Although the answer to this question turned out to be about text versus maths mode, it could so easily have been about something specific to MathJaX.

It is probably inevitable that we'll get questions about TeX spin-offs, should we:

  1. Tolerate them - there won't be that many
  2. Tolerate them, but leave notes to the effect of "Probably not the best site for this question"
  3. Actively discourage them
  • 1
    please clarify whether MathJax/jsMath/KaTeX questions are off-topic. It is not clear from this question.
    – Jason S
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 21:35

4 Answers 4


I think (2) is the best balance. They are within the 'TeX, LaTeX and Friends' area, I guess, but probably outside of the experience of many people here.

  • 2
    +1 agreed, and I think it'll also be important to recognize whether the question is really about TeX/LaTeX in general (as in the example linked in the question) or whether it's something peculiar to MathJaX/jsMath/whatever.
    – David Z
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 22:12

I think the LaTeX part of this tools is mostly on-topic, but can be borderline in certain cases. However, how to install and run this tools is off-topic. In the case of MathJax this would be how to install them on a website and how to troubleshoot software errors etc. Such questions do clearly belong to https://stackoverflow.com/, http://webmasters.stackexchange.com or other SX site.

We should definitively write a statement for the tag, which wiki is currently empty.

  • 3
    I now added a tag wiki with excerpt based on Joseph's and my answer here. Feel free to make edit suggestions. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 14:55
  • Thanks for doing this: I was about to open a meta question to cover basically this issue.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:15
  • @JosephWright: Me too, then this question popped up while I was typing my question title ;-) Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:23

It may be worth pointing out that stackoverflow (but not currently webmasters) has an existing mathjax tag (Davide Cervone, the Mathjax lead developer seems to fairly actively monitor the S.O. mathjax tag)


I use MathJax regularly, and I hope that questions about MathJax will be allowed on the tex.stackexchange website in the future.

All code which is valid in MathJax is also valid in LaTeX.

For example, we have the following MathJax code which will execute on math.stackexchange and it will execute just fine in LaTeX as well:

$$\sum_{i=0}^n i^2 = \frac{(n^2+n)(2n+1)}{6}$$

The above works fine in LaTeX just as must as it works in MathJax.

A screen capture of the results is embedded below:

SCREEN CAPTURE OF A WEBPAGE ON math.stackexchange.com

The website, imgur, compresses images. The .JPEG image above looks much blurrier than it does on this page, when actually rendered by MathJax.

I hope that, someday, there will be an alternative to MathJax. However, MathJax is the only tool I have seen for rendering mathematical equations on the stack exchange family of websites. For now, MathJax is one of my favorite tools for that job.

  • "All code which is valid in MathJax is also valid in LaTeX." .... so \lt is valid in latex? Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 8:42
  • 4
    mathjax is a tour de force of JavaScript programming but it does not use TeX all, which for example is why it is not enabled on tex.stackexchange even though it is enabled on other sites on the network. As I commented 10 years ago on my answer, the mathjax tag on stackoverflow is actively monitored and nothing you say in this answer suggests that this site would be better than stackoverflow for mathjax questions. "The above works fine in LaTeX just as must as it works in MathJax." is rather misleading. Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 19:48

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