MathML first steps overview

MathML is the markup language used to write mathematical formulas in web pages. This module provides a gentle beginning to your path towards MathML mastery with the basics of how it works, what the syntax looks like, and how you can start using it inside HTML.

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Before starting this module, you should have:

  1. Basic familiarity with using computers and using the Web passively (i.e. looking at it, consuming the content.)
  2. A basic work environment set up, as detailed in Installing basic software, and an understanding of how to create and manage files, as detailed in Dealing with files.
  3. Basic familiarity with HTML, as described in Introduction to HTML.

Note: If you are working on a computer/tablet/other device where you don't have the ability to create your own files, you could try out the code examples in an online coding program such as JSBin or Glitch.


This module contains the following articles, which will take you through all the basic theory of MathML, and provide opportunities for you to test out some skills.

Getting started with MathML

In this article, we will take a simple HTML document and see how to add MathML formulas into it, introducing a few elements along the way.

Text containers

Now that you get a better idea of MathML, we move on to text containers (variables, numbers, operators, ...) which are used as building blocks of MathML formulas.

Fractions and roots

Relying on text containers, this article describes how to build more complex MathML expressions by nesting fractions and roots.


We continue the review of basic math notations and focuses on building MathML elements with scripts.


Once all basic math notations are known, it remains to consider tabular layout which can be used for matrix-like expressions and other advanced math layout.


The following assessment will test your understanding of the MathML basics covered in the guides above.

Three famous mathematical formulas

With the things you have learned in the last few articles, you should already be able to write relatively sophisticated MathML formulas. This assessment gives you a chance to do that.