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01 July 2011, 09:54

Browser-based formulae and equations with MathJax

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MathJax logo Displaying formulae and equations in a browser is not exactly trivial, and for simplicity's sake this is usually achieved using images. MathJax aims to offer an alternative – formulae embedded in HTML in the form of MathML or LaTeX expressions are displayed onscreen using JavaScript. The system is platform-independent, runs in all the major browsers and supports mobile devices. The JavaScript library uses HTML, CSS and web fonts to output formulae and equations. Alternatively they can, where supported by the browser, be rendered using native MathML rendering.

Mathjax formula rendering
Zoom Formula rendered in a browser using MathJax (rendered using a screenshot here)

MathJax is also flexible – the software can either be installed on the user's own server or can be used by accessing a service provided via CDN (Content Delivery Network). This means, for example, that the system can be integrated into a Tumblr blog or other platform. Actual calculation of the output is always performed by the client, meaning that MathJax should also be suitable for displaying confidential formulae.

The software is distributed under version 2 of the Apache licence and is available to download for free. It is a joint project between the American Mathematical Society, Design Science, Inc. and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


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