Equation Editor

Inserting Math and Chemical Equations, Greek Characters and Physical Units Into Your Quiz

Matheus Froes avatar
Written by Matheus Froes
Updated over a week ago

Socrative’s Equation Editor allows teachers to enter multiple equation types (LaTeX, mhchem, and Physical Units) in question formats, multiple choice answer choices, and explanations.

Table of Contents

Inserting Equations

When creating or editing your quiz, go to the question you need and look for the Insert Formula button. Once opened, you can use your keyboard to start typing in the formula you need, and it'll automatically be formatted. Or you can copy the formula from another page and paste it in.

Supported Equation Types

The Equation Editor supports multiple equation types, so you can use the one you’re familiar with. You can use LaTeX, MathASCII, and mhchem (Chemical Equations).

Inserting Math Equations

To start an equation, use \ and some letters to see some suggestions:

Alternatively, you can click the keyboard button to open the virtual keyboard and look for specific symbols. If you know the keyboard shortcut, that works too (ex. try using Shift + 6 to start typing in exponents/superscripts).

When the formula is typed in, click the check mark icon to save it.

Inserting Chemical Equations

Chemical Equations have a descriptor to let the equation editor know your intent. To get started, write \ce{formulae}. The delimiter \ce{...} is required since you can use mathematics delimiters for chemical formulas.

Complex Chemical Equations Example

What's possible with Chemical Equations?

  • Formulae

  • Amounts

  • Equations

  • Charges

  • Stoichiometric numbers

  • Nuclides, isotopes

  • Reaction arrows

  • Parentheses, brackets, braces

  • Variables like x, n, 2n+1

  • Bonds

  • Addition compounds

  • Oxidation states

  • Equation operators

  • Unpaired electrons, radical dots

  • Kröger-vink notation(not supported for latex yet)

Read a more detailed article on how to use Chemical Equations here.

Inserting Physical Units

Physical Units have a descriptor to let the equation editor know your intent. To get started, write \pu{units}. The delimiter \pu{...} is required since you can use mathematics and chemical delimiters in conjunction.

Basic Notation

\pu{123 kJ}

\pu{123 mm2}

Multiplication within units

\pu{123 J s}

\pu{123 J*s}

Dividing Units

\pu{123 kJ/mol}

\pu{123 kJ//mol}

\pu{123 kJ mol-1}

\pu{123 kJ*mol-1}

Writing numbers in scientific notation

\pu{1.2e3 kJ}

\pu{1,2e3 kJ}

\pu{1,2E3 kJ}

Inserting Greek characters

Just write \alpha etc. You can insert Greek Characters in your equations (see examples). Spaces after a greek character are ignored. This is standard TeX behaviour. Insert {} to get the desired output. Unfortunately, we do not support upright lower-case Greek characters.

Example - Greek Characters plus Chemical Equations



\ce{\beta +}

\ce{^40_18Ar + \gamma{} + \nu_e}

Formatting your Equations

Inserting (italic) math

If you want to escape math mode and insert italics, you can do so by using $...$.

Upright text

To keep your text upright, you can enclose the text with {...}. With the same mechanism, you can escape the auto-complete equation, for instance, if you need a simple hyphen (that should not become a bond).


\ce{{Gluconic Acid} + H2O2}




  • Math formulas cannot be inserted into short answer options.

  • Students are not provided with the math editor while taking a quiz.

  • We don't support formulas when imported via excel template.

  • We don’t fully support states of aggregation and crystal systems.

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