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Bennett Kanuka

Using math and software to solve real world problems

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Wikipedia + MathJax

I read a lot of math-centric articles on Wikipedia and I have a number of issues with how math is displayed on Wikipedia.

  • Zooming into the page or the equation causes the image to blur and loose quality.
  • Selecting the equation selects an image of the equation (with a white background), so copy-paste does not always have the desired results.
  • Finding the LaTeX or MathML markup source for the equation is difficult or impossible.
  • Searching for text on the page does not search inside the equation.
  • Equations stand out as unnecessarily large.
  • Text inside an equation does not adhere to the default browser font.

MathJax

MathJax is a program written in JavaScript that displays math exactly as it should be displayed: as text, and without all the problems mentioned above. Wikipedia user Nageh wrote an experimental port of MathJax that works for Wikipedia.

To enable MathJax in Wikipedia, do the following:

  • Log in to Wikipedia. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll have to make one. You can follow the link on the top right of any Wikipedia page.
  • Go to this page. This is a special page that lets you edit the way any Wikipedia page is displayed. In the large text box on that page, paste the following code:
mathJax={}; 
mathJax.fontDir="http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/fonts"; 
importScript('User:Nageh/mathJax.js');
  • Press the Save Page button below the text box.
  • You may have to enter a CAPTCHA and press Save Page again. You should now see the following (but with your username):
  • Go to “My preferences” near the top of the page. Then click on “Appearance”.
  • Under the Math section select the box “Leave it as TeX (for text browsers)” so that the section looks like the following: And press “Save”.

You can now go to any Wikipedia math page and have equations properly displayed.