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I'm new to LaTeX, and I'm having an issue with using \framebox inside an equation (denoted with $$ signs at the beginning and the end).

The text that I'm trying to box is the following:

1.5 \times 10^{- 5} \; Pa

However, once I put a \framebox around it, like so:

\framebox{1.5 \times 10^{- 5} \; Pa}

I get the following error:

./assignment1.tex:85: Missing $ inserted.

...where 85 points to the line where I put in the \framebox. Any ideas why this is happening?

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Inside the argument to the \framebox, the outer math environment is lost. You must place the argument itself inside math delimiters (single $) – Steven B. Segletes Jan 29 '14 at 2:05
If you want to keep the expression in displayed mode, you can load amsmath and use \boxed, as the following example shows: \[ \boxed{1.5 \times 10^{- 5} \; Pa} \] – Gonzalo Medina Jan 29 '14 at 2:18
up vote 10 down vote accepted

boxed will not span an equation if it encloses an alignment point i.e., & . In such cases you can use Aboxed from mathtools. See the example below for illustration. Further, to typeset units, better use siunitx.

  \framebox{$1.5 \times 10^{- 5}\si{\pascal}$}
    &\boxed{1.5 \times 10^{- 5}\si{\pascal}}\\
    \Aboxed{\text{Pressure} &=1.5 \times 10^{- 5}\si{\pascal}}

enter image description here

A useful read will be this Q and its A

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You wrote "\boxed will not span an entire equation" and that is not exactly true. \boxed will span an entire equation unless the box should cross an alignment point. – Gonzalo Medina Jan 29 '14 at 2:51
No problem :-) I'll delete this comment, and the previous one, shortly. – Gonzalo Medina Jan 29 '14 at 13:28

Package amsmath provides a command, namely \boxed, to generate boxed math.

\[\boxed{E = mc^2}\]

$\boxed{E =mc^2}$

BTW, do NOT use $$, see here for details.

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