.. _LaTeX notation:
LaTeX notation
==============
LaTeX is the de facto standard mark-up language for mathematical notation.
It's syntactically very simple, but there's a fairly steep learning curve in learning the names of commands.
In Numbas, **inline maths** (maths notation that sits on the same line as the surrounding text) is delimited either by dollar signs, e.g.::
Calculate the expansion up to the $x^4$ term.
produces
Calculate the expansion up to the :math:`x^4` term.
**Display-mode** maths, which is displayed on its own line and rendered less compactly, is delimited by ``\[`` and ``\]``.
For example::
The quadratic formula is \[ x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{ b^2-4ac } }{ 2a } \]
produces
The quadratic formula is
.. math::
x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{ b^2-4ac } }{ 2a }
If you've never used LaTeX before, a couple of good places to start are the `LaTeX maths Wikibook `_ and the `Art of Problem Solving LaTeX Guide `_.
Bear in mind that LaTeX is only used for maths-mode, so the text-mode LaTeX commands don't apply.
To find the command for a symbol you want to use, draw it in `Detexify `_ and it will show you the commands for the most similar-looking symbols.
MathJax
-------
Numbas uses `MathJax `_ to render LaTeX notation.
The default Numbas theme loads MathJax from `cdnjs.org `_, a free service provided by a combination of sponsors.
If you'd like your exams to load MathJax from a different location, you can set your preferred URL in your account settings page: click on the account dropdown at the top-right of the page, then :guilabel:`Settings`.
Any exams or questions you download from the editor will load MathJax from your preferred URL.