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Quick Start for jsMath

If you are reading a web page that uses jsMath, you should not have to do anything special, as the mathematics should display properly without additional plug-ins, fonts, or other files. Just make sure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser.

You may see a message at the top of the page indicating that you don't have the TeX fonts installed — ignore that for now. The mathematics should still display reasonably well without them, and you can get them later. Use the "Hide Message" button to remove the warning for now.

If you have the TeX fonts, jsMath will use them automatically, but if not, jsMath will try to use other methods to display mathematics for you. There are three other methods it can try: using images in place of the characters in the TeX fonts, using unicode characters in place of the TeX fonts, or using images for the math symbols and native fonts for the text characters. JsMath will choose the form it thinks is best automatically, but you can select which method you want using the "Options" button on the jsMath control panel.

When you use image fonts, the images will be at a resolution appropriate to the size of the screen, but this may not be a high enough resolution for printing. If you want to print a web page containing jsMath output, you should first select the "Hi-Res Fonts for Printing" button on the jsMath control panel. This will reload the page with higher resolution fonts; these will not look so good on screen, but will produce better printed results. Reload the page again (or follow a link to another page) in order to go back to the screen fonts.

You can control these and other features of jsMath from the jsMath control panel. It can be obtained in two ways: either by clicking on the jsMath button that is usually at the lower right-hand corner of the page, or by ALT-clicking on any mathematical expression. The control panel gives you access to the documentation for jsMath and to the "Options" button that lets you adjust the features of jsMath. See the help pages for the main control panel, or for the options panel for more details on what the various controls mean.

Note that when you print a web page, the jsMath button will not appear in the printout even though you can see it on screen.

The author of a web page who uses jsMath enters the mathematics on the page using a mark-up language calle "TeX" that is a common format known to mathematicians around the world. If you want to see the code used to generate a particular piece of mathematics, you could view the page source, but an easier way is to double-click on the typeset expression. This will bring up a small window that contains the TeX source code for the expression you clicked on. You can move the window around using the drag bar at the top of the window, and can dismiss the window using the small square box at the left of the drag bar or by ALT-clicking anywhere in the window. You can drag-select the text within the window and copy and paste it into your own documents, if you wish.

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Created: 14 Jun 2005
Last modified: 02 May 2006 15:28:14
Comments to: dpvc@union.edu
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