# Math formatting "Pro tips" edition: Boxing answers! - "?"

Mar 4, 2016

I want to share a cool technique I plan on using in my answers from now on.

I've been addicted to boxing formulas and solutions ever since I was in secondary school, so I figure it was about time to start doing it on Socratic as well.

So here's what I came up with for doing that. Let's say I want to box something classic like

$a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0$

The two side lines are covered by the vertical line symbol, $|$, the one I assume many people are using for absolute value.

• without hashtags

| ax^2 + bx + c = 0 |

• with hashtags

$| a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0 |$

The bottom line is covered by the underline function, ul(), which looks like this

• without hashtags

ul(ax^2 + bx + c = 0)

• with hashtags

$\underline{a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0}$

The top line is covered by the bar() function, which looks like this

• without hashtags

bar(ax^2 + bx + c = 0)

• with hashtags

$\overline{a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0}$

So basically all you have to do is put all these three things together to get

• without hashtags

bar( ul( | ax^2 + bx + c = 0 | ))

• with hashtags

$\overline{\underline{| a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0 |}}$

And there you have it, a boxed answer!

Now, if you bring color into the mix, things can get really interesting. To write all that in color simply write it in a color()() function

• without hashtags

color(green)(bar( ul( | ax^2 + bx + c = 0 | )))

• with hashtags

$\textcolor{g r e e n}{\overline{\underline{| a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0 |}}}$

You can get creative with it, too. Let's say that you want to have a black frame and a blue text. You can write

• without hashtags

bar( ul( | color(blue)( (2pi)/7 ) | ))

• with hashtags

$\overline{\underline{| \textcolor{b l u e}{\frac{2 \pi}{7}} |}}$

Here's a tricky one. Get the text black and the frame red, for example. To do that, you will have to use color(black)() to break the red text.

• without hashtags

color(red)( bar( ul( | color(black)((2pi)/7) | ))

• with hashtags

color(red)( bar( ul( | color(black)((2pi)/7) | ))

Pretty cool, right? :D

ADDENDUM - CREATING A BIT OF SPACE

Notice that the outline of the box is really close to the text. If you want to enlarge the box, you can use this cool trick.

• without hashtags

color(red)( bar( ul( | color(white)(a/a) color(black)( ax^2 + bx + c = 0 ) color(white)(a/a) | )))

• with hashtags

$\textcolor{red}{\overline{\underline{| \textcolor{w h i t e}{\frac{a}{a}} \textcolor{b l a c k}{a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0} \textcolor{w h i t e}{\frac{a}{a}} |}}}$

Here I used color(white)(a/a) to create some space between the edges of the box and the text.

Here's how that would look with color(green)(a/a)

• without hashtags

color(red)( bar( ul( | color(green)(a/a) color(black)( ax^2 + bx + c = 0 ) color(green)(a/a) | )))

• with hashtags

$\textcolor{red}{\overline{\underline{| \textcolor{g r e e n}{\frac{a}{a}} \textcolor{b l a c k}{a {x}^{2} + b x + c = 0} \textcolor{g r e e n}{\frac{a}{a}} |}}}$