Typing Equations on WordPress

Many teachers have asked me how I manage to put up those beautiful equations onto my posts. In this article, I will explain how I use LaTex to create those equations in my posts.

LaTex

LaTex is a system that scientists used to write their scientific journals. LaTex is huge. According to the LaTex organisation ,

LaTeX is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting. It is most often used for medium-to-large technical or scientific documents but it can be used for almost any form of publishing.

You could create a whole document using LaTex. However, for most teachers, we usually use our favorite word processors to create our document, inserting equations only when necessary. Some word processors have built-in features that allow you to type equations. Others require you to install third party software, such as MathType.

For web sites, you would need to check whether your content management system allows third party plugins to enable LaTex entry. Most popular CMS would have such plugins made available by third party, including WordPress. However, WordPress takes a step further by including this function in its default setup.

Enabling LaTex in WordPress

If you are logging into the official WordPress website, then LaTex is already enabled by default. If you are using a hosted WordPress site, you would need to create an account with WordPress.com site and link your hosted WordPress with the WordPress.com account using Jetpack. After you linked up the account, activate Beautiful Math function under the Jetpack setting.

LaTex Basics

To type an equation, you would enclose the expression within the [latex] and [/latex] short code.

a=b+c is typed as [latex]a=b+c[/latex].

Space is ignored, so there is no difference whether you typed one for two spaces or even no space for formatting purpose. You may try typing [latex] a  =b +       c[/latex] and you would get the same result as above.

Symbols

To insert symbols, you would use the forward slash i.e. \times would produce \times.

Symbols

\times : \times
\div : \div
\approx : \approx

Greek symbols

The codes for Greek symbols are the name of the symbols.

\alpha : [latex]\alpha[/latex]
\beta : [latex]\beta[/latex]
\gamma : [latex]\gamma[/latex]

For symbols that are Greek capitals, capitalise the first letter. For example,

\omega - \Omega : [latex]\omega – \Omega [/latex]

Mathematical structures

\frac{x}{y} : [latex]\frac{x}{y}[/latex]
x^y : [latex]x^y[/latex]
x_y : [latex]x_y[/latex]
\begin{aligned}\frac{dy}{dx}  \end{aligned} : [latex]\frac{dy}{dx}[/latex]
\begin{aligned} \int_a^b x^2 dx \end{aligned}  : [latex]\int_a^b x^2 dx[/latex]

Text, including units

\text{This is a statement.}

To get a full list, use this cheat sheet.

Combinations

The power of LaTex comes when you combine the above codes. For example,

\begin{aligned} \text{circumference of circle }=\frac{\pi d^2}{4} \end{aligned} : [latex] \text{circumference of circle }=\frac{\pi d^2}{4} [/latex]
\begin{aligned} F_\text{charge} = \frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0}\frac{Q_1 Q_2}{r^2} \end{aligned} : [latex] F_\text{charge} = \frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0}\frac{Q_1 Q_2}{r^2} [/latex]

Multiple Equations

Very often, you would want to show derivations of include multiple lines of equations. The ideal way would be to align the equal signs so that the list of equations looks neat. To do that, we need to add the aligned formatter.

\begin{aligned} \text{kinetic energy}&=\frac{1}{2}mv^2\\&=\frac{1}{2}(0.50)(2^2)\\&= 1 \text{ J}\end{aligned} :
[latex]\begin{aligned} \text{kinetic energy}&=\frac{1}{2}mv^2\\&=\frac{1}{2}(0.50)(2^2)\\&= 1 \text{ J}\end{aligned} [/latex]

Use & to fix the alignment character. In the above example, &= will align all the equal signs.

Review

Challenge 1

Enable LaTex entry for your WordPress site.

Challenge 2

Using LaTex, create the following equations on your site.

\begin{aligned} E&=mc^2 \\ \text{specific heat capacity}&=mc\Delta \theta\\\frac{1}{R_\text{total}}&=\frac{1}{R_1}+\frac{1}{R_2}+...\end{aligned}

 

 

DEEP Learning – Singapore 30 April 2016

iBooks Author – Design

Design is an important aspect of writing a book. A book that contains a lot of information in text does not catch the attention of its readers. Capturing this information into visuals is an important skill that an author can use to make his book more popular.

Graphic design is visual, which means That it involves our sense of sight. The skillful ways which graphics designers arrange and present words and images using text, colour, size and composition – makes it possible for us to see, remember (and enjoy!) complex ideas.

There are a few points that you can take note when you design an iBook:

  1. Contrast
  2. Repetition
  3. Alignment
  4. Proximity

Contrast

Contrast can be obtained by the clever use of colours, shapes, size and positions.

Repetition

Repetition refers to reusing common elements in your book. For example, assign colours to specific elements and be consistent throughout your book. Readers would be able to link the meaning of your content by the perception of colour.

Alignment

Text blocks and image edges should be alignment to give the readers a neat and well organised content. It makes visual search for contents easy for the reader too.

Proximity

COntents that are related should be closed to each other. For example, in the design of a travel brochure, all the facts about the history of the place should be together, while places to eat should then be grouped together, away from the first block.

Colours

400px-Hsv_color_circle.svg

A colour wheel shows the primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Primary colours are yellow, red and blue. Secondary colours are orange, purple and green. Tertiary colours occupy between the primary and secondary colours.

To choose a set of colours that are compatible to a specific colour, the different colours should extend on the colour wheel from this colour until the next primary colour. In the example, if your chosen colour is blue, then a set of campatible colours should extend from either sides until, but not including, yellow and red.

IMG_3372

If you have limited colours in your design, then you could use hues to represent more colours. In using hues, there are three schemes:

  1. Analogous, which are the hues on either sides of your chosen colour,
  2. Complement, which are the hues on the opposite sides of the colour wheel, and
  3. Split complement, which are the two hues on either sides of the opposite hue.

IMG_3376IMG_3377IMG_3378

Summary

Positioning of text blocks and illustrations should follow the CRAP rule: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. Contrast can be brought about by the creative use of colours, shapes, size and positions. Repetition in reusing of elements to represent certain means should be adhered to, so that readers can draw a meaning from the patterns. Alignment makes the contents neat and easy to search for patterns. Proximity groups contents of similar nature together so that readers can obtain most of the information efficiently.

Colours make your iBook attractive. Choice of colours can be made by following the colour wheel. From your chosen colour, you may use any colours to the left and right until the next primary colour, or if you have limited colours, you may choose colour hues. When choosing hues, you may choose using the analogous, complementary or split complementary colour schemes.