Attention

Version 3 is now the current version of MathJax. This document is for version 1.

# Getting Started¶

MathJax allows you to include mathematics in your web pages, either using TeX and LaTeX notation, or as MathML. To use MathJax, you will need to do the following things:

1. Obtain a copy of MathJax and make it available on your server.
2. Configure MathJax to suit the needs of your site.
3. Link MathJax into the web pages that are to include mathematics.
4. Put mathematics into your web pages so that MathJax can display it.

Each of these steps is described briefly below, with links to more detailed explanations. This page gives the quickest and easiest ways to get MathJax up and running on your web site, but you may want to read the details in order to customize the setup for your pages.

## Obtaining and Installing MathJax¶

The easiest way to set up MathJax is to obtain the MathJax-v1.0.1.zip archive from the MathJax download page. This includes both the MathJax code and the MathJax webfonts, so this is the only file you need. (This is different from the beta releases, which had the fonts separate from the rest of the code).

Unpack the MathJax-v1.0.1.zip archive and place the resulting MathJax folder onto your web server at a convenient location where you can include it into your web pages. For example, making MathJax a top-level directory on your server would be one natural way to do this. That would let you refer to the main MathJax file via the URL /MathJax/MathJax.js from within any page on your server.

Note: While this is the easiest way to set up MathJax initially, there is a better way to do it if you want to be able to keep your copy of MathJax up-to-date easily. That uses the Git version control system, and is described in the Installing MathJax document. If you prefer using Subversion, we also maintain an SVN mirror (see Installing MathJax via SVN).

Once you have MathJax set up on your server, you can test it using the files in the MathJax/test directory. Load them in your browser using its web address rather than opening them locally (i.e., use an http:// URL rather than a file:// URL). When you view the index.html file, after a few moments you should see a message that MathJax appears to be working. If not, check that the files have been transferred to the server completely and that the permissions allow the server to access the files and folders that are part of the MathJax directory. (Be sure to verify the MathJax folder’s permissions as well.) Check the server log files for any errors that pertain to the MathJax installation; this may help locate problems in the permission or locations of files.

## Configuring MathJax¶

When you include MathJax into your web pages as described below, it will load the file config/MathJax.js (i.e., the file named MathJax.js in the config folder of the main MathJax folder). This file contains the configuration parameters that control how MathJax operates. There are comments in it that explain each of the parameters, and you can edit the file to suit your needs.

The default settings are appropriate for pages that use TeX as the input language, but you might still want to adjust some settings; for example, you might want to include some additional extensions such as the AMSmath and AMSsymbols extensions. The comments in the file should help you do this, but more detailed instructions are included in the Configuring MathJax document. There are also ways to configure MathJax other than by using the config/MathJax.js file; these are descibed on that page as well.

## Linking MathJax into a web page¶

You can include MathJax in your web page by putting

<script type="text/javascript" src="path-to-MathJax/MathJax.js"></script>


in your document’s <head> block. Here, path-to-MathJax should be replaced by the URL for the main MathJax directory, so if you have put the MathJax directory at the top level of you server’s web site, you could use

<script type="text/javascript" src="/MathJax/MathJax.js"></script>


<html>
...
<script type="text/javascript" src="/MathJax/MathJax.js"></script>
<body>
...
</body>
</html>


Although it is possible to load MathJax from a site other than your own web server, there are issues involved in doing so that you need to take into consideration. See the Notes About Shared Servers for more details. Please do not link to the copy of MathJax at www.mathjax.org, as we do not have the resources to act as a web service for all the sites on the web that would like to display mathematics. If you are able to run MathJax from your own server, please do so (this will probably give you better response time in any case).

## Putting mathematics in a web page¶

To put mathematics in your web page, you can use either TeX and LaTeX notation, or MathML notation (or both); the configuration file tells MathJax which you want to use, and how you plan to indicate the mathematics when you are using TeX notation. The following sections tell you how to use each of these formats.

### TeX and LaTeX input¶

To process mathematics that is written in TeX or LaTeX format, include "input/TeX" in your configuration’s jax array, and add "tex2jax.js" to the extensions array so that MathJax will look for TeX-style math delimiters to identify the mathematics on the page.

extensions: ["tex2math.js"],
jax: ["input/TeX", "output/HTML-CSS"]


Note that the default math delimiters are $$...$$ and $...$ for displayed mathematics, and $$...$$ for in-line mathematics. In particular, the $...$ in-line delimiters are not used by default. That is because dollar signs appear too often in non-mathematical settings, which could cause some text to be treated as mathematics unexpectedly. For example, with single-dollar delimiters, “… the cost is $2.50 for the first one, and$2.00 for each additional one …” would cause the phrase “2.50 for the first one, and” to be treated as mathematics since it falls between dollar signs. For this reason, if you want to use single-dollars for in-line math mode, you must enable that explicitly in your configuration:

tex2jax: {inlineMath: [['$','$'], ['\$$','\$$']]}


See the config/MathJax.js file, or the tex2jax configuration options page, for additional configuration parameters that you can specify for the tex2jax preprocessor.

Here is a complete sample page containing TeX mathematics (which assumes that config/MathJax.js is configured as described above):

<html>
<title>MathJax TeX Test Page</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/MathJax/MathJax.js"></script>
<body>
When $$a \ne 0$$, there are two solutions to $$ax^2 + bx + c = 0$$ and they are
$$x = {-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac} \over 2a}.$$
</body>
</html>


There are a number of extensions for the TeX input processor that you might want to add to the extensions array. These include:

• TeX/AMSmath.js, which defines the AMS math environments and macros,
• TeX/AMSsymbols.js, which defines the macros for the symbols in the msam10 and msbm10 fonts,
• TeX/noErrors.js, which shows the original TeX code rather than an error message when there is a problem processing the TeX, and
• TeX/noUndefined.js, which prevents undefined macros from producing an error message, and instead shows the macro name in red.

For example,

extensions: ["tex2math.js","TeX/noErrors.js","TeX/noUndefined.js",
"TeX/AMSmath.js","TeX/AMSsymbols.js"]


loads all four extensions, in addition to the tex2math preprocessor.

### MathML input¶

To process mathematics written in MathML, include "input/MathML" in your configuration’s jax array, and add "mml2jax.js" to the extensions array so that MathJax will locate the [itex] elements in the page automatically.

extensions: ["mml2jax.js"],
jax: ["input/MathML", "output/HTML-CSS"]


With this configuration, you would mark your mathematics using standard [itex] tags, where <math display="block"> represents displayed mathematics and <math display="inline"> or just [itex] represents in-line mathematics.

Note that this will work in HTML files, not just XHTML files (MathJax works with both), and that the web page need not be served with any special MIME-type. Also note that, unless you are using XHTML rather than HTML, you should not include a namespace prefix for your [itex] tags; for example, you should not use <m:math> except in a file where you have tied the m namespace to the MathML DTD.

Here is a complete sample page containing MathML mathematics (which assumes that config/MathJax.js is configured as described above):

<html>
<title>MathJax MathML Test Page</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/MathJax/MathJax.js"></script>
<body>

When <math><mi>a</mi><mo>&#x2260;</mo><mn>0</mn></math>,
there are two solutions to <math>
<mi>a</mi><msup><mi>x</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
<mo>+</mo> <mi>b</mi><mi>x</mi>
<mo>+</mo> <mi>c</mi> <mo>=</mo> <mn>0</mn>
</math> and they are
<math mode="display">
<mi>x</mi> <mo>=</mo>
<mrow>
<mfrac>
<mrow>
<mo>&#x2212;</mo>
<mi>b</mi>
<mo>&#x00B1;</mo>
<msqrt>
<msup><mi>b</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
<mo>&#x2212;</mo>
<mn>4</mn><mi>a</mi><mi>c</mi>
</msqrt>
</mrow>
<mrow> <mn>2</mn><mi>a</mi> </mrow>
</mfrac>
</mrow>
<mtext>.</mtext>
</math>

</body>
</html>


The mml2jax has only a few configuration options; see the config/MathJax.js file or the mml2jax configuration options page for more details.

## Where to go from here?¶

If you have followed the instructions above, you should now have MathJax installed and configured on your web server, and you should be able to use it to write web pages that include mathematics. At this point, you can start making pages that contain mathematical content!

You could also read more about the details of how to customize MathJax.

If you are trying to use MathJax in blog or wiki software or in some other content-management system, you might want to read about using MathJax in popular platforms.

If you are working on dynamic pages that include mathematics, you might want to read about the MathJax Application Programming Interface (its API), so you know how to include mathematics in your interactive pages.