I suspect this might easily be a clone question, it seems impossible that nobobdy would've asked this before, but my searches seem to return nothing.

I've grown very used to the MathJaX input here. So much, that when I need to show some maths to somebody, I'd go to Math.SE "Ask Question" and then just type it up there and then usually send it as a picture or something along those lines.

This is, however, very impractical (not to say lame)

My question therefore is: is there any way how to do this in a more sophisticated and practical way? Either output the Math.SE preview in a better way, or a (not necessarily) online editor. I've tried many different online editors, but they all fail at different details such as recognizing stars as bold/italic, characters such as $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathscr{U}$, general formatting, etc.


Edit: I wouldn't want to turn this into a LaTeX online editor question. I am well aware of that and I can always give up and go to LaTeX. It's just that I love the input on Math.SE and would like to use it not just for asking questions here.

To demonstrate further - I sometimes take an existing answer on Math.SE and make edits on it (and/or translate it) for my own purposes. What would be the easiest way to do this?

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    May be we should add **download as pdf** option at the side of **share edit retag flag** in this machine. :) – 007resu Jan 11 '13 at 23:53
  • If that were to happen, I'd probably open a bottle of champagne or something. – Dahn Jan 11 '13 at 23:55
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    In that case you could always use something like CutePDF or PDFCreator to print to a PDF file. – Antonio Vargas Jan 12 '13 at 00:17
  • For printing purposes there is also the stackprinter. See http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/3079 – Martin Jan 12 '13 at 02:06
  • @Martin. Thanks together with the sandbox, this could do the job (even if sloppy). However, I have just one last problem, I've tried a number of PDF creators and none of them seem to preserve signs such as $\mathbb{R}$, do you have any ideas what to do about that? – Dahn Jan 12 '13 at 07:32
  • I don't know why it doesn't work for you. Maybe you need to install the [STIX fonts for MathJax](http://www.mathjax.org/help-v2/fonts/)? – Martin Jan 12 '13 at 08:28
  • I wish I could write a personal math blog using math.stackexchange functionality. – littleO Feb 10 '14 at 18:08
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    See also: [MathJax: better way to prepare a Math.StackExchange question?](https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4735) on meta. (And some of the [posts linked there](https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/linked/4735).) – Martin Sleziak Nov 28 '19 at 14:49

5 Answers5


The best way:

For later reference - this question is now obsolete, as https://stackedit.io/ exists.

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    I have used Qute. Pretty useful. This may be better. – marty cohen May 11 '15 at 21:30
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    I see that StackEdit allows you to type in MathJax, but I don't see any equation-writing tools to allow you to type an equation and have the code generated. Is that right? Is there any tool that allows you to enter an equation as you would in Microsoft Equation Editor (i.e. without knowing the Markdown code)? – Hack-R Jul 30 '15 at 17:15
  • @Hack-R: I highly recommend taking a look at some basic latex anyway. It will help you a lot for writing down anything remotely mathematical. And if you know some basic latex syntax you should be good to go with Mathjax and Markdown. – Wizard Dec 30 '15 at 18:55
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    Note that stackedit 5 switched from MathJax to KaTeX, which makes it basically useless for writing math.se questions... :-( – MarnixKlooster ReinstateMonica Jun 02 '18 at 15:22
  • As an example, stackedit.io doesn't support `\begin{align}` due to KaTeX. – Tom Hale Jun 05 '20 at 04:10

[Last update 2015-05] Just to add some options for people stumbling upon this.

  • stackedit comes closes to regular StackExchange-like Markdown and MathJax behavior.
  • marx works similarly.
  • MathBin is focused on sharable snippets. The already mentioned MathB.in has been retired and points to texpaste which does have markdown support.
  • Notepag.es's website appears dead, but you can find the source on GitHub if you want to host it yourself.
  • Authorea can also do markdown with MathJax.
  • Qute is a desktop application. There are now a gazillion others and many text editors have plugins (e.g., Atom, Sublime)

All of these should work for markdown+mathjax but might not behave identical to the SE-flavored combination.

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  • Notepag.es looks really great, but I can't figure out how to do in-line math. Any ideas? (there's also no help page that I can find...) – JeremyKun Jan 09 '14 at 19:58
  • Actually, that link revealed Stackedit.io, which appears to be less simple but way better for me. – JeremyKun Jan 09 '14 at 20:02
  • Not a big fan of MathBin, simply because all the output is in red. – Ethan Bierlein Oct 30 '14 at 01:19
  • MathBin and Notepag.es give "Forbidden" and "502 bag Gateway" errors respectively, but maybe it's just my network? – Hack-R May 13 '15 at 15:02
  • Right. The original answer is very old. I only updated the links to the MathJax docs recently. I'll check later if I can find working links for those. But there are lots of editors and plugins out there now and of course Stackedit is great which was released after my original posting. – Peter Krautzberger May 13 '15 at 15:11
  • marx doesn't support `$$equations$$`. – Tom Hale Jun 05 '20 at 04:12

Most sites offer no assistance in entering formulas, these ones do:

Excellent online mathjax editor with clean interface


Other options, interface a bit more complicated though but that's a personal choice

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The meta site has a sandbox for drafts. You can type your post there and share a direct link to it.


I use MathBin to send quizzes or notes to students.

Antonio Vargas
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  • Thanks. That is, however, a "last resort" for me - I'd very much like to write my maths *exactly* as here on Math.SE. *If that's possible*, though.. – Dahn Jan 11 '13 at 23:35
  • @DahnJahn The only difference I've noticed is that you have to use [EQ][/EQ] and [IEQ][/IEQ] instead of `$$ $$` and `$ $` there. Is that what you're referring to? – Antonio Vargas Jan 11 '13 at 23:37
  • Yes, that itself makes it less useful for purposes than any LaTeX online editor out there. I've added an example in the main post to demonstrate this further. – Dahn Jan 11 '13 at 23:48
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    MathBin is now shut down. The [page](http://mathbin.net/) points to [TexPaste](http://www.texpaste.com/) as a replacement. – Jean-Claude Arbaut Nov 28 '14 at 06:09