Editor Mini-Guide

Here is a brief overview of what you can do in the ed­i­tor on LessWrong. This will change a great deal over time, so I’ll keep a note here of when the lat­est up­date was: Fri­day 5th July, 2019.

Three things you need to know

  • High­light text in the ed­i­tor to get a popup menu.

  • What­ever you make in the ed­i­tor will look ex­actly the same when you post it.

  • The ed­i­tor sup­ports mark­down and LaTex.

Ex­tra details

  • If you’re on your phone/​tablet the ed­i­tor will be trans­formed into mark­down. If you want an only-mark­down ed­i­tor on desk­top, go to your set­tings to turn it on.

  • There are ex­ten­sive on­line re­sources for ba­sic mark­down on the in­ter­net, if you want to find some­thing do use google.

  • You can use a lot of mark­down in the nor­mal ed­i­tor. En­ter the mark­down com­mand, press en­ter (with your cur­sor at the end of the com­mand), and the ed­i­tor will ren­der it in real time.

  • WYSIWYG means what you see is what you get. The ed­i­tor au­to­mat­i­cally turns a lot of mark­down into the finished product, so what you can see when you hit sub­mit, is ex­actly what the com­ment or post will look like af­ter you hit sub­mit. If it looks wrong when you’re edit­ing it, it will look wrong when you hit pub­lish.

  • Use Ctrl-4 to open the LaTex prompt (or Cmd-4 if you’re on a Mac). Open a cen­tred LaTex popup us­ing Ctrl-M (aka Cmd-M). If you’ve writ­ten some maths in nor­mal writ­ing and want to turn it into LaTex, if you high­light the text and then hit the LaTex ed­i­tor but­ton it will turn straight into LaTex.

    • f_i(x) = y_i be­comes .

    • (how cool does that look?)

    • There are ex­ten­sive re­sources for us­ing LaTex on the in­ter­net, so again, use google to figure out how to write things like this:

Images, videos, and footnotes


Un­for­tu­nately, you can’t yet up­load your images to the web­site. To in­clude an image in a post, you’ll first need to add it to an image host­ing site like Drop­box, Google Drive and Cloud­i­nary. Then you can use the na­tive image-adding but­ton that ap­pears when you high­light text. Click on the image to see a menu that lets you move it the left/​right/​cen­tre.


Videos can’t be used in posts at the minute.

There is a mark­down hack you can do in­stead, that lets you in­clude a snap­shot of the video.

Here’s the text that will cre­ate a snap­shot image.


NB: you shouldn’t copy in the whole URL, just the youtube video ID. You need the /​0.jpg at the end, and the img.youtube.com/​​vi/​​ at the beg­gin­ing.

This will look like this:


Then you can add the link any­where e.g. un­der­neath.


The ed­i­tor does not cur­rently sup­port foot­notes. How­ever, if you re­ally want/​need foot­notes, the mark­down ed­i­tor does sup­port them. Turn the mark­down ed­i­tor on in your user set­tings.

Use the fol­low­ing com­mands to cre­ate foot­notes in mark­down (full de­tails are on this page):

Here is a foot­note refer­ence, [^1] and an­other.[^long­note]
[^1]: Here is the foot­note.
[^long­note]: Long­notes can be mul­ti­ple para­graphs.
Sub­se­quent para­graphs are in­dented to be­long to the pre­vi­ous foot­note.

See what this text looks like in this com­ment. You will ac­tu­ally need to add a bunch of spaces in front of the line be­gin­ning ‘Sub­se­quent para­graphs...’ in or­der for it to be in­cluded in the foot­note.


If you’re talk­ing about some­thing that has spoilers, like the solu­tion to a math prob­lem, or a plot twist in a piece of fic­tion, you should hide it to make sure peo­ple don’t read it by ac­ci­dent! Hover nearby this text:

Here is some hid­den text.

To make this, use the sym­bols >! and then hit en­ter.


This is a list of things that might go wrong; it also con­tains com­mon bugs (which will be re­moved when the dev team fixes them).

  • If your ed­i­tor has not au­to­mat­i­cally turned some mark­down into the finished product, bring your cur­sor to the end of the rele­vant mark­down and hit the space­bar key. If that hasn’t worked, then our ed­i­tor doesn’t sup­port whichever spe­cific mark­down func­tion you used.

  • Bug: If you try to delete a sec­tion sep­a­ra­tor like the one be­low, it will in­stead delete the para­graph of text be­low it. To solve this, make a new line af­ter the sep­a­ra­tor, and then delete twice. The first delete will delete the new line, the sec­ond will delete the sep­a­ra­tor.

  • If you have a prob­lem not cov­ered, you can let us know! Mes­sage us in the in­ter­com (bot­tom right cor­ner of your screen) or leave a com­ment here.