Notion Math Equations and Symbols – Complete Guide in 2024!

Notion is more than just a productivity tool — it is also a note-taking app. But aside from the usual text and diagrams you add within the app, you can also add math equations.

It can be challenging, but once you know how to add Notion math equations, you’ll easily incorporate them into your notes.

Notion Math Equations (Symbols)

If you have tried adding superscripts and subscripts in Notion, you now have an idea of what Notion math equations are.

Also known as multiline equations, math equations can be added to Notion by typing the formulas in the “Input equation” fields.

However, for the math equations to render properly in Notion, you need to use KaTeX codes. KaTeX is a large library of supported LaTeX codes for the symbols used for building formulas in Notion.

You can either check the KaTeX page of Supported Functions or the alphabetized Support Table for reference.

Here are some of the common KaTeX codes for the various Notion math equations or multiline equations you’re building.

1. Brackets

Brackets are symbols used to group numbers or expressions together. They always come in pairs, one acting as an opening bracket and the other as a closing bracket.

There are three brackets used in math, and consequently, in the KaTeX library as well.

Round Brackets aka Parentheses ( )

Round brackets, or parentheses, are the most common brackets used in mathematical equations.

If the equation you’re using requires their use, they must be placed outside the code for them to be rendered properly.

These brackets are used for these main reasons.

• Group values or equations together
• Specify the order of operations in an equation
• Separate numbers (i.e., when mentioning negative numbers)
• Multiplying numbers

Curly aka Brace Brackets { }

Curly or brace brackets are commonly used to open and close an expression, equation, or argument.

They are used for grouping large equations or when denoting a set of numbers or characters.

Square aka Box Brackets [ ]

Square or box brackets are used in complex mathematical expressions. They distinguish the sub-expressions in that complex equation.

2. Superscripts and Subscripts

You’ll usually find superscripts and subscripts in Chemistry formulas.

Superscripts are the small numbers found on the upper right of the base character. Subscripts, however, are found on the lower right of the base character.

To create a superscript, add a caret (^).

For a subscript, add an underscore (_) instead.

If you need to add double-digit superscripts or subscripts, ensure the number is enclosed in curly brackets ({ }). This will make Notion read the numerals as a unit.

For double-digit bases, enclose the numbers or letters in parentheses.

3. Multiplication

The usual symbol used when multiplying two numbers in Math is the “X” symbol. Sometimes, an asterisk (*) is used instead.

However, in Notion, you don’t directly type “X” or the asterisk symbol to denote multiplication.

Here is the KaTeX code to create the multiplication symbol:

\times

4. Fractions

Fractions refer to numerical quantities that are not whole numbers. They may also mean a part of a whole, a share, or an amount of that whole.

Usually, the forward-slash (/) symbol is used to denote fractions in other tools.

But like the multiplication symbol, fractions won’t render properly if you use the forward slash to separate the numerator and the denominator.

Here is the KaTeX code to denote fractions:

\frac{number 1}{number 2}

If you want the fractions to appear larger, here is the KaTeX code to be used:

\cfrac{number1}{number 2}

5. Square Root and Cube Root

A square root refers to a number that when multiplied twice by itself gives the original number.

Cube root works similarly in that when you multiply that number thrice (3 times) by itself, it gives the original number.

Here is the KaTeX code for square root if for a number-letter combination type of math equation:

\sqrt{number + letter equation}

If you’re only adding numbers under the square root symbol, you can use this variation of the KaTeX code instead.

\sqrt(number)

For cube roots, enclose the number “3” in box or square brackets before you type the number or equation under the cube root symbol.

\sqrt[3]{number and/or equation}

You can also use this variation of the cube root code if you’re only adding numbers under the cube root symbol.

\sqrt[3](number)

5. Greek Symbols

Greek symbols are used in math, engineering, or chemistry-related equations. They usually depict numerical constants, special functions, or variables that represent quantities.

Regardless of what Greek symbol you’ll use, the KaTeX code you’ll use stays the same:

\(name of the Greek symbol)

How to Customize Notion Math Equations (Symbols)

Notion wouldn’t be the Notion we know today if it doesn’t offer customization options. From divider colors, background colors, and even text colors, you can change them to the hue you want.

The good thing is that this customization feature can also be used for Notion math equations. Just type the KaTeX code for that color inside the “Equation Input” field.

If you want to change the color of the equation itself, use this code before the KaTeX code of the symbol or equation.

\color{name of color}

Now to add a colored background to that equation or symbol, add this code before the equation formula.

In an equation, enclose the entire equation in curly brackets as well so they, too, will have a colored background.

\colorbox{name of color}

Now if you prefer a colored border for the equation, add this code before the equation formula.

\fcolorbox{color of border}{color of background}

Lastly, you can change the size of the equation or symbol with these codes. Again, add these codes before the equation and enclose them in curly brackets to include all the characters in it.

• \small = Small
• \Large = Large
• \Huge = Huge

Again, there’s no need to memorize these KaTeX codes. Aside from the KaTeX library, you can also refer to Janosch’s Math Equations Cheat Sheet.

Simply duplicate the cheat sheet template to your Notion workspace to access it whenever you need it.

But then, to fully use these Notion math equations, you must master how to add equation blocks within the tool.

There are two ways to add math equations (symbols) within Notion: Inline and Block Equations.

How to Add Inline Notion Math Equations

Inline equations refer to math equations you add to a sentence or text. You can add one either from the formatting menu, using text shortcuts, or with the equation input.

Add Inline Notion Math Equations Using the Formatting Menu

Granting that you have added the math equation as text, follow these steps to format it into an equation.

1. Highlight the math equation.

Do this by dragging the cursor across the math equation until it’s covered in blue highlight. By now you should see the formatting menu above it.

2. Select the “Equation” button.

This button appears as a square root equation between the “Mark as code” and “Text Color” buttons.

The selected text will then become an equation.

3. Click “Done.”

This is the blue button beside the “Input equation” field.

Add Inline Notion Math Equations Using Text Shortcuts

To add an equation without opening the formatting menu or “Input Equation” field, use a text shortcut instead.

You only have to type two dollar signs () at the beginning and end of the equation. Make sure there are no spaces between.

As soon as you type the last dollar sign, the text formula turns into an equation.

Add Inline Notion Math Equations Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Another way to add inline math equations in Notion is by using keyboard shortcuts. Use this method if you don’t want to interrupt typing your text to insert an equation.

1. Press “Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + E.”

This is the keyboard shortcut that opens the “Equation Input” field. Simply type the equation in it.

2. Select “Done.”

You’ll find this button to the right of the “Input field.”

You should now see the equation on the Notion page. You can then proceed with formatting the rest of the text within the page.

How to Add Block Notion Math Equations

Block equations separate the equation from the text elements on the Notion page. This is also one of the methods you can use to center text.

Unlike inline equations, block equations won’t sit within a sentence.

One way to add block equations in Notion is by highlighting the formula to bring up the formatting menu.

Then select the “Text” button on the menu and click “Block Equation.”

Another way is to type the “/equations” slash command. Use the plural form (“equations”) as the singular form (“equation”) will turn the formula into an inline equation instead.

From the dropdown menu that opens, click “Block Equation.”

Whichever method you use, you can now type the math equation inside the equation field or box. Then just select the “Done” button to close it.

Conclusion

Notion math equations, aka Notion multiline equations, make it easy for users to add mathematical notations to their notes. This way, they have more structured communication with their colleagues about complex ideas.

So don’t let complicated math equations stop you from harnessing Notion’s full potential. Master the process of adding them, and in no time, using Notion will be second nature.