The MathML <maction> element provides a possibility to bind actions to (sub-) expressions. The action itself is specified by the actiontype attribute, which accepts several values. To specify which child elements are addressed by the action, you can make use of the selection attribute.


The action which specifies what happens for this element. Possible values are:
  • statusline: If there is a click on the expression or the reader moves the pointer over it, the message is sent to the browser's status line. The syntax is: <maction actiontype="statusline"> expression message </maction>.
  • toggle: When there is a click on the subexpression, the rendering alternates the display of selected subexpressions. Therefore each click increments the selection value.
    The syntax is: <maction actiontype="toggle" selection="positive-integer" > expression1 expression2 expressionN </maction>.
  • tooltip: When the pointer moves over the expression, a tooltip box with a message is displayed near the expression.
    The syntax is: <maction actiontype="tooltip"> expression message </maction>.
class, id, style
Provided for use with stylesheets.
Used to set a hyperlink to a specified URI.
The background color. You can use #rgb, #rrggbb and HTML color names.
The text color and also the fraction line color. You can use #rgb, #rrggbb and HTML color names.
The child element which is addressed by the action. The default value is 1, which is the first child element.


The following example uses the "toggle" actiontype:


<maction actiontype="toggle">






Specification Status Comment
MathML 3.0
The definition of 'maction' in that specification.
Recommendation Current specification
MathML 2.0
The definition of 'maction' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial specification

Browser compatibility


FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support No ?1 No No Yes1
actiontype No ? Yes2 No No Yes3
href No ?7 No No10
mathbackground No ?4 No No5.1
mathcolor No ?4 No No5.1
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support No No ?4 No No ?
actiontype No No ? Yes2 No No ?
href No No ? No No No ?
mathbackground No No ?4 No No ?
mathcolor No No ?4 No No ?

1. See WebKit bug 85734.

2. statusline and toggle are supported, tooltip is not implemented, see bug 544001.

3. toggle is supported, statusline and tooltip are not implemented, see WebKit bug 120059.


Gecko-specific notes

  • Prior to Gecko 9.0 (Firefox 9.0 / Thunderbird 9.0 / SeaMonkey 2.6) the non-standard restyle value on the actiontype attribute was supported. This value has been removed.
  • Prior to Gecko 14.0 (Firefox 14.0 / Thunderbird 14.0 / SeaMonkey 2.11) the statusline action type was using a non-standard syntax (see below). This has been fixed to follow the MathML specification.
    <maction actiontype="statusline#(message)">
  • With Gecko 15.0 (Firefox 15.0 / Thunderbird 15.0 / SeaMonkey 2.12) the selection attribute is only taken into account with the actiontype "toggle".
  • Starting with Gecko 16.0 (Firefox 16.0 / Thunderbird 16.0 / SeaMonkey 2.13) the selection attribute is also taken into account when an unknown actiontype is specified. If an actiontype is not specified (is empty) or when the selection attribute is invalid, the markup will throw an MathML error (invalid-markup).

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: lucian95, Yaffle, fscholz, Sheppy
Last updated by: lucian95,