I'm trying to edit this question which has the text

Digilent Atlys, $199 academic or $349

which is rendered as

Digilent Atlys, $199 academicor$349

Just without the space between "9" and "a", so it looks even more horrible than here.

How can I properly escape the dollar signs? I tried "\$" which improved stuff by printing the literal string "\$Digilent Atlys, $199 academic or $349" which is better, but still silly.

Hopefully meta won't mess up my question, but it's kinda hard to tell as the preview doesn't seem to use TeX to render.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The TeX in the preview renders for me... you just have to wait about 15 seconds without typing anything for it to update! \$\endgroup\$
    – BG100
    Mar 31, 2011 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BG100: hm, doesn't work for me. I waited a long time, but no go. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2011 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you using a Javascript blocker? What is your browser? It works fine for me after about 5 seconds; Fake Name had similar trouble with his JS blockers over here. Remember that you can't type during these few seconds. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2011 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek: no, no blocker. It does work after editing so I assume the transformer actually is doing its job. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2011 at 15:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "It was a large mistake for MathJax to have been deployed ever using the single $ delimiter." -- @Earlz, meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/440/… \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    May 27, 2011 at 4:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Other Stack Exchange sites with the same problem: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/403/… \$\endgroup\$
    – davidcary
    Jan 7, 2012 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


You can \$ escape the LaTeX markdown \$ with backslashes like this: \$. This produces a more natural-looking dollar sign (in fact, I think it's the original font) than the TeX dollar sign. You will have to wait for MathJax to see it in the preview, though. This takes 5-6 seconds of no typing on my machine.

A method used initially was to use a TeX dollar sign: $\$$$\rightarrow\$$. With the new font, it doesn't look too bad.

Alternatively, you can use the acronym 'USD' for United States Dollars since you're quoting American prices. A number of countries use the dollar sign for currency, and while it's usually assumed to refer to US currency, it's a little ambiguous. This is a lazy but simple workaround.

Finally, the TeX parser quits after each <br> or <p> inserted by the markup. This means that you can use one normal dollar sign in each paragraph, each list item, or each separate line. (Though it seems that the TeX parser does something to my lists...will have to look into this at a later date....)

See also this question: TeX Delimiters should be changed

  • \$\begingroup\$ Aack, it worked fine in preview! I went to write that the TeX parser was inescapable, but this doesn't seem to be the case. I'll favorite this question and file a bug report later if no one else does; I need to get to work right now. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2011 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried \$ which resulted in "\$" being written out literally. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2011 at 15:43

This costs $20 and that costs $30

This costs $20 and that costs $30

I thought of using HTML entity for dollar sign &#36; but that doesn't work:

This costs &#36;20 and that costs &#36;30

This costs $20 and that costs $30

Using an escaped dollar sign \$ does not work either:

This costs \$20 and that costs \$30

This costs $20 and that costs $30

  • \$\begingroup\$ related: groups.google.com/group/mathjax-users/browse_thread/thread/… \$\endgroup\$ May 26, 2011 at 3:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ more related: meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/440 \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    May 27, 2011 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mark this is a bug in MathJax, essentially -- we're pinging them to see if it can be fixed. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2011 at 4:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ it's a deployment problem, mathjax.org/docs/1.1/start.html#tex-and-latex-input \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    May 27, 2011 at 4:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mark nope, dollar sign is the standard across the network -- they inappropriately unescape the $ when the renderer is called twice. See previous link, specifically "I have a fix for this, and it should be in the 1.1a update, which is in final testing, and that we will be putting out shortly." from one of the MathJax devs. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2011 at 4:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As mentioned in the previous question, it was wrong to use dollar signs as an escape in an engineering Q&A site, and pigheaded to keep them around after this was pointed out. \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    May 27, 2011 at 4:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mark I don't think it makes sense to change the standard of $ for math notation at random across the network. However, I do think the escaping should be working and we are doing our best to get that fixed. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2011 at 4:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Jeff, using $ for escape in an engineering site provides a terrible user experience. I understand that penniless mathematicians don't have any money to speak of, but engineers use $ for one of the big three design constraints. Imagine if stackoverflow decided "O(" should escape to wingdings font. Now imagine discussing algorithm design with such a booby trap in place. That is how you are hurting us. \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    May 27, 2011 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't it be nice if typing a dollar sign just produced a dollar sign? Wouldn't it be nice if new users didn't have to jump through hoops and learn a new programming language just to produce a normal dollar sign? Wouldn't it be nice if our MathJax implementation were consistent with the developer's recommendations and almost every other site that uses MathJax? "Note in particular that the □...□ in-line delimiters are not used by default. That is because dollar signs appear too often in non-mathematical settings, which could cause some text to be treated as mathematics unexpectedly." \$\endgroup\$
    – endolith
    May 30, 2011 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endo we follow the guidelines from mathoverflow.net -- perhaps you can ask them why they deviated from the default there? \$\endgroup\$ May 31, 2011 at 7:08

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