For a collection of 991 bit-mapped, 12-point, transparent GIFs
of mathematical letters and symbols, in the public domain and
suitable for display on a Web page, see Norman Megill's
for Math Symbols.
Note: some of the instructions below may be Macintosh-specific.
- Typeset the Expression
Use an application that can represent mathematical notation. For example, I use
Equation Editor, which can be optionally installed along
with Microsoft Word. Here are some other choices:
The full-featured parent product of Equation Editor. For Windows and
K-Talk Communications has developed this equation editor for Windows.
Among mathematicians, the preferred application for producing well-formatted
print material. Difficult to understand if you haven't used it before, but
- Convert it to a GIF
How you do this depends on how you did the typesetting; the point is to get a transparent-background GIF with your
expression on it. Here are a few methods for accomplishing the task:
- Check the "Save As..." Options in your Typesetting Program
Depending on the typesetting software you've used, it may be possible
to save the expression as an image file within the program. MathType 3.5,
for instance, allows you to save equations as GIFs. If this is not an option, you might be
- Copy to Clipboard and Paste into Graphics Program
I use Clip2GIF, a shareware program which you can download
from the Forum
Internet Software page, among other places. I copy
the equation to the clipboard in Equation Editor and then convert
the clipboard to a GIF with Clip2GIF (making sure that Options -
Transparent Background - White is checked). If this doesn't work for you,
you can always:
- Take a Screen Shot
If you can manage to display the expression on your monitor just the way
you'd like to see it on the web, you can take a screen shot and convert the cropped
image to a GIF with a graphics program.
- Options for TeX Users (UNIX-based)
Assuming you've created a TeX document to display some relatively short mathematical
expression (and not the entire text of what you wish to be your web
page), the easiest tool to use is the textogif
which does exactly what it says.
If, on the other hand, you want to convert an entire LaTeX document into HTML, use
- Place GIF on Web Page
View the GIF in your web browser to make sure it looks the way you want it
to. Ideally you want an image that (1) is easily read, (2) has a
transparent background, and (3) is about the right size, according to your
standards. The last thing to do is include the GIF in your web page with an
image tag. Here's an example:
...is coded as follows...
<img alt="[-b+-Sqrt[b^2-4ac]]/2a" src="images/quad.gif">
Some people may view your page without images, so it's important to use the
alt tag to describe what's in your GIF. For more information about HTML
code involved in embedding images in web pages, please see the Bare Bones Guide to HTML.