Latex Math Basics

\small{{\LaTeX}} math has always been the motivating factor to abandon word processing.  \small{{\LaTeX}} math offers superior typesetting control over formulas, data tables, and figures.

Package Support

The amsmath package introduces several commands that are more powerful and flexible than the ones that ship with \small{{\LaTeX}}.  To use amsmath, add the following line to the document preamble:

 LaTeX Math Modes

\small{{\LaTeX}} math two modes: the inline mode and the display mode. The first is used to write formulas that are part of a text or paragraph. The second is to write expressions that are not part of the text and are placed on separate lines.

LaTeX Inline Math

Here is an example of the inline mode: \small{\int_0^\infty x^2 = \frac{x^3}{3} + C}.  The \small{{\LaTeX}} markup commands appear below:

There are several ways to launch the inline mode:

  • \texttt{\small \textdollar \dots \textdollar} 
  • \texttt{\small \textbackslash( \dots\textbackslash )}
  • \texttt{\small \textbackslash begin\textbraceleft math\textbraceright \dots \textbackslash end\textbraceleft math\textbraceright}

Either command sequence is viable. The choice as to which is best is subjective and based on personal preference or coding standards.

LaTeX Display Math

The display mode has two versions: numbered and unnumbered, as shown below:


Hence, display mode can be launched with a markup syntax or by starting an equation environment:

  • \texttt{\small \textdollar\textdollar \dots \textdollar\textdollar}
  • \texttt{\small \textbackslash begin\textbraceleft equation\textbraceright \dots \textbackslash end\textbraceleft equation\textbraceright}

The environment has the benefit of \small{{\LaTeX}} macros for equation numbering and number formatting.