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/docs/community?hl=en
12/12/10
Original Poster
Bas Braams

Roman font in equations in Docs

Using Chrome and Firefox on Ubuntu; Chrome and IE on Windows. The equation editor allows some special symbols and operators to be entered through the keyboard using an escaped sequence that resembles TeX/LaTeX. The Greek alphabet can be handled and this is useful. Also the familiar functions sin, cos, tan, cot, sec, csc, exp, log and probably some others can be made to appear in the roman font by typing \sin, etc. However, I don't believe that it is possible to type in an arbitrary character string in the roman font except by using point-and-click from the special symbols menu. I think it would have been preferable to allow to change to the roman font locally within an equation, and then not offer all the special cases \sin, \cos, etc. It looks simpler to me, but other than elegance there are perfectly practical reasons too. Someone may want to have max(x,y) in an equation, with "max" in the roman font. It doesn't work well at present, because \max is special, it demands something underneath, and when that something is then left blank it screws up the line spacing. Someone may want to use the modulo operator and obtain x mod y with "mod" in the roman font, but \mod is not in the list. Someone may want to write x \div y and have "div" appear as a three-letter word in roman font; it doesn't work because \div returns the "dot-bar-dot" symbol, or whatever it is called. Again, it would be better, I think, not to have the list of special cases, but just to have a font-switching gadget. Scientific writing in the applied sciences offers an essentially unbounded set of examples where roman font is desirable in equations. One may want to write T<sub>target</sub> in an equation with T in italic font (it might be the symbol for temperature) and "target" in roman font in the subscript position (it is a word, not a mathematical symbol). It is not uncommon to see such subscripts written in italic font, but many authors will insist on the roman font and I think that they are correct.
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