Mathematical formulae ...

... how to represent them on web pages? Here we offer a convenient tool and some information about other possibilities.

The tool

The language HTML offers to some extent the possibility to represent mathematical symbols in a web browser - without the absolute necessity of browser plug-ins or downloading documents in formats other than HTML. For example, did you know that the code <font face="Symbol">p</font> stands for the symbol symbol p (pi)? (For a problem emerging with this way of representing special symbols in the browsers Netscape 6+ and Mozilla and how to resolve it, consult the page on optimal preferences).

maths online offers a tool which makes the generation of HTML code for maths formulae a fairly easy matter - provided you have some elementary knowledge of HTML, and provided the symbols needed are among the fonts a web browser may access. The button

calls the application. It comes with a detailled description and shall help learners and teachers to design attractive web pages (as for example the worksheets of our suggestions for the classroom).

You may as well obtain an offline version of the tool (see maths online download resources) which makes you independent of a web connection while working on your pages.

Further possibilities ...

... arise when you use other programs or languages when generating your formulae:
  • If a document is written in LaTeX it may be converted into HTML by the program

    TTH: a TeX to HTML translator

    which uses genuine fonts, much like our tool offered above. Sophisticated formulae are represented by means of appropriate table constructions, so that only few things are still not possible (as for example symbols with vector arrow in a line of text). The program is free for non-commerial use and works quite fast.
  • Another application translating LaTeX documents into HTML is

    The LaTeX2HTML Translator.

    It represents formulae graphically, and is thus not restricted by any font limitation. As a disadvantage, it generated a graphic file for ach formula, which makes later corrections pretty difficult. Nevertheless it is frequently used.
  • For the use of Java to represent mathematical formula written in LaTeX, see

    HotEqn   and   WebEQ.

  • Optimal strategies for implementing mathematical formulae is the subject of a numer of projects. A good survey - concerning existing solutions as well as future plans - is provided by the article

    Approaches to WWW Mathematics Documents

    by Ian Hutchinson. The W3 consortium, devoted to the suggestion of standards for the world wide web, recommends (since April 1998) the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML). See the page

    W3C's Math Home Page.

    It also provides a list of applications (e.g. computer algebra systems, browsers and editors) which have begun implementing MathML, as well as related software. The project

    Amaya - W3C's Editor/Browser.

    is devoted to the development of a fully "maths enabled" web browser.
  • If a document has been written in Word 97 it may be saved as a web page, where the mathematical symbole (generated by Word's formula editor) are represented graphically.
  • Similar functionalities are becoming adopted by the newer versions of other applications like editors and computer algebra systems.

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