I’m encountering a sporadic bug over the past few months with the way WordPress renders or displays its LaTeX images on this blog (and occasionally on other WordPress blogs). On most computers, it seems to work fine, but on some computers, the sizes of images are occasionally way off, leading to extremely distorted and fairly unreadable versions of the images appearing in blog posts and comments. A sample screenshot (with accompanying HTML source), supplied to me by a reader, can be found here (in which an image whose dimensions should be 321 x 59 are instead being displayed as 552 x 20). Is anyone else encountering this issue? The problem sometimes can be resolved by refreshing the page, but not always, so it is a bit unclear where the problem is coming from and how one might mitigate it. (If nothing else, I can add it to the bug collection post, once it can be reliably replicated.)

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## 34 comments

Comments feed for this article

3 January, 2014 at 4:12 pm

SivaramYes, I too see the typeset math in a weird fashion sometimes (http://imgur.com/1ro0079). However, if I reload the page couple of times, the issue goes away.

3 January, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Ryan ReichI’ve had this problem for a long while, on this and other WordPress blogs. I always just refresh, which usually resolves it.

4 January, 2014 at 9:35 am

Anonymoussame for me … i do the refresh thing …

3 January, 2014 at 5:38 pm

AnonymousI can also see it: http://i.imgur.com/zV1Nv32.png. On a buggy page, equations are OK till some “breaking point”, after which every image is distorted.

I use Chrome on Ubuntu and can’t reproduce in Firefox nor Opera. Did anyone get it there too?

It seems if I disable Javascript in the browser, equations render normally. Enable it, and the bug reappears. (Of course Javascript is crucial for many web pages and this is no workaround.)

3 January, 2014 at 5:44 pm

{RCRISTO - Tecnologia e Informação}I noticed some (very large) odd characters for some mathematical symbols. This occurs when the browser renders and displays these characters, seems to be a flaw in java script that sets the style sheet.

3 January, 2014 at 6:13 pm

anonI use up-to-date Debian stable, amd64 port. My browser is “Iceweasel” which is Debian’s name for Firefox. I have formula sizing problems almost every time I look at Terry Tao’s blog. The formulas will display properly if I refresh the page sveral times. Usually most of the formulas are affected.

3 January, 2014 at 6:38 pm

RyanYes, I’ve been getting this for a month or two now too. Chrome on Windows.

3 January, 2014 at 8:47 pm

AnonymousI have been getting exactly the same issues ever since I switched to Windows 8. Originally I thought it is a problem with IE. But it persists with Chrome as well.

3 January, 2014 at 10:50 pm

EvgeniyI have the same problem in my browser, and the refreshing doesn’t help at all (I use Chrome, but quick test with IE shows that it is the same, at least in the first loading and refreshing).

3 January, 2014 at 11:02 pm

David Lowry-DudaI’ve been getting this issue. It’s what finally tipped me over to hosting my own site. Although it’s still WordPress, I have greater control and so I don’t get that problem now.

3 January, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Qiaochu YuanI’ve been having this problem for at least weeks (in both Chrome and IE) and refreshing doesn’t help. For some bizarre reason I don’t have it on my blog but I get it on everyone else’s.

3 January, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Qiaochu YuanI should say, refreshing doesn’t help in a particularly weird fashion: the resizings will happen in different ways when I refresh.

3 January, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Mikael P. SundqvistI recommend you to use Mathjax instead, see

http://www.mathjax.org

and

http://wordpress.org/plugins/mathjax-latex

4 January, 2014 at 1:29 am

B.I totally agree with Mikael! Mathjax is a very efficient way to go. It seems to be quite stable since mathscinet, the arXiv, and others are using it.

21 January, 2014 at 8:02 am

Willie WongFor blogs hosted on WordPress.com, it is not so simple.

To load MathJax requires editing the header of the templates to load a specific JavaScript file. This operation is trivial for those who host their own WordPress installations, but impossible (currently) for users of WordPress.com.

4 January, 2014 at 3:00 am

rzI’ve experienced the symptoms you mentioned. I’m using chrome in windows. I thought it happens because I resized the web. I usually use 125% magnification on your page. When I turn it back to default size, problem seems to go away.

4 January, 2014 at 3:08 am

MichaelI have had these bugs when reading your posts on Chrome for several weeks now, and refreshing does not frequently resolve the problem. However, the bugs were absent when I used a desktop computer, on both Chrome and Firefox.

4 January, 2014 at 3:44 am

inordinatumI’m having the same problem on my blog, and likewise independently of the browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome)… If anybody finds a reliable solution (short of hosting your own site) I’d be very grateful!

4 January, 2014 at 3:56 am

john dorianI started having this problem a month or two ago, I am using windows 7 and chrome

4 January, 2014 at 5:04 am

AlecHaving the same problem, have been for a few months now. Chrome on Mac

4 January, 2014 at 5:09 am

AnonymousChrome on MacOS; the problem only occurs with non-default zoom and always goes away by reverting to default zoom, refreshing, and remaining at default zoom until loading completes

4 January, 2014 at 7:08 am

Jon AwbreyThere are problems also with WordPress parsing LaTeX “tabular” formats in a very inconsistent manner.

☞ http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/tables/

WordPress “Support” is not very good at responding to bug reports, either.

4 January, 2014 at 7:35 am

AxurezI have made a chrome extension which can replace LaTeX images with MathJax-rendered contents (you can set the domain-matching rules). Check it out here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/math-as-you-will/dhclcadjnhmoimnlkbboigmihbebfmdc

4 January, 2014 at 7:52 am

mathtuition88Reblogged this on Singapore Maths Tuition.

4 January, 2014 at 8:40 am

Sean EberhardYes. It’s often impossible to read, and worse further down the page.

4 January, 2014 at 9:19 am

Richard SéguinI’ve never seen this bug occur using Firefox, Safari, or the recently revived Omniweb (beta 6.0) within OS X Mavericks, whether zoomed or not. In all three I have Javascript turned on and Java turned off.

4 January, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Chris J.I consistently see this. Yeah, it’s quite distracting. I am using the latest Chrome on Mac OS X 10.8.

5 January, 2014 at 1:31 am

DirkSame bug here (using Firefox on Ubuntu 12.04).

5 January, 2014 at 2:46 pm

AnonymousSame problem when using Chrome, but it works fine with Safari. (OS X 10.8)

5 January, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Américo TavaresI’m having the same problem on my WordPress blog (in both Firefox and IE) and on several others WordPress blogs, including yours, when using a PC or a laptop. Refreshing normally helps. However it does not occur with an Android tablet.

6 January, 2014 at 3:19 pm

AnonymousI also get the bug. I think if you reset your zoom to 100% and refresh, it goes away for me.

7 January, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Gaurav TiwariOn the other hand, I always complain about how the LaTeX png images behave on printing the posts. Wish those were rendered as svg instead of png.

8 January, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Vít TučekRecent version of Chrome on Windows 7 has the same problem. Refreshing usually helps only when I set the zoom factor to 100%.

9 January, 2014 at 12:16 pm

KWReganDick Lipton and I notice that this occurs almost every time when we view a

draftof a post. We don’t know anything better than refreshing the page (either).