LaTeX Glossary

My.SUPA has been setup to allow maths to be written quickly using LaTeX notation. This can be included anywhere you see a text box in your course area -- including news or social forums, web pages and wikis. The format for entering LaTeX in My.SUPA is to wrap the code between two pairs of dollar signs. $$ a=b+c $$

If you are looking at this for the first time, please read the entries under 01 Getting Started for an overview. The list of entries may be viewed by categories or alphabetically.

01 Getting Started
| 02 Arithmetic expressions | 03 Font Styles | 04 Delimiters
05 Spaces
| 06 Symbols | 07 Relations | 09 Structures | 10 Feynman Diagrams
11 Other LaTeX Software
Browse the glossary using this index

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lambda (lower case greek letter)

$$\lambda$$ gives \lambda

Lambda (upper case greek letter)

$$\Lambda$$ gives \Lambda

Learning Formula

\frac{success}{problem}=~\unitlength{.6}~\picture(100){~~(50,50){\circle(99)}~ ~(20,55;50,0;2){+1$\hat\bullet}~~(50,40){\bullet}~~(50,35){\circle(50,25;34)}~ ~(50,35){\circle(50,45;34)}}

left only brace

  • Syntax: \left{...\right.  (note the dot at the end!)
  • Ex.: $$f(x)=\left{{x^2, \rm~if x>-1\atop~0, \rm~else}\right.$$ gives

f(x)=\left{{x^2, \rm~if x>-1\atop~0, \rm~else}\right.

(\rm~something switches to roman style)

less than

$$<$$   gives

less than or equal

$$x\le~y$$ or $$x\leq~y$$ gives



LyX is a LaTeX editor available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Unlike other LaTeX packages, LyX looks similar to a word processor such as Microsoft Word. For more information, please visit the website at:


math spaces

List of predefined spaces:

Math Spaces
\, (smallest predefined)$$a\,b$$a\,b
\:  (second smallest predefined)$$a\:b$$a\:b
\;  (third smallest predefined)$$a\;b$$a\;b
\/  (avoiding ligatures)$$V\/A$$ instead of $$VA$$V\/A instead of VA
\quad  (space of current character set size)$$a\quad~b$$a\quad~b
\qquad  (double space of current character set size)$$a\qquad~b$$a\qquad~b
\_ (where _ is blank!)

$$a\ b$$

(whereas $$a\b$$ is not a valid filter expression since the blank space is missing; it is recommended to use the tilde ~ instead of the simple whitespace)

a\ b

\hspace{n} ,where n positive integer (= n Pixels)









\unitlength{m}\hspace{n}, changes the default unit length (m=1px) to be applied


(second space is 10x2=20px)


Note: Simple blank spaces and tildes (~) are ignored by the TeX filter and don't produce any space. You must use one of the defined math spaces to get a visible (extra) space.

mathematics expression

  • A valid expression inside the $'s is rendered as mathematics in an inserted gif image.
  • Ex.: $$x=y^2$$ creates 



  • An (m,n)-matrix is considered as an array of m*n elements, where the elements of a column are separated by "&" and the rows by "\\".
  • Syntax for an (m,n)-matrix:
    \begin{array}{colformat}a11&...&a1n\\a21&...&a2n\\... \\am1&...&amn \end{array}

    colformat defines the format of each of the n columns: l for left, r for right and c for center (hence {ccccc} defines for a (m,5)-matrix in which all columns are centered)

  • Ex.: $$\left(\begin{array}{lcr}a_{\tiny1}+d & a_{\tiny2}+d & a_{\tiny3}+d \\ b_{\tiny1}& b_{\tiny2}& b_{\tiny3} \\ c_{\tiny1} & c_{\tiny2} & c_{\tiny3} \end{array}\right)$$ gives

\left(\begin{array}{lcr}a_{\tiny1}+d & a_{\tiny2}+d & a_{\tiny3}+d \\ b_{\tiny1}& b_{\tiny2}& b_{\tiny3} \\ c_{\tiny1} & c_{\tiny2} & c_{\tiny3} \end{array}\right)

Note in the example above that "lcr" has the effect that column 1 is left aligned, column 2 centered and colums 3 right aligned.

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