Canvas Equation Editor Tips: Chemistry
This document details how to write chemical formulas and equations using the Advanced View of the Canvas Equation Editor.
Writing Chemical Formulas
You can use the advanced view in the equation editor to write chemical formulas. For formula writing, use _ (underscore) for subscripts and ^ (carat) for superscripts. If there is more than one character in the subscript or superscript, wrap the characters with braces { }. If you’d like your chemical formulas without the italics, use advanced view and \text{ } to enclose the elements.
Formula 
How to type in Advanced View 

C_6H_6 

\text{C}_6\text{H}_6 

SO_4^{2} 

\text{SO}_4^{2} 

Al_3(SO_4)_2 

\text{Al}_3(\text{SO}_4)_2 
Writing Scientific Notation
There are two ways to write the times symbol: \times and \cdot. Use ^ for exponents. If the exponent contains more than one character, place the exponent text in braces { }. Use \text{ } wrapped around units to remove the italicization. Use \space to place space between numbers and units.
Scientific Notation 
How to type in Advanced View 

5.10\times10^{3}\space\text{mol} 

6.02\cdot10^{23}\space\text{atoms} 
Writing Chemical Equations
To write chemical equations, you’ll need to use a variety of reaction arrows. Here’s a short list of arrows that can be used in the advanced view of the equation editor.
Arrow 
LaTeX Code 

\longrightarrow 

\longleftarrow 

\xrightarrow{text} 

\xleftarrow{text} 

\leftrightharpoons 

\rightleftharpoons 

\rightleftarrows 

\leftrightarrows 
Using the advanced view, we can write equations like the following examples. You may wish to use \space to provide space between quantities and chemical formulas. If you want to remove the italicized elements, it is usually easier to write the formula first, and then go through and insert \text{ } around all the elements in the formula.
Scientific Notation 
How to type in Advanced View 

CH_4+2O_2\longrightarrow CO_2+2H_2O 

\text{CH}_4+2\text{O}_2\longrightarrow \text{CO}_2+2\text{H}_2\text{O} 

2 H_2O_2\space(aq)\xrightarrow{Pt} 2 H_2O\space(l)+O_2\space(g) 

2\space\text{H}_2\text{O}_2\space(aq) \xrightarrow{\text{Pt}} 2\space\text{H}_2\text{O}\space(l)+ \text{O}_2\space(g) 
Last update: 20150127
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