I can't post as skillfully as I would like. The formatting help seems to be sufficient, but I would rather not play around with a live question comparing the look of one way of formatting to another. Is there a way to play with formatting that won't be a nuisance?

[SE team: could we have LaTeX and pretty printing enabled in this Meta for this purpose or would that be too demanding on the system? - Sjoerd]

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Following R.M's suggestion, and because LaTeX support is present here that is not on the StackOverflow Meta, I have converted this entire thread to "community wiki" status so that it may itself be used as a sandbox. –  Mr.Wizard Sep 23 '12 at 5:12
    
You mean, the "Practice Area for Posting" thread? –  George Wolfe Sep 23 '12 at 5:46
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@Mr.Wizard Unfortunately we have neither LaTeX nor syntax highlighting on meta AFAIK :-( –  halirutan Sep 23 '12 at 11:03
    
So, to be clear, is it okay for me/us to post experimental attempts in this thread (as answers)? –  JohnD Nov 18 '12 at 19:27

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, there is a formatting sandbox on the main StackOverflow Meta site that was created for this purpose.

And maybe you have found it already, here is the documentation to the markup syntax which can be used to format your post. Additionally, on mathematica.stackexchange.com you can use LaTeX by inserting the code in either $a=b$ for an inline formula or $$a=b$$ for a separated formula.

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Why not convert this post to CW and make it an explicit sandbox? That way people needn't head over to Meta Stack Exchange –  rm -rf Sep 23 '12 at 5:03
    
@R.M. - So Excellent –  George Wolfe Sep 23 '12 at 5:44
    
I couldn't find an answer box on the SO Meta. I have 101 rep there and the rep threshold is 10 because it's protected. Doesn't look ideal for our needs. –  Sjoerd C. de Vries Sep 23 '12 at 20:02
    
@Sjoerd You've never contributed to Meta.SO? How did you get this job? ;^) –  Mr.Wizard Sep 23 '12 at 21:58
    
My point is my rep>10, so I should be able to post there, but couldn't find an answer box. Do you see it? –  Sjoerd C. de Vries Sep 23 '12 at 22:29
    
@SjoerdC.deVries I think the rules for protected posts were changed so that you need to have 10 rep earned on the site before you can post. The association bonus doesn't count. –  rm -rf Sep 24 '12 at 3:05
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RM is correct; one has to have earned 10 rep in addition to any association bonuses to post on protected posts. –  Aarthi Sep 24 '12 at 18:43

There is a Sandbox on Math meta:

http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/370/10651

However, it doesn't support syntax coloring.

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Nice, but ....

$W_0 \sqrt{1+\left(\dfrac{z}{\lambda\,\pi\, W_{0}^2}\right)}=W_1\;\,\quad \ldots(1)$

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You mean there is no LaTeX on meta? facepalm –  Mr.Wizard Sep 23 '12 at 6:44
    
@Mr.Wizard unless you see something that I can't ... –  belisarius Sep 23 '12 at 8:31
    
@belisarius thats why I explicitly linked to mma.SE and not to meta in my edit to Mr.Wizards post ;-). –  halirutan Sep 23 '12 at 11:01

For example:

cashflow/(1 + interestrate)

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