When you write a message, you will be asked for a Title and a Message. You also have control over whether the system should scan your message for mathematical notation, and whether your message is in HTML format, or just plain text. In Text mode, use a blank line to indicate a paragraph break; other than this, the spacing and line breaks you enter will be ignored when the message is displayed. In HTML mode, you must enter all formatting commands yourself, including paragraph breaks. See the section on Text and HTML for more details.
Your message should contain only standard (7-bit) ASCII characters, which means no "smart quotes", diacritical marks or other characters that are not printed on the keyboard. You can use HTML entities to enter these in HTML mode if you need them. See the Simple HTML Formatting section for some samples of how to do this.
If you have already created your message in a word processor, you should be able to copy the text and paste it into the message box of the form, provided it adhears to the advice above. Note that you will lose any formatting that is present in your word processor when you do this.
If you select Process Math, you can use
\(and \)to surround mathematical notation, and \[and \]for displayed mathematics. Enter your equations using standard LaTeX commands. You also can use $ and $$ to delimit mathematics as in plain TeX. To include an actual dollar sign in your message, use \$ (this is only necessary when Process Math is checked). See the section on Mathematical Notation for more details.
If your message needs additional support files (e.g., an image or movie), the system lets you upload these from your hard disk. Uploaded files are listed in the Other Files list. If you use HTML mode and make links that would normally come from the same directory as your message, the system will prompt you automatically to upload these files, or you can add or remove files from the list manually. See Images and Links for more details.