Skip to main content
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Canvas Equation Editor Tips: Advanced View

Find your school's Canvas URL

To find your school or institution's Canvas URL, begin typing the name of your school/institution. Results will appear after you type at least 3 characters. For best results be as specific as possible. If you can't find your school, try using any part of your school's name or searching for your school district or state. You may also need to search for the school using the acronym or full name, for example "USU" and "Utah State University".

Canvas Equation Editor Tips: Advanced View

This document provides instruction for using LaTex in the Advanced View of the Canvas Equation Editor.

With the Advanced View of the Canvas Equation Editor, you can input more complicated mathematical text using LaTeX, like matrices, interval notation, and piecewise functions. In case you don’t have a lot of LaTeX experience, here are some tips for how to write LaTex for some commonly used mathematics.

In addition to the Equation Editor, equations can be added manually in any Canvas area that includes a text field, such as the title of an assignment or in a calendar event.

More tips can be found in the Basic View Tips PDF.

Interval Notation (mixed parentheses and brackets)

For interval notation using parentheses on both sides or brackets on both sides, you can use the basic view. Just type ( to get ( ) or [ to get [ ] in the editor.

Left parenthesis \left( infinity symbol \infty

Left bracket \left[ negative infinity -\infty

Right parenthesis \right)  square root \sqrt{ }

Right bracket \right]   fraction \frac{ }{ }

Below are several examples that should help you construct the LaTeX for the interval notation you need. 


LaTeX in Advanced View















\left(\sqrt{5} ,\frac{3}{4}\right]


Piecewise Functions

You can use the Advanced View of the Canvas Equation Editor to write piecewise functions. To do this, you will need to write the appropriate LaTeX to express the mathematical text (see example below):

Piecewise FunctionsPiecewise Functions


This kind of LaTeX expression is like an onion - there are many layers. The outer layer declares the function and a resizing brace: 

Piecewise FunctionsPiecewise Functions


The next layer in builds an array to hold the function definitions and conditions:

Piecewise FunctionsPiecewise Functions


The innermost layer defines the functions and conditions. The symbol & is used to separate the cells of the array and \\ is used as a line break.

Piecewise FunctionsPiecewise Functions


Here are some useful symbols and notations to use as you construct piecewise functions:

Non-italicized text: if \text{if }

Non-italicized text: when \text{when }

         Is an element of \in

         Is not an element of \notin

         Symbol for Real Numbers \mathbb{R}

         Symbol for Integers \mathbb{Z}

         Symbol for Rationals \mathbb{Q}

         Is less than or equal to \le

         Is greater than or equal to \ge

         Is not equal to \ne

Here is one more example to help with your construction of piecewise functions:

Piecewise FunctionsPiecewise Functions


Determinants and Matrices

Determinants and matrices have the same general structure to them.

         Matrix in parentheses            \begin{pmatrix}  and  \end{pmatrix}

         Matrix in brackets                  \begin{bmatrix}  and  \end{bmatrix}

         Determinant                          \begin{vmatrix}  and  \end{vmatrix}

Inside the matrix structure, the symbol & is used to separate elements of the array and the notation \\ is used for line breaks. Here are three examples:

afoote_21-1652906376890.png afoote_22-1652906381498.png
afoote_23-1652906385821.png afoote_24-1652906389445.png
afoote_25-1652906394959.png afoote_26-1652906398861.png


Any of these can be rewritten in one line, like this:

A=\begin{vmatrix} 10 & -5 \\ 0 & 20 \end{vmatrix}

Note: When the matrix only holds one value, you may need to use the \left and \right delimiters to get the parentheses, brackets, or braces to resize:

View DelimitersView Delimiters




Augmented Matrices

An augmented matrix is built using the same kind of notations as in the previous examples with one new twist:

{ccc|c}           Augmented matrix with 3 columns, one vertical line, 1 column

{ccc|ccc}       Augmented matrix with 3 columns, one vertical line, 3 columns

{cc|cc}          Augmented matrix with 2 columns, one vertical line, 2 columns


The symbol & is used to separate the cells of the array and \\ is used as a line break.

View Array ExampleView Array Example


View Array ExampleView Array Example


To change to an augmented matrix in brackets, change to using \left[ at the beginning and \right] at the end.

Creating Tables

You can use the Advanced View to make tables as well.  This also uses the same basic principles as arrays and matrices with just a few tweaks.

\hline            inserts a horizontal line the width of the array

{c|ccc}           array with 1 column, 1 vertical line, 3 columns

{|c|c|c|c|}        array with vertical lines around all 4 columns

The symbol & is used to separate the cells of the array and \\ is used as a line break.  Here are two examples to help you construct a proper table.

\hline Example\hline Example


Array ExampleArray Example



Special Characters

Because they are used to construct equations, certain characters may not appear in the Rich Content Editor after they are typed into the Math Editor. If you need these characters to appear as-is in your equation, use the workaround table below.




\# or \##


\$ or \$$


\% or \%%


\& or \&&




\_ or \__


\{ or \{{


\} or \}}




LaTeX for Advanced View Examples

These are provided if you'd like to copy and paste the LaTeX from the examples into the Advanced View of the Equation Editor to tinker with the examples.

Interval Notation Examples





\left(\sqrt{5} ,\frac{3}{4}\right]


Determinants and Matrices


   0 & 2 \\

   -1 & 5




   \frac{2}{3} & 2 \\

   -1 & \sqrt{5}




   10 & -5 \\

   0 & 20




Creating Tables


   x & f(x) & g(x) & h(x) \\


   -2 & 3 & 4 & -6 \\

   0 & 5 & 0 & 0 \\

   2 & 7 & 4 & 6 \\

   4 & 9 & 16 & 12





   x & -2 & -1 & 0 & 1 & 2\\


   f(x) & -7 & -6 & -5 & -4 & -3 \\




Piecewise Functions



   1+x & \text{if } x<3 \\

   2 & \text{if } x=3 \\

   1-x & \text{if } x>3






   1 & \text{when } x\in\mathbb{Q} \\

   0 & \text{when } x\notin\mathbb{Q}\\




Augmented Matrices 


   1 & 2 & 3 & \pi \\

   4 & 5 & 6 & \sqrt{5} \\

   7 & 8 & 9 & -3




   1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 0 & 0 \\

   4 & 5 & 6 & 0 & 1 & 0 \\

   7 & 8 & 9 & 0 & 0 & 1



Last update: 2017-12-09

This resource can also be accessed from the following Canvas Guides:

Was this article helpful? Yes No
Have a question about Canvas? Ask in the Q&A forum:
Embed this guide in your Canvas course:

Note: You can only embed guides in Canvas courses. Embedding on other sites is not supported.