Use the Canvas Math Equation Editor (the slow way)

The most straightforward way to input mathematical formulae in Canvas is to use the Math Equation Editor built into the Rich Content Editor.

The Math Equation Editor functions in a similar way to what you might have used in Microsoft Word — to input a formula, you can type and/or click from an array of buttons to do things like shift to an exponent, make a fraction, add an integral, input a Greek letter, etc. While it works fine, it is quite cumbersome and slow to build equations in this manner – it might take you a couple dozen mouse-clicks to create a single formula!

Use the Canvas Math Equation Editor with LaTeX (the fast way)

The Canvas Math Equation Editor also enables using LaTeX (“lay-tech”). LaTeX is a markup language for writers to signify when they are using a mathematical expression, and then Canvas takes care of displaying it in a standardized and predictable way. For example, the LaTeX form of the quadratic formula shown earlier is:

x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}

If you know the LaTeX format, you can input it right into the equation editor, and then make adjustments as needed. Once you know the syntax of LaTeX, it makes mathematical expressions a lot easier to input in a way that ensures a reliable, high-quality, and accessible display.

Use LaTeX Directly in Any Canvas Text Field

In Canvas, you can also use LaTeX expressions in just about any field that accepts text. However, you must let Canvas know you are using LaTeX by using specific “character wraps” or delineating characters around your LaTeX syntax. In the below examples, the delineating characters are highlighted in red.

For inline display, to show the expression within a paragraph of regular text, you would use:

$$...$$

For block display, to set the expression into its own separate center block, you would use:

$$...$$

In both cases, you would add the LaTeX expression you want to display into the space between the wraps, where the ellipsis is shown.

Inline example:

The area under a curve is $$area = \int_{a}^b f(x)dx$$

Block example:

Using page 83 in your textbook, please also solve:
$$y=x^2$$
$$y = mx + b$$
$$\sqrt(s)$$

Here’s how it looks when pasted into the text editor on a Canvas Page:

Here’s how it would display, after you hit “Publish” on the Page. Note the differences between the inline and block presentation:

You can input LaTeX into any Canvas text field, but keep in mind that inline display will work better in some areas than block display (such as within titles for Assignments or Pages).