Comment formatting

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Revision as of 23:13, 16 May 2010 by RobinZ (talk | contribs) (Relinking LaTeX wikipedia page and mentioning purpose.)
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This page describes some of the formatting options while commenting on Less Wrong. For a complete description, see Markdown's syntax.

(For the Wiki formatting rules, see Help:Formatting at MediaWiki and Help:Style_Guide#Formatting.)


  • *italics* gives italics
  • **bold** gives bold
  • [Less Wrong]( gives Less Wrong

Lists are as such:

* item 1
* item 2
* item 3	

Quoted text is prefaced with an '>':

> quoted text

Putting two extra spaces at the end of a line allows to create a newline without starting a new paragraph (_'s represent spaces):

line 1__
next line is directly below

Escaping special symbols

Special symbols, such as closing brackets or stars, may interfere with Markdown syntax. These symbols need to be escaped, that is preceded by by the escape character backslash '\'.

For example, linking to the wikipedia article Bias (statistics) with the code


will result in incorrect rendering. This can be fixed by placing backslash '\' before the closing bracket in URL:


Below is the list of all characters that may need to be escaped:

\ backslash
` backtick
* asterisk
_ underscore
{} curly braces
[] square brackets
() parentheses
# hash mark
+ plus sign
- minus sign (hyphen)
. dot
! exclamation mark

Using LaTeX

LaTeX (pronounced lay-tek) is a popular interface for writing technical documents, in part because of its elegant syntax for recording mathematical equations. To render LaTeX in a Less Wrong comment, it is recommended that you use this web app. Read the section "LaTeX by Hand" if you want to understand the code the app gives you or do things by hand for some reason (e.g. your browser doesn't support Javascript).

LaTeX By Hand

To display the formula defined by LaTeX code


use the following code in your comment:


this will render the image: Latex example.png

Watch out for the special symbols in the above section while writing LaTeX code. For example, rendering f(x) using the following code is incorrect:


The correct version is this one:


Additionally some characters (such as " " and "^") need to be URI encoded. For example, the URI encoding of " " is "%20".

\Delta t