Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Mathematical Content

Mathematical content can be difficult to provide in an accessible format as it often involves dense data, complex layout, special characters and complex diagrams.

MathML & MathJax

MathML

Using MathML (Mathematics Markup Language) produces mathematical formula as text on the screen. MathML is best created through a suitable editor although Word has some capability for producing usable content. Browsers can translate MathML into a formatted equation although current support is quite limited (Firefox & Safari). You may need to provide a disclaimer indicating a preferred option to your users.

Sample MathML Equation

<math>
<mfrac>
<mrow><mi>x</mi><mo>+</mo><mn>2</mn></mrow>
<mn>3</mn>
</mfrac>
</math>

Depending on your browser, will render as (x+2 over 3):

x+23

MathJax

MathJax is a set of JavaScript libraries that displays math equations in web pages across most browsers. Access MathJax libraries need to be included on the page usually as code in the document <head>.

Content will not be available if JavaScript is turned off in the browser. You may need to be able to provide content in an alternative format.

Using Images

While MathML is the best technical option it is not always practical to use (limited browser support). The relevant math can be exported as an image and then include it into a document with a suitable ALT tag.

Right-angle triangle with the value of 57 degrees marked on the top point. The long side is labelled 5.6 metres and the base labelled a. Find the value of a. 

<img src="triangle.png" 
alt="Right-angle triangle with the value of 57 degrees marked on the top point.
The long side is labelled 5.6 metres and the base labelled a.
Find the value of a." />

Equation - v sup 2 plus u sup 2 over 2a 

<img src="equation.png" alt="Equation - v sup 2 plus u sup 2 over 2a">

If the image ALTs are too long or complex, consider including part of the description in the general content of the page such as in the preceding text or as part of the question.