Keyboard Explorer Commands

The keyboard explorer is used to interact with a mathematical expression using keyboard commands. Interaction allows a reader to traverse an expression in a mathematical meaningful way, examining sub-expressions and diving into details as they see fit.

The keyboard explorer supports multiple types of output: Speech and Braille output for the sub-expression that is explored, magnification of that sub-expression, and synchronised highlighting with the navigation.

Navigation can be started when a MathJax expression is focused and quit at any time during the exploration. When navigation is restarted, the application will continue where the user has left off within the expression.

Overview of key bindings

Essential Keys

EnterActivate explorer. Requires math expression to have the focus.
EscapeLeave exploration mode.
DownExplore next lower level of the formula by moving down in the sub-expression tree. Exploration will start at the left-most sub-expression on the level.
UpMove up the sub-expression tree.
RightNavigate the expression horizontally by moving to the next sub-expression on the current level.
LeftNavigate the expression horizontally by moving to the previous sub-expression on the current level.

An earcon is played as indicator that the boundary of an expression has been reached in either direction.

Advanced Options

TabRepeat previous speech-text or announcement.
SpaceGet positional information; i.e., the current level in the sub-expression tree as well as collapsibility/expandability of the current subexpression.
EnterCollapse or expand expression under cursor, if possible. Speech-text is regenerated to match.
HomeNavigate directly to top-most level of expression.
XSummarise the expression under cursor, without collapsing it.
ZGive detailed description of expression under cursor, without expanding it.
VStart new virtual cursor from the current position.
PGo to last position or previous virtual cursor
UUndo all virtual cursors; i.e.; go to position where first virtual cursor was started.
>Switch rule sets between MathSpeak and ClearSpeak, if both are available for the current locale.
<Cycle styles or preferences for the currently active rule sets.

Special key combinations for navigating tables

Shift+ DownMove one cell vertically down in the table.
Shift+ UpMove one cell vertically up in the table.
Shift+ RightMove one cell horizontally right in the table.
Shift+ LeftMove one cell horizontally left in the table.
0-9+0-9Move directly to cell (n,m) if it exists. (0,0) is cell (10,10).

Special Notes


Depending on the implementation quality of the particular browser/screenreader/OS combination (especially Chrome and IE), users might have to disable screenreader reading modes (e.g., “browse mode” in NVDA, “virtual cursor” in JAWS) before being able to launch the MathJax explorer application.