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Thanks for taking the time to reply, I did already search the forums and google and know this is a common problem but none of the suggestions I found worked.

When trying to use latex to print the phrase "640x480 which drops to 12 FPS with a resolution of 1280×960."

I get:

:68 Missing $ inserted ...drops to 12 FPS with a resolution of 1280<br>
:68 Extra }, or forgotten $ ...drops to 12 FPS with a resolution of 1280<br>
:69 Missing $ inserted<br>

I gather this is because Latex thinks I wish to enter 'math mode' and so is placing $ signs in for me. I've tried using \text{} as suggested in other posts but I get almost triple the amount of errors. I also tried enclosing the numbers like ''640x800'' to force it to be text but I get the same errors.

Can anyone help me solve this?

share|improve this question
Just to make this very clear: I'm writing my first academic paper and wish to be in 'text mode' not 'math mode' – Azureaus Apr 29 '14 at 17:19
At first sight, you are using 1280×960, and the symbol between is not an x but ×. You should put that (the whole second expression) between $. Or, may be, use $1280 \times 960$. – Manuel Apr 29 '14 at 17:21
By the way, you should add a Minimal Working Example (MWE), that is, a minimal code, from \documentclass{…} to \end{document}, which we can compile and see your exact error. – Manuel Apr 29 '14 at 17:26
Thanks for the advice Manuel, This is exactly what I want! – Azureaus Apr 29 '14 at 17:39
Mico proposed something different. You could even define a command \res{640}{480} which would give you the option to redefine the output later. – Manuel Apr 29 '14 at 17:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since you'll mostly likely be using the "times" symbol (which needs to be in mathmode to be typeset correctly) more than once, it's useful to create a macro for it called, say, \mytimes. (You are, of course, free to choose a snazzier name for this macro.)

enter image description here

\usepackage{amsmath} % for \ensuremath macro
640\mytimes480 which drops to 12 FPS with a resolution of 1280\mytimes960
share|improve this answer

Thanks to both of you for your rapid response. For those looking for a quick solution I tried Manuel's suggestion and it worked great.

share|improve this answer
Do you want the extra whitespace on both sides of the \times symbol? – Mico Apr 29 '14 at 18:29
It would be interesting to know how to do it without the whitespace if it's fairly straightforward. Otherwise don't worry since it doesn't really look out of place. – Azureaus Apr 29 '14 at 19:37
The extra space comes about because the \times macro, in math mode, is a "binary" operator and thus gets some extra space if there are math-mode items on the left and right. To suppress this space, right 1200$\times$960 instead of $1280\times960$ – Mico Apr 29 '14 at 21:04

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