Formative uses Katex as its LaTeX engine to render mathematical expressions.

First, to browse all symbols, you can find a list of supported functions here.

Using LaTeX, you can add almost any Math notation in Formative - including multi-line equations, geometry, set-builder notation, and matrices!


We support two main ways to add LaTeX anywhere you can edit Rich Text: in-line and using a Math keyboard. (A Rich Text box is any text box that has the blue "+" icon on the right edge.)

1. In-line

To get started, type the LaTeX code, then select it and choose "LaTeX" from the formatting menu:

Note, the yellow highlighted text is what the student will see. You can use the Student Preview to check how this will appear on the student side:

2. Math keyboard

In any rich text box, you can click to open a menu of advanced options, including Math:

Clicking on the mathematic equation that appears will allow you to edit with a full toolbar of mathematical options:

Note: this input field also supports LaTeX expressions that are typed in directly (however, be sure to click the space bar to trigger conversion).

LaTeX can be used within questions, but also in answer options for most question types.

Anywhere that you see a Rich Text box can use LaTeX. This includes answer options for Multiple Choice, Multiple Selection, Matching, and Resequence questions; and items and categories for Categorize questions.

For more inspiration, the following formatives contain some fantastic examples of LaTeX:

  • This formative has examples of multi-line equations, geometry notation, and operations.
  • This formative can be assigned to guest students and used for professional development with teachers. It contains LaTeX examples (including matrices and multi-line equations) and asks those taking the formative to recreate them.

Students can use LaTeX, too!

Numeric questions are designed to only provide a mathematical keyboard for simplicity for your students. In Numeric questions, students can use the mathematical keyboard or type LaTeX code into the input directly, and when they hit the space bar, the code will render into the appropriate notation:

Additionally, in Essay questions, students can use LaTeX in exactly the same way as teachers. They can either use the dropdown "+" menu for a mathematical keyboard or they can write the LaTeX code directly, then select it and choose "LaTeX" from the formatting menu:

What's Next?

Read more tips for Math teachers using Formative!

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