The WYSIWIG editor used for writing blogs, comments, forum posts etc now has an equation editor included, allowing more complex mathematical formulae and equations to be displayed.

Please note this is currently only available via the Internet Explorer browser.

Help with Equation Editor feature

The Equation Editor uses a language called LaTeX to present mathematical formulae as an image, which can then be presented on a web page.

The LaTeX language is quite logical to use, once the syntax is understood.

Numbers and single letters can be entered directly, as can any mathematical symbols already on the keyboard (such as the + or = signs)

Symbols (including greek letters) are generally produced by typing the name of the symbol preceded by a backslash (\) symbol. For example, "\alpha" results in α, or "\infty" gives a lemniscate (infinity symbol ∞).

To enter superscripts, use ^ before the item. For example, "x^2" would be rendered as "x squared".

Similarly, subscript can be produced with the _ underscore.

Some special operations, such as true fractions, square roots, integrals and suchlike, have their own command, and generally group the items to be operated on inside curly brackets {}.

Thus, the fraction "a over b" is encoded as "\frac {a} {b}", and the square root of x is written as "\sqrt {x}". A special case of the latter is expressing the nth root of x, which is written "\sqrt[n] {x}".

Limits or boundaries on functions (such as an integral with limits or sum over a range) are produced by adding "_{a}^{b}" to the end. So an integration between -1 and +1 would be written "\int_{-1}^{1}".

Sections of an equation may be grouped by use of curly brackets. To continue the above example of a fraction, to represent "a + b over c", use "\frac {a + b} {c}". These are of particular use when producing complex equations involving square roots and fractions (see the quadratic solution below).

Some useful information on the use of LaTeX can be found in the Wikimedia Project's Wiki Book on LaTeX, which has a Mathematics section: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Mathematics.

Finally, the best way to learn is to experiment with the Equation Editor to produce what you need. The equations should auto-preview after each character, so you can see how your equation will look before it is inserted into the text.

Please be sure you are happy with the appearance before clicking OK to insert, as there is currently no explicit way of editing equations once they have been inserted (they are treated as a normal picture by the WYSIWIG editor).

A couple of worked examples:

Constant Acceleration Equation

Where s is distance from origin, u is initial velocity, a is acceleration and t is time elapsed.