Viewing Equations in the HTML Article

OSA uses MathJax software to render equations. The software is run server side, and readers do not need to download additional software to view the equations. Right click on any equation to invoke the MathJax toolbar with options to change zoom behavior, to scale, to view source, etc.

Problems and Solutions

1. The equations take too long to load.

Load time can be undersirably slow with some math-heavy articles, especially in Internet Explorer 8. We recommend Firefox or Safari for best performance. However, we will continue optimizing MathJax display for all browsers. Internet Explorer users should upgrade to version 9 if possible.

2. The equations run off the page.

MathJax breaks long equations programmatically to fit the viewing page. To ensure that automatic breaking is turned on, set your your MathJax to CSS-HTML mode (right click an equation; then use Math Settings -> Math Renderer

MathJax viewing mode
Right click an equation to activate the options menu.

3. I don't see the equation structure — I just see a string of characters.

Ensure that MathJax is set to CSS-HTML mode as described above.

4. The equations have bad looking or missing fonts.

  1. Install the STIX fonts (comprehensive science and engineering fonts) on your computer if possible. For information on installing fonts on various operating systems, see
  2. If you are using Safari or another browser with explicit font settings, ensure that the settings are optimized. In Safari for Windows, in the Appearance preferences, set "Font smoothing" to Medium.

5. The equation seems to have a serious display or content error.

Please contact OSA Staff if you need help or suspect that there are problems with equation content or display.

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