Daniel I. Scully

A Beginner's Guide to MathML


Welcome to my little tutorial on MathML which I wrote while learning it for myself. The first thing to know about MathML is that it is divided into two parts:

  • Presentational - concerned with the visual presentation of expressions
  • Content - concerned with the mathematical meaning of expressions

Since my primary motivation for learning MathML was the inclusion of equations on my website, this tutorial deals exclusively with presenational mark-up (leaving content mark-up either to other websites or, if I become inclined to learn, a future article).

The article assumes familiarity with XML. It is also a beginner's guide and therefore not exhaustive.


  1. Getting Started
  2. Token Elements
  3. Grouping & Styling
  4. Brackets
  5. Fractions
  6. Roots
  7. Sub/Super-scripts
  8. Tensors & Pre-scripts
  9. Vectors & Matrices
  10. Useful Entities
  11. Using MathML
  12. Appendix: Browser Test

Change log

  • [13/03/2013] - Removed GIFs of examples and reinstated live MathML. Added MathJax to ensure examples are displayed correctly. Added mention of MathJax to the Using MathML page.
  • [14/02/2013] - Added Prince XML to the Using MathML page, and added news of Opera adopting WebKit.
  • [19/01/2013] - Brought the MathML Browser Test into the guide as an appendix. Updated description of current browser support in Using MathML. Transferred to my new site's style. Migrated URLs to new site structure.
  • [19/09/2010] - Linked to my MathML browser test
  • [22/07/2010] - Replaced live MathML examples with generated GIFs until browser support increases
  • [21/07/2010] - Replaced old example boxes with new syntax-highlighted ones