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Creating a Module - General: Equations

Equations as Images

Currently, the most reliable method of displaying equations on the web is by creating separate images out of the equations. Images can be generated using third-party equation editors.

C saturation equals K sub H times P sub O2

The example equation image has an alt text which reads "C saturation equals K sub H times P sub O2". Individual symbols can also be embedded inline in the text as small images.

To create an equation using Microsoft Equation 3.0, open Microsoft Word and do Insert > Object... > Microsoft Equation 3.0. For visual clarity, increase the font sizes of the math elements in Size > Define... Choose a large baseline font size, such as 20 pt or more. Use liberal spacing.

When the equation is finished, return to word processing mode by clicking outside of the equation. Select the equation as an object and copy and paste it into the web page draft. It will be pasted in as a GIF format image with a transparent background.

If the equation doesn't look good or is illegible on the background, you can do a screen capture of the original equation instead. Display the best version of the equation on your monitor and press the "Print Scrn" button on your keyboard. Open a photo editor and paste the screen capture as a new image. Crop out all but the equation and save it in a standard format (JPEG or GIF) to your computer. Insert this image into your draft.

Equations as Text

Text display should be limited to simple types of equations using common symbols and formatting:

F = m a

Subscripts and superscripts are not directly available in Contribute. They may be created by copying and pasting subscripted and superscripted text samples from Author Resources into the web page draft for editing.

More Information


MathML is a markup language for displaying math expressions on the web. It consists of both display elements and content elements. Many recent browsers will display MathML equations natively. Other browsers may require a plug-in. MathML not only permits equations to be displayed in a consistent manner as text and symbols, but in principle it permits them to be evaluated mathematically.

MathML Resources*

*This is to notify you that the material you are accessing is not an official web page of Michigan Technological University or Tech Alive. While MTU recognizes the constitutional right of free speech for its University users of the Internet and the World Wide Web, it is not responsible, and hereby disclaims all liability for any data, information, or opinions contained in unofficial web pages. Any comments related to the contents of personal home pages should be directed to the author of the pages.

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