HTML Editor: Create Math Equations

The HTML editor allows you to insert several varieties of mathematical equations with options such as auto-sizing parentheses, radicals, integrals, trigonometric functions, special symbols and more.

Technical note: The editor is a Java-based tool which generates MathML but converts the content into a GIF equation.

Insert an Equation

To insert an equation:

  1. Place your cursor where you wish to insert an equation.
  2. Click the Insert Equation (Σ) button. The Insert Equation window will open.

    Screen Caoture. Insert Equation button.
    Insert Equation button

    Java notes:

    1. Depending on your system, you may see a Java coffee cup icon before the tool opens. You may also see a delay then a request to approve a Java applet. Click the appropriate option to approve the applet.
    2. If the window opens but remains blank, you may need to make sure your computer has the correct version of Java installed. Contact ANGEL support for additional information.
  3. To insert a symbol (e.g., ≥ for "greater than or equal to"), select the appropriate palette and click on the symbol. See the HTML Editor: Equation Editor Palette Reference help topic for a reference of symbols and structures.
  4. To insert an equation, formula, or expression, select one of the palettes in the toolbar and select the best structure. The structure will be inserted with square place holders for variables or numbers.

    Screen Capture. Insert Equation window.
    Equation Editor window showing radical nth root structure with placeholders for the index value on the radical and the radicand beneath the radical symbol

  5. Highlight each placeholder, then enter the appropriate text or number.

    Screen Capture. Radical nth root place holders' buttons.
    Radical nth root place holders set for 23 in the index and 1000 in the radical (i.e. 23√1000)

  6. Click the OK button to save the expression and return to the main HTML editor. In the HTML editor, you may see "mathml equation," but the expression will be visible after you save and exit the HTML editor.

Edit an Expression

To edit an expression, highlight the expression within the HTML editor (it will show square handles), then click the Insert Equation button again. The Insert Equation window will open.

Delete an Expression

To delete an expression, highlight the expression, then press the Delete or Backspace key.

Nested Expressions

A nested expression is one in which more than one expression structure is required. Nested expressions may include fractions with square roots or exponents, expressions with multiple sets of parentheses or other combinations of structures. See example image below.

Screen Capture. Insert Equation fraction options.
Structure for a fraction with an nth root of a fraction in the numerator and the absolute value of a square root in the denominator, all enclosed in parentheses

Build Nested Expression Outside In

The most consistent results are generated by building a nested expression from the outermost layers in.

For instance in the image above, you could:

  1. First insert the parentheses structure.

    Note: As more items are added, the parentheses expand in height to accommodate the fractions and extra content.

  2. Highlight the placeholder within the parentheses, then insert a fraction.
  3. Highlight the numerator placeholder then insert an nth root structure.
  4. Highlight the radicand of the nth root and insert a fraction.
  5. For the denominator of the entire expression, you can insert absolute value brackets then the square root structure.

Build Nested Expression Inside Out

You can add outer structures (e.g., square brackets or square root) to simple expressions by highlighting the target area then selecting the appropriate structure.

Note: Output may vary depending on the tool. For instance, highlighting an area and selecting the fraction structure results in the original expression becoming the numerator, not the denominator.

Equation Editor Tools: Copy, Paste, Zoom

The Toolbox palette includes cut, copy, paste, undo, and zoom functions.

The Toolbox palette (wrench icon) is located at the right of the equation editor.

Screen Capture. Toolbox palette options.
Toolbox palette options

Following is a description of each option:

Cut (scissors): Highlight text and click this tool to cut content to be pasted elsewhere.

Copy (two pages): Highlight text and click this tool to copy content to be pasted elsewhere.

Paste (clipboard): Move the cursor to new location and click this tool to paste content.

Undo (curved arrow): Click this tool to undo your last action.

Magnify (magnifying glass with plus sign): Click this tool to zoom in.

Shrink (magnifying glass with minus sign): Click this tool to zoom out.

Check Syntax Tool

The Check Syntax tool (check mark icon) at the far right is used to check for errors in your equation (e.g., improperly nested parentheses or brackets).

Screen Capture. Check Syntax tool button.
Check Syntax tool

Errors are typically highlighted in red boxes. See below for the color codes:

Red background: Parenthesis or bracket with no opposite counterpart

Red Asterisk: Empty placeholders or hidden content which can be removed

Red Text: Highlights operators (e.g., +, ≤, etc.)

Blue Text: Highlights operands (e.g., numbers, variables)

Green Text: Highlights functions (e.g., trigonometric functions)

Screen Capture. Syntax Errors' Example in the expression (a-b))
Example expression (a-b)) with second right parenthesis highlighted in red because there is no second left parenthesis. The variables "a" and "b" are in blue and the minus operator is in red.

Screen Capture. Exmaple of Syntax Errors in the expression csc (x/y)
Example expression csc (x/y) with the cosecant function highlighted in green, variables "x" and "y" in blue and the division slash in red.

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