# 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 \(x^4\) 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

\[x = \frac{ -b \pm \sqrt{ b^2-4ac } }{ 2a }\]

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 Settings. Any exams or questions you download from the editor will load MathJax from your preferred URL.