# Firemath - The MathML Editor

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## FAQ — Questions and Answers

### General

Why is Firemath based on Firefox?

Firefox is a great browser, it can easily be extended using
XUL and
Javascript,
and — most importantly — Firefox renders
MathML.

Does Firemath support presentation markup and/or content markup?

Firmath generates presentation markup.

What is the difference between presentation markup and content markup?

Consider expression
${x}^{n}$.
It can have different meanings like take the
$n$th
power of
$x$,
or consider the
$n$th
element of tensor
$x$.
In presentation markup you

*say*that you want an $x$ with a superscript $n$. You don't give hints on the meaning of the expression. In content markup one rather specifies the content, i.e. the meaning, while the rendering associated with a particular content must be described somewhere else. See the MathML documentation for further details.What is MathML?

MathML is the mathematical markup language. In the way HTML is used to
specify textual and image content, MathML is used to describe equations.

### Editing

What is the difference between function, identifier, operator, and text?

Use

Use

*identifier*for all numbers and variables and sometimes for functions. A*function*is an*identifier*followed by MathML operator ⁡ For example, you should use*function*for the $f$ in an expression like $f\left(x\right)$, where $f$ applies to what follows on the right.*Operator*s are elements like '+' or '=', but sometimes also expressions like 'NOT'.Use

*text*whenever the element consists of plain words.How do I enforce a number entry (<mn>)?

Shift-click onto the identifier button.

Why do I use the identifier button for both, numbers and variables?

Firemath automatically recognizes numbers, at least decimal numbers.

How does copy/paste work?

[Requires Firemath 0.9 or later] Use the 'Paste MathML' entry from the
'Edit' menu of Firemath for pasting MathML content stored on the
clipboard. The content gets inserted at the cursor position.

For copying elements you have three options. First, the 'Copy MathML' entry in the 'Edit' menu copies the entire equation. Second, the 'Copy Object' entry in the same menu copies the object under the cursor, indepentedly if this is a single or composed object.

The third option is the most advanced but also most difficult possibility. It allows to copy consecutive elements. Place the cursor on the first/last element to get copied and control-click onto the last/first one. Note that this only works, if the first and last element are on the same 'level' within the MathML hierarchy. Copying worked, if the cursor changed its positon to the clicked element. If unsure, first open a new Firemath tab and paste the content there.

For copying elements you have three options. First, the 'Copy MathML' entry in the 'Edit' menu copies the entire equation. Second, the 'Copy Object' entry in the same menu copies the object under the cursor, indepentedly if this is a single or composed object.

The third option is the most advanced but also most difficult possibility. It allows to copy consecutive elements. Place the cursor on the first/last element to get copied and control-click onto the last/first one. Note that this only works, if the first and last element are on the same 'level' within the MathML hierarchy. Copying worked, if the cursor changed its positon to the clicked element. If unsure, first open a new Firemath tab and paste the content there.

What are fences?

Think of fences as brackets. You can individually specify the characters of the
opening and closing fence. Moreover, you can specify characters used to separate the various elements
contained within the fences. These separators default to commas ','. An example, in which the three
attributes are set in a

In Firemath the separators for ket and bra fences default to '|', while they default to commas otherwise.

*creative*way is $\left)a:1\right]$ . Here the separator was set to ':', while the opening and closing fences are ')' and ']', respectively.In Firemath the separators for ket and bra fences default to '|', while they default to commas otherwise.

How do I quickly clear the equation panel?

Just reload Firemath.

I need a special symbol/operator, which I can't find on one of the buttons.

If you believe that element is missing in the sense that it would also be helpful for
other users, please make an entry in our
discussion board. In the meantime you can help yourself if you
know the
unicode code of your symbol.
For instance, entering € (yes, these eight characters) into the
text field and clicking the

Be careful: In doubt, start a second Firemath session in another tab and try if that works.

*text*button displays the Euro currency symbol.Be careful: In doubt, start a second Firemath session in another tab and try if that works.

Why do we need a Normal button in the
attributes panel?

Commonly used rendering rules for identifiers (also applied by Firefox) are as follows.
Identifiers are rendered italic if they consist of a single character, and non-italic otherwise.
Sometimes you want identifiers (like
$\mathrm{\alpha}$
)
to be non-italic, which can be enforced using the normal button.

After inserting a new element, one of the operators suddenly became huge.

Enclose elements, which logically belong together, by an
<mrow>. Alternatively, specify the sizes of
elements via the attributes button.

### Menus

When copying/saving MathML code, what are the different options?

Choosing 'Complete XHTML / HTML5', your equation will be embedded in the
envelope necessary to get a valid XHTML or HTML5 document. In other words, you can directly
open that file with your browser and see your equation rendered.

The difference between 'Stand alone equation' and 'Inline equation' is that an inline equation is inserted into the text flow, while a stand alone equation occupies its own row.

Choosing 'Use Unicode values' makes Firemath exchange entites by the corresponding unicode values. For instance, expression 'α' becomes 'α'.

The difference between 'Stand alone equation' and 'Inline equation' is that an inline equation is inserted into the text flow, while a stand alone equation occupies its own row.

Choosing 'Use Unicode values' makes Firemath exchange entites by the corresponding unicode values. For instance, expression 'α' becomes 'α'.

### Third-party software

Can I use my equations in Microsoft Office 2007?

This is not that we recommend proprietary programs, but you can
at least partly. MS Office supports a subset of MathML. As long as your equations
are not too complex, you can import them as follows.

Within Firemath copy the MathML code to the clipboard as 'stand alone equation'. This can be pasted directly into your Word or Outlook documents. In Powerpoint one additional step is required. First select Insert→Object and choose 'Create new' 'Microsoft Office Word Document'. Finally, paste the MathML code into that object.

Within Firemath copy the MathML code to the clipboard as 'stand alone equation'. This can be pasted directly into your Word or Outlook documents. In Powerpoint one additional step is required. First select Insert→Object and choose 'Create new' 'Microsoft Office Word Document'. Finally, paste the MathML code into that object.

Your question is not answered here? See our discussion board.