## Short explanation of TeX

[ambient page * updated * 11 Oct 05]
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[* garrett@math.umn.edu *]

A description of a tiny subset of Donald Knuth's TeX markup system:
(0) Enclose all math in dollar signs, as $x^2-2x+1$. For _displayed_
math, meaning centered on a line by itself, use double dollar
signs: $$ x^2+2x+1 = (x+1)^2 $$
(1) Use caret for superscripts: $x^2$ is x-squared
(2) Use underbar for subscripts: $x_2$ is x-sub-two.
In both cases, the standard implementations of TeX do something that
may or may not surprise you: $x^23$ will be x-squared with a '3' right
after it, NOT x-to-the-23rd. To have larger exponents (more than a
single character), use _braces_ ("curly brackets"!?): $x^{23}$ would
be x-to-the-23rd. Similarly for subscripts.
(3) For keywords like "lim" inside "math mode", put a backslash in
front: $$ \lim_{x \rightarrow \infty } x/(x^2+1) = 0 $$
(4) The previous example also includes two other standard "escaped"
things, "\rightarrow" and "\infty" which are standard TeX
thingies. Guess what they stand for!?!?!?
(4') _Do_not_ use "->" for \rightarrow, since the "->" will not
typeset as well...
(5) There is also $ { x^2+1 \over x^2-2x+1 } $ which would create a
fraction x-squared-plus-1 over x-squared-minus-2x-plus-1. This can
also be written (in LaTeX and/or AMSTeX) as
$\frac{x^2+1}{x^2-2x+1}$
(6) Integral signs are $\int$. If you want limits on them, say lower
limit $a$ and upper limit $b$, do $\int_a^b$ (just like
superscripts and subscripts).
(7) Square root of blah is $\sqrt{blah}$
(8) not-equal-to is $\not=$
(9) greater-than-or-equal is $\ge$, while
less-than-or-equal is $\le$
(10) nth root of blah is ${\root {n} \of {blah}}$
(11) "degrees" maybe just make a superscript lowercase 'o':
"180 degrees" would be $180^o$ or $180^\circ$.
(12) \Delta and \delta for upper and lower-case delta
(13) \Theta and \theta for upper and lower-case theta
(14) \pi for pi
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The University of Minnesota explicitly requires that I state that "The
views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the
page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or
approved by the University of Minnesota."
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Unless explicitly noted otherwise, everything here, work
by Paul Garrett, is licensed
under a Creative
Commons Attribution 3.0
Unported License.
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[* garrett@math.umn.edu *]

The University of Minnesota explicitly requires that I
state that *"The views and opinions expressed in this page are
strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not
been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota."*