For a test, I need to edit and correct the following equation, which I understand to contain several syntax errors.


Unfortunately, I'm unfamiliar with LaTeX syntax.

  • 1
    What's the question? – egreg Feb 5 at 16:12
  • 3
    Please do not add email adresses in your question! Be aware of spammers! And please make your homework by yourself! – Kurt Feb 5 at 16:14
  • 2
    What is 2X**2 meant to be? A power of 2? That's not the way of typing it in TeX however – user31729 Feb 5 at 16:17
  • I’m applying for a proofreading job specializing in manufacturing content. This is a question in the job application, with mandatory entry. They are asking me to edit the incorrect expression; I have no experience in doing this and am looking for help. – Bob Savigny Feb 5 at 17:31
  • The question is very vague, but, as I understand it, the equation is incorrectly expressed in LaTeX guidelines. Might be bracket placement, spaces, use of ampersand; I just don’t know. Any ideas appreciated. – Bob Savigny Feb 5 at 17:48

Thanks for clarifying your (typesetting) objective.

I spottted (at least) six [6!!] mistakes in the code fragment you posted:

  • The macro \square is non-standard. Instead of \square{...}, just write (...)^2.

  • Use of { and } to denote the scope of the squaring operations. Use ( and ) instead.

  • Use of ** instead of ^ to denote exponentiation.

  • The \frac macro takes two arguments, not one. Thus, don't write \frac{3X/2}. Instead, write \frac{3X}{2}.

  • The final * (asterisk) symbol seems entirely misplaced.

  • Last but not least, one needs to initiate and terminate math mode explicitily, e.g., via $ directives.

With some misgivings -- after all, still further errors might be lurking somewhere -- I'd write


Maybe, just maybe, the \square macro was defined via an instruction such as \newcommand\square[1]{(#1)^2}. If that's the case -- you better verify that it is -- you could write


However, I can't see the point of bothering defining a macro called \square.

  • Thank you! I submitted it as the answer. Still don’t get how it relates to proofreading manufacturing documents. – Bob Savigny Feb 5 at 18:32

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