LaTeX Fractions: A LaTeX How-To for Educators

If you’re a math or science educator, using LaTeX to format math online can be easy with a list of LaTeX commands for reference. In this post, you’ll find tips on using LaTeX for fractions.

How to Make Fractions with LaTeX

(Especially Complex Fractions)

In LaTeX markup, the basic fraction tag is

\frac

and the syntax is

\frac{numerator}{denominator}

so that the following string of LaTeX

\frac{x-2}{b}

produces

Complex LaTeX Fractions

You can replace numerator and denominator in the above with any valid LaTeX string. So if you know the right LaTeX commands, you can easily place variables, operators, exponents and other symbols into LaTeX fractions using the same format.

Here is a Chemistry example where we’re multiplying two fractions. We’re adding in units, the multiplication operator \times, and exponents ^{n}. Again, you can refer to a list of common mathematical symbols in LaTeX.

(\frac{3.01105\times10^{24}molecules}{1})(\frac{6.0221\times10^{23}molecules}{1mol})

And, yes, you can put fractions inside of fractions:

\LARGE\frac{(\frac{(\frac{a}{b})}{(\frac{c}{d})})}{(\frac{e}{f})}

LaTeX Math Resources:

Symbol reference (same as above): http://web.ift.uib.no/Teori/KURS/WRK/TeX/symALL.html
Another Fractions Primer: http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~dwilkins/LaTeXPrimer/FractsRoots.html
LaTeX Wiki: http://latex.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

About Bret Norwood

Bret Norwood is a staff blogger for Learning Laboratory in addition to other roles, including UI design and content development for Study Putty, our free memorization tool for chemistry and many other course topics. He is also a published writer of literary fiction--see BretNorwood.com
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