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So, I'm writing a mathematics paper, and let's say I have the following:

\begin{equation*}
2+2=4
\end{equation*}

Is this the proper way to do an unnumbered equation, or is it preferred to do the following:

\[ 2+2=4 \]

My question really is: what's the difference between doing \begin{equation*} and \begin{equation*} versus doing \[ \]? Is there a setting in which one may be preferred over the other?

Thanks in advance.

  • The equation environment gives you a numbered displayed formula, not equation* nor \[..\]. Note that you need the amsmath package for the equation* environment. With this package loaded, equation* has then the same meaning as \[..\] (unnumbered displayed formula). See here for more information: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/5788/… – Franck Pastor Apr 9 '15 at 5:03
  • Also have a look at this: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/503/why-is-preferable-to and read the comments there. – AboAmmar Apr 9 '15 at 5:05
  • Thank you fpast and AboAmmar! Your comments and the articles to which you linked were quite helpful. – 3.14 - Thon Apr 9 '15 at 5:26
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equation* is defined by amsmath. So, if you're loading amsmath, then there is no difference amsmath, as it executes the following at the end:

\DeclareRobustCommand{\[}{\begin{equation*}}
\DeclareRobustCommand{\]}{\end{equation*}}
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