The other day I saw a recommendation from Eddymage on how to include special characters using MathJax. Like this:

$$ ^\dagger $$

I have no experience with MathJax, and wanted to experiment how that works. And for some reason, sometimes the preview that is rendered under posts looks different than what you get when you hit submit (I have that experience with tables sometimes, and it was the case here, too).

Rather than spamming the Meta or creating spurious posts on the main site, is there a test-bed post somewhere that can be used to play around with markdown and formatting, that is periodically purged of answers and comments?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Which browser are you using? Maybe it depends also on that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Dec 10, 2022 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Normally, Chrome. On mobile, Safari. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2022 at 11:13
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ For the special characters it's generally better to use html syntax for them, eg. † since that won't require javascript to render (which becomes very noticeable if there's a lot of MathJax on a page). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 10, 2022 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for all the help and feedback. Based on the recommendations, I will avoid using MathJax in favor of HTML entities or unicode like ߦ \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2022 at 8:35

3 Answers 3


We don’t have one here on RPG, but you can use the sandbox on meta.se.

You mentioned tables sometimes being broken; this issue is documented in this bug report on meta.se, I'll reproduce the entire answer below for reference. You will notice in the answer below that the last markdown table renders as text above table |test|test| |----|----| |test|test| when viewing this post, but if you pull up the post preview by clicking "Edit", the preview renderer will replace the unparsed text with a preview of the mardown table.

If you have text right above or below the table, the preview renders the table markdown as a table. But after you save the post, the table is not rendered and just shows the markdown code.

You can use the code below as an example. If you try to edit my answer, it shows a table in the preview but not in the backend-rendered post view.

Raw Markdown:

text above table

How it looks in Preview

Table formatted correctly

Result after posting

text above table |test|test| |----|----| |test|test|

So either the backend renderer is broken or the preview renderer is broken.


The Meta SE formatting sandbox is a great option for testing formatting in a live post. However, it does not do MathJax. If you feel the need to experiment with posting MathJax you could borrow a formatting sandbox on another meta site that has MathJax enabled (caveat: the delimiters may not be the same and some sites support additional formatting that RPG does not). Puzzling's formatting sandbox has MathJax, and I doubt anyone would say anything if you used it for whatever experiment you had in mind.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I really thought I remembered the meta sandbox having MathJax. But it doesn’t. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2022 at 19:46

The web interface contains this:

When writing a post, it includes a look on how the text is parsed below the text entry box. So $a+b+c is rendered as code and \$a+b+c\$ is rendered as formula. Even Images are rendered fully so whatever the image links to, it is rendered, and I did... make snapshotception: a snapshot of the text above right before inserting it

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    \$\begingroup\$ The asker already knows about this option and it is insufficient: "for some reason, sometimes the preview that is rendered under posts looks different than what you get when you hit submit" \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2022 at 12:00

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