilation in my head every time.

IMO, the default for any inlined or blocked code should be syntax highlighted text, and it should be able to be toggled to render on a mouse action. Can we do that?

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