jsMath Options Help
The jsMath Options page lets you control various attributes of jsMath to suit your needs. Most of these concern the fonts used for displaying mathematics.
- Scale all mathematics lets you set a scaling factor to use for mathematics compared to the rest of the text on the page. If the characters seem small or hard to read, you can enlarge them (relative to the surrounding text) by setting the scale factor to something greater than 100, for example 125%.
- The four font radio buttons let you select the type of font to use for displaying mathematical notation.
- The best results are when you use the native TeX fonts, but they probably are not installed on your computer by default. There is a link to the font download page that will tell you how to get the fonts, should you wish to install them.
- The image fonts often give the next best rendering. In this case, small images of each of the characters are used, which is a bit slower, but the results are nearly as good as using the native fonts. There are two problems: the images will not rescale if you scale the page you are viewing, and the mathematics can't be made colored (as it can if you use native fonts or unicode fonts). The first problem can be overcome if you check the scalable checkbox; the fonts will now enlarge or shrink as you change the scaling factor of your browser, but this may affect the quality of the images, even at their "natural" size. In particular some thin lines (like minus signs) might disappear. It may be better to leave "scalable" unchecked and simply reload the page at the new size. This should redraw the mathematics using a larger font.
- Using images for symbols only should be a little faster than using images for everything, and will avoid problems with scaled images being poorly rendered, but may produce slightly less beautiful results, depending on the font that you have selected in your browser. This mode uses the italicized serif font for the letters in equations, the plain serif font for numbers and some other standard symbols, and the image fonts for all the rest of the math symbols. This can produce better results in some cases, but the italic fonts on some browsers do not look very good.
- Finally, with native Unicode fonts, jsMath tries to use unicode character references to access the mathematical symbols available in those fonts. How well this works depends largely on the unicode fonts you have available to you. Since characters can be taken from widely different fonts, they may not work well together, and some symbols may not be available at all. This is the least successful of the methods, but does have the advantage of being scalable, printable and colorable, and you may need to use it if you don't have the TeX fonts and need those features.
- If Autoselect best font is selected, jsMath will pick the best choice it has available to it (usually TeX fonts if they are available, or images for symbols only otherwise). If you change the font selection above, this will become unchecked automatically so your selected font method will remain in effect.
- The Show font warnings checkbox controls whether the "missing TeX font" message will be displayed at the top of the page. By default, it will only be shown for the first page you look at, and then not shown again until you restart your browser. This box will be unchecked once the message has been shown once, but you can get the message back (if it would have been shown) by checking the box again.
- The Use image alpha channels checkbox controls a special feature of the image fonts that allows the anti-aliasing of the fonts to interact better with a background color or image on the web page. When alpha channels are allowed, the fonts will be anti-aliased to the background color; when disabled, they will shade to white. Some browsers (notably Internet Explorer) do not handle image alpha channels well or at all, and this may be unchecked automatically. Some browsers don't print alpha channels well, so you may want to uncheck this before printing a web page.
- The Print image-font help checkbox indicates whether jsMath should insert a message on printed pages that use image fonts in low resolutions. This message will inform you how to improve the quality of the printed results, and will not be shown if you have selected the high-resolution fonts available from the main jsMath control panel.
- The Always use hi-res fonts checkbox controls the resolution used for the image fonts that jsMath uses. If you will be printing many pages, you may find it more convenient to turn on high-resolution fonts for the duration of your session, so that your printed output will be of higher quality without having to use the control panel to select high-resolution fonts explicitly on each page. In addition, if you browser scales images well (the browsers on the Mac do pretty well with this, but those on the PC don't), you may want to use the higher-resolution fonts all the time, as they will allow you to magnify the page better, and will mean you don't have an extra step to perform when you want to print a page.
The next four options control what you see as the mathematics is being processed.
- The Show jsMath button checkbox controls whether the floating "jsMath" button (usually in the lower right-hand corner) will be displayed. This button lets you bring up the control panel, but it may be distracting, and some browsers will print it on each page, so you may wish to disable the button in those situations. If the "jsMath" button is not shown, you can still bring up the control panel by ALT-clicking on any mathematical expression.
- The Show progress messages checkbox selects whether jsMath will use a separate panel within the browser window for its progress messages. (If unchecked, jsMath will use the window status bar for progress messages.) When the mathematics on the page is being processed asynchronously, these messages tell how far along jsMath is. They also indicate when jsMath is loading an auxiliary file asynchronously.
- The page author can specify whether the mathematics on the page should be processed before the page is displayed, or whether the page will be displayed and then the mathematics processed (in which case, you will see the math "flicker" as it is typeset). Usually when a page is short or doesn't include much math, it is reasonable to process it before showing the page; but if the page includes lots of math, that would take a long time, and showing first is probably a good idea. The Force asynchronous processing checkbox can be used to override the author's setting and force jsMath to show the page first and then process the mathematics, so you can start reading the page right away (but the page will flicker while the processing occurs).
- The Don't show page until complete checkbox does the opposite. The page "flicker" that accompanies the asynchronous processing of the page may bother some readers. If that is the case for you, you can select this checkbox to cause the page to appear "blank" until the mathematics has been completed. (The message box will continue to be shown, so you can see that progress is being made, and can cancel jsMath if necessary.) This is in some sense the reverse of the preceeding checkbox; if in author has specified asynchronous processing, this has the effect of making the page not show up until the math is completely processed.
Finally, there are the following miscellaneous controls:
- For pages that use the
tex2mathplugin, the Enable
tex2mathplugin checkbox determines whether the plugin should be used or not. This plugin allows web-page authors to use a simpler mechanism for marking where the mathematics is on the page, but it can sometimes incorrectly mark some material as mathematics that isn't. In that case, turn off the plugin and reload the page. When deactivated, no math on the page will be typeset.
- The Use Global mode menu lets you control whether jsMath uses a global cache to store the equations that it processes (to speed up processing equations that have already appeared). See the documentation for global mode for more details.
- The Save settings menu lets you select how long your current option settings will remain in effect. The default is to save the settings only for this browser session (so they are forgotten when you exit your browser), but you can save the settings for a longer period if you wish. The settings are kept on a site-wide basis, so all pages from the same site will get the same jsMath settings.