DOS 514 - Tutorial Post for Other Students
How to Type Fancy Equations in D2L
Here's a quick rundown of what I was able to find in the D2L interface when I was writing my week 1 post, which had equations like:
To make equations like this, use the "Graphical equation" tool in the styling bar up in the right corner of the post editor.
You'll see this menu:
That will pop up a window with the equation editor, where you can insert anything you want:
I used the 1st, 4th, and 6th tabs to do my equations for week 1. It can be a bit tricky to navigate where the cursor is going to type if you move it by clicking. It is much easier if you use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard. You have to think in terms of nested blocks, so if you are done typing in one block, an arrow key to the right will move the cursor out of the current block in the stack and into the block (and styling) of its immediate parent. That makes a lot more sense once you start trying it, and if you've ever manually edited HTML it will make sense very quickly. You can also back up through the equation with the left arrow key. Just watch the size and location of your cursor and you'll know when you're in the right spot to start typing. From the computer's perspective, the whole equation exists on one long line of text, and it's the web browser that is applying the styling of lifting, lowering, stacking, or otherwise manipulating the location of each section.
At least in my browser (Chrome on a Mac), when you have inserted an equation, you can't actually see it in the editor yet. It shows up as a placeholder like this:
Don't worry about dragging the edges to resize it; it will size itself correctly on its own. You CAN, however select it and choose the "Graphical equation" button again if you need to edit it.
There is a way to see what the final post will look like, including the properly rendered equation, by clicking the "Preview" button in the bottom corner of the editor screen.
Do NOT attempt to type on the Preview window. If you hit the backspace key while the Preview is onscreen, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR ENTIRE POSTbecause on most browsers, backspace is a shortcut for "go back a page" if the cursor is not currently in a text editor box.
I had a moment of terror uncomfortably close to the posting deadline when I had typed up the whole thing and then accidentally deleted it. Luckily I had typed all of the text in a different program so I could just copy/paste it in again and redo the equations.
Use the Close button to safely exit the Preview pane and get back to the editor.
is your friend on the Preview window.
I hope this helps!