Welcome to TeX.SX, the free, community driven Questions and Answers site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems.

Here is some information to help you get started and to make your work with this site a pleasant experience for you and all other users.

  • This site is for Questions and answers and is not a forum. This means that there is a quite strict format enforced here. Please post an answerable question using the Ask Question button (after searching for existing similar questions first of course) or post an solution for an existing question as an answer post. Please do not start discussions or ask off-topic questions. You can also post comments to questions and answers to provide feedback. At first you can only comment on your own questions and their answers, but after you have gained a reputation of 50 you can comment everywhere. There is also chat for more casual posts.

  • Questions and answers can receive positive and negative votes to indicate their quality. Answers are sorted after the number of votes so that the better ones appear first. The votes that answers and questions receive also increase or decrease the reputation of the author of the post. With increasing reputation users will receive more and more privileges to do more things on the site.

  • The most useful answer that solved your problem should be accepted by clicking the tick/checkmark symbol to the left of the answer. This shows other people that this is "the correct answer" in your opinion and assigns points to the answerer and also you. The question will then be handled as "done" which is important for the housekeeping of the site. However, new answers can still be added and the question asker can accept a different answer at any time.

  • It is highly recommended to add a compilable, but minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. This way other users can compile it themselves, analyze error messages more closely and also easily implement and test their solutions before posting them. This allows also for full, compilable examples to be posted in the answers which are very helpful for the question asker and all other people with the same problem. Note that in (La)TeX, issues are often dependent on the packages used, and other people won't be able to provide much help if they don't know which packages you are using. Another reason for constructing a MWE is that you will often discover the source of your problem yourself just by trying to construct the example.

  • Post should be formatted correctly using the simple Markdown format. This ensures that the posts are easy to read. Here the most important formatting styles used on this site:

    • Format (La)TeX code as code blocks by indenting them with four spaces. The {} button (shortcut: CTRL+K) will do this for you.
    • Format inline code using backticks, e.g. write `\somecode` to produce \somecode. Instead of typing the backticks, you can also highlight \somecode and use the {} button (shortcut: CTRL+K).
      This format should also be used for single macro and environment names, package and class names as well as command line executables.
    • Please do not use "here" and "this" links to other questions and answers but insert the link directly. The site will format it automatically.
    • Error messages should be formatted as code blocks, not as quotations because they usually contain (La)TeX code which is more readable in this format.
    • Quotes from manuals, website etc. as well as example text results (not code) should be formatted using quotation blocks (i.e. place a > before the lines)
    • Images should only be uploaded using the "Image" icon (shortcut: CTRL+G) which uses a special, time-less http://imgur.com/ account. Including images using a different way, like uploading it manually to imgur.com or using a different provider, might lead to broken images after a while and is not recommended. Please ensure that the image is in a suitable size (not too big or too small) and resolution and only shows relevant things without large margins.
  • Please avoid opening and closing lines like "Hi" (already automatically removed) and "Thanks". Salutations, greetings and expressions of gratitude are already implied and only distract from the real question. Also the first two lines of the post will be displayed below the question title in the overview page and such lines will reduce the amount of useful information being displayed there. The author name is already displayed on the right site below the post, so there is no need for an extra signature line.

  • This is a serious, international site for high quality content. Please write in English and avoid leetspeak or similar things even if they are common in other places of the Internet. Non-native English speakers are very welcome and your English doesn't have to be perfect, but posts should show some basic effort. This will make your post readable to most people and greatly improves the chance of getting good answers. The fact that all posts are editable also means that other users may correct your English for you if necessary.

  • Please post rough ideas, suggestions and similar material as comments and reserve answers for actual solutions. You can edit your posts anytime to e.g. add more details to your question or to adjust your answer. Do not use long comment threads for longer or even medium sized discussions. Use chat instead. You can even open your own chat room if you want. Please note that everything here is open and all your chat messages will be archived and accessible to others (as long the room is not restricted by a moderator).

  • You can notify other users by adding comments to their posts or by adding their names after an @, i.e. @username in your comment. Note this only works for the first user mentioned this way and only if that user wrote a previous comment for the same post. The post author is always notified. Notifications also work in chat if the user posted a message there not too long ago. See When writing a comment, how do I ensure that the person it is addressed to gets notified? for more details.

  • There are three democratically elected moderators for this site. They can be notified about issues by flagging posts using the flag link below each post.

  • While you can post questions and answers as unregistered user, please consider registering your account. Otherwise you might create a new, different unregistered account with the same name and icon. Then you will not be able to edit your old posts or add comments to them. You can ask a moderator to merge such accounts together.

  • Questions about the site itself should be asked on Meta.TeX.SX, not on the main site. Here the restrictions are lower and you are free to start discussions as long they are about how to run the site etc.

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A collections of things I repeatable tell new users. Feel free to update and improve it. –  Martin Scharrer Jun 22 '11 at 14:35
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IMHO all the "Welcome to tex.sx!" in the Text building blocks should link to this page. I might change them after a while. –  Martin Scharrer Jun 22 '11 at 14:37
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w/r/t point 1, we now show hints on answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86576/… try it yourself by using Incognito/Private/Anonymous browsing mode, then focusing an answer. Also you should know that comment and editing help are pre-expanded for all new users by default. Lead a horse to water, etc. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 26 '11 at 12:26
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I've added a link to this page to the FAQ main page (the moderators can only edit part of the FAQ: the rest is reserved for Jeff et al.) –  Joseph Wright Jul 2 '11 at 9:10
    
@Jeff: Perhaps we could have a link to this page in addition to the one for the FAQ in the 'New User' bar? –  Joseph Wright Jul 2 '11 at 9:16
    
@joseph that message cannot be customized at this time –  Jeff Atwood Jul 2 '11 at 9:27
    
@Jeff: I was not sure, but thanks for the quick reply. –  Joseph Wright Jul 2 '11 at 10:03
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what is the size of a chat room message? i just had to break a message into pieces because it was too long. comment fields here say how many characters are left, but chat messages don't, and i can't find information on their size (probably don't know where to look). if this is better entered as a new question, please let me know. –  barbara beeton Jan 18 '12 at 22:55
    
@MartinScharrer: I suggest adding something like You can separate multiple code blocks with an HTML-comment <!-- --> if theres no regular text between them., but I can't edit your text ({featured} tag needed …) :-/ –  Tobi Jan 3 at 14:41

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