In this Q&A, it is shown that we can use MathJax to create tables (see this answer in particular). However, as I attempt to use it, I find myself unable to add the text formatting I wish to use.

Here are my attempts:

$$ \begin{array}{c|l} \text{**I want this to be bold**}& \text{*I want this to be italics*} \\ \hline \text{***I want this to be bold italics***} & \text{_I want this to be italics too_} \\ \end{array} $$

As you can see, it doesn't quite obey the markdown formatting like I expect it to. MathJax must have it's own way of specifying it; either that, or it simply isn't possible.

Is it possible to have simple text formatting (i.e. bold, italics, etc) for the text (i.e. the "Some Text" within this \text{Some Text})?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Semi-relevant MSE post: Stack Exchange is rolling out native table support that isn't reliant on MathJax. It goes into testing today on MSE and on the DBA Meta, then rolls out to DBA.SE itself a week later, and will be available network-wide a week after that. It uses "GitHub-flavored Markdown" table syntax (since CommonMark doesn't include a specification for tables at the moment). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 24, 2020 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


By looking at this related meta from Math SE, I found these formatting options which I think may be what you want. You can use \textit and \textbf for italicised and bolded text. For mathematical symbols only, you can use \mathbf and \mathit.

\textbf{I want this to be bold}& \textit{I want this to be italics} \\
\pmb{\textit{I want this to be bold italics}} & \textit{I want this to be italics too} \\

This produces this result:

$$ \begin{array}{c|l} \textbf{I want this to be bold}& \textit{I want this to be italics} \\ \hline \pmb{\textit{I want this to be bold italics}} & \textit{I want this to be italics too} \\ \end{array} $$

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome, thanks for this. I have looked at some of the math.meta before, but there's so much there I found it difficult to find what I was looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:19
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There are also the two commands \textbf{} and \textit{} for bold and italicised text in math mode respectively. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:37
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Readers please note that there are about fifty different ways to do anything in *TeX; if you're googling around you'll probably find a bunch of other ways to achieve the same effect(s). \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Dec 16, 2019 at 14:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please don’t recommend math mode for text: use \textbf, \textit, or \emph for text formatting. \emph should be used when text is italicized for emphasis, and can be nested (\emph inside an already-italic section will make the \emph text not italic). \textit is for book titles, D&D spells, and other things italicized as a matter of formatting and not emphasis. Bold-italic should just be \textbf{\textit{whatever}}. \pmb, or “poor man’s bold,” is just a bad idea all around, and will often not give desirable results. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 18, 2019 at 4:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I've updated the post to mention those, but it looks like \textbf{\textit{{whatever}} doesn't nest — the inner textit gets interpreted as plaintext. I don't know what to put there instead so I've left \pmb in, as bad as it is. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2019 at 9:15

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