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New Member

Latex without editor

I want to know if I can type LaTeX in canvas without using the equation editor.  

At present, I'm unable to get things to work using either mathjax syntax or regular latex syntax in the rich content editor.  

The equation editor is not a solution for me; far too time consuming.

4 Replies
Community Champion


Canvas does not natively support this, although some institutions have added support for MathJax by modifying their global JavaScript file at the account or subaccount level. Some of this is old, so I'm not sure if it still works.

There have also been feature requests for this. One lengthy one is now in cold storage: 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi there,  @koehlerj ...

I've been looking through some of the older postings here in the Community, and I came across yours.  I noticed that we have not heard back from you since you first posted this question on October 3, 2017 and then received a response from  @James  later that day.  Have you had an opportunity to review the feedback from James?  If so, did his feedback help to answer your question?  Are there any additional questions you have yet as it relates to your initial question?  Or, if you feel that James has answered your question, please feel free to mark his response as "Correct".  But, by all means, please let us know if you have additional questions related to this topic.  For now, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because we've not heard from you since early October and because there hasn't been any new activity in this thread for that same amount of time.  That won't prevent you or others from posting comments or asking questions, however.  I hope that this is okay with you, Jacob.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

Community Champion


After years of waiting, the ability to type LaTeX directly is coming with the February 2021 release. According to Canvas, you will be able to add math content anywhere there is a text field.

I was dubious of use of "text field" since some things (conversations and submission comments) have notoriously been plain text only. I tested a couple of things in the beta instance. Here's what I found.

  • It does not update until you save the text.
  • It does work in submission comments viewed within Canvas (at least inside SpeedGrader).
  • For discussions, it does immediately show once the message is posted.
  • For legacy quizzes (I didn't test new quizzes), it does not display while editing the question or the quiz. It does work when I previewed the quiz.
  • It does show up in Inbox conversations.
New Member

When creating new questions in the question bank the latex does not render, so there is no way to see if you have an error as you write the code.  When you add the question to the quiz, there is still no rendering of the MathJax. You have to preview your entire quiz to check for errors.  Lesson: write Latex elsewhere and copy-paste into Canvas.

One nice thing: in formula questions you can put the variable inside the latex code and the numerical value will render on the quiz.

Continued gripes:  (i) there is still no way to have a multiple answer formula question, (ii) there is still no way to pipe student responses into future questions/formulae so that you can give credit for correct later derivations/calculations even if earlier derivations/calculation are incorrect.  It boggles the mind how an LMS that touts itself as serious does not have this feature.  This is not serious. That said, I am stuck with my universities choice so I have to work with what I have.

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