Mr. Moodle, How Can I Add Superscripts And Subscripts In Moodle Text Editing?

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A telegram Mr. Moodle recently received read:

Dear Mr. Moodle. How can I add subscripts and superscripts in Moodle? Thank you. Kate.

Dear Kate,

There are several ways users can add basic expressions such as XYZ or XYZ in their Moodle text editors.

The most straightforward of all is to use the appropriate button on Moodle’s text editors. You can find them on the default, unmodified versions of the menu bars.

On TinyMCE, look for icons number 5 and 6:

https://docs.moodle.org/en/TinyMCE_editor
https://docs.moodle.org/en/TinyMCE_editor

On Atto, look for icons number 3 and 4:

https://docs.moodle.org/33/en/Text_editor#Atto_HTML_editor
https://docs.moodle.org/33/en/Text_editor#Atto_HTML_editor

Another option is to enable HTML editing and use the proper HTML tags. In the Atto and TinyMCE text editor, look for the <> icon.

To write XYZ, type X<sup>YZ</sup>.
To write XYZ, type X<sub>YZ</sub>.

If you know your CSS, you can play with properties like vertical-align and font-size to customize how they look.

Another option is to enable Markdown as a text formatting option.

To write XYZ, type X^Y^Z.
To write XYZ, type X~Y~Z.

Read more Moodle docs on Markdown here.

Of course, these options are for simple expressions and typographic uses. If you want to create more complicated mathematical or chemical expressions, keep in mind that there are several ways you can do this in Moodle.

Moodle includes at the core a TeX editor, which is designed exactly for this. The editor is not too difficult to use for equations and it offers a very rewarding learning curve. Add any mathematical expression between double dollar signs like this:

To write XYZ, type $$X^{YZ}$$.
To write XYZ, type $$X_{YZ}$$.

Read more about Using TeX Notation in Moodle docs here.

Last, but not least, there are a few mathematics notation plugins ready for you to use:

  • WIRIS (MoodleNews sponsor) is a powerful calculator and graphical tool which is also great for displaying mathematical expressions.
  • Mathslate for TinyMCE and Mathslate for Atto offer a visual interface for creating TeX equations.

Got a question? Submit it through the “Ask Mr. Moodle” form here. You can also ask your question in the comments section below.


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