Why does this:


produce this:

Example output of $\text{a^b}

Tested here, but my copy of MiKTeX 2.9 (pdflatex) fails with an error.

closed as off-topic by Ian Thompson, yo', Peter Jansson, Werner, egreg Nov 28 '13 at 21:01

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not fall within the scope of TeX, LaTeX or related typesetting systems as defined in the help center." – Ian Thompson, yo', Peter Jansson, Werner, egreg
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This shouldn't work at all, since you cannot use math in text. – Johannes_B Nov 28 '13 at 20:33
  • 3
    I think this is off-topic. The only possible answer is that the site you linked to doesn't work properly; you could ask the site owners why this is. – Ian Thompson Nov 28 '13 at 20:34
  • 1
    sounds like an aftermath of some underlying \mathchoice – user4686 Nov 28 '13 at 20:46
  • Since the service provides a web interface that produces images of code snippets - even when it contains errors - there must be some magic that happens in the back. For example \hello$a_{\world b} produced $a_b$ without error. – Werner Nov 28 '13 at 20:58

I only get a blank page, after trying with TeX Live 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. I'm not saying that I don't trust you, but that I can't reproduce the behavior.

What I do get is a long series of error messages (forty-one, to be precise), which are obvious, because LaTeX expects text mode material in the argument of \text. You get an error with


because of the same reason.

What the site does under the hood is not known; but the four object aren't too much of a surprise, because \text does typeset four boxes, then printing only one. The site is trying hard to get some output; for instance, a single backslash outputs $.

  • I can see it with TL2013, Linux and Firefox – user2478 Nov 28 '13 at 20:50

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