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Feature #16515

open

Writing math equations in the WP editor

Added by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago. Updated about 2 months ago.

Status:
Reporter Feedback
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category name:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
2022-07-25
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% Done:

0%

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Description

Hi All,

We have a request from Brooklyn college about writing math equations on the Commons. They write":

I’m writing because a professor at Guttman College, who is using the AC to create Math OERs, has reached out to me regarding their need to write math equations for their courses.

Initially I advised they download the plugin “WP LaTeX” which they did. However that plugin requires knowledge of LaTeX coding. They are looking for a feature or plugin which won’t require coding to add math equations. They referenced how in Blackboard they can use "MathType" which allows them to easily write math equations on the website without writing any code.”

Is there a similar feature in AC? How have you advised other professors who need to be able to create accessible math and scientific equations for their AC sites?

I looked into this a bit and writing equations in wordpress using no Latex at all seems difficult. It's possible that if the professor turns on unicode on their own computer they may be able to write the equations in wordpress - see #1 here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-write-math-equations-in-wordpress/

The MathML block plugin might allow the prof to write HTML code to display directly equations in the post/page. But again, i think this requires code.
-- See #3 here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-write-math-equations-in-wordpress/
-- Math ML: https://wordpress.org/plugins/mathml-block/

This is how "Mathtype" works on Blackboard so I imagine this this what they are trying to recreate on the Commons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf7g3LrnuLc

It seems like it should be possible but a few questions:

1. do we know of any plugins that add functionality to the Commons editor that would mimic what's possible in mathtype? I looked around and didn't find anything quite like it but hoping you all may know more.

2. Is writing in latex the only way to create math equations in the editor?

Actions #1

Updated by Boone Gorges 2 months ago

  • Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback

Is there a similar feature in AC? How have you advised other professors who need to be able to create accessible math and scientific equations for their AC sites?

The brief answer to this is: learn LaTeX. I've worked with math faculty on a number of different campuses throughout CUNY, and it seems that LaTeX is the standard for marking up equations for display on the web (or in print).

I couldn't find much in the way of visual editors for math equations:

1. MathType, as used in Blackboard, is an embeddable platform that is, theoretically, usable in a context like the CUNY Academic Commons. They have a WordPress integration plugin, but it is quite out of date. https://docs.wiris.com/mathtype/en/mathtype-integrations/mathtype-for-cms/mathtype-for-wordpress.html More importantly, they require a license https://store.wiris.com/en/ I'd likely need to have the licensed version in order to begin testing compatibility with CAC, and that compatibility can't be guaranteed ahead of time.

2. The other option is to use a third-party visual equation editor which exports LaTeX, and then copy its output into WordPress. BaKoMa appears to be such a tool http://www.bakoma-tex.com/menu/about.php There are also some online options, such as https://www.mathcha.io/editor, though I haven't found anything with quite the full-featured visual tools of MathType.

Actions #2

Updated by Laurie Hurson about 2 months ago

Thanks for this feedback Boone. From looking at the plugin offerings it is evident that writing math equations online requires some use latex. I have relayed this back to the user.

However, if we get a lot more requests like this in the future, or if we want to better support STEM courses, we might consider adding mathtype for wordpress plugin (or something similar). The licensing looks tricky but I just want to put it on our radar since making it easier to embed math equations might better support faculty members teaching in a variety of STEM of disciplines on the Commons.

Actions #3

Updated by Boone Gorges about 2 months ago

However, if we get a lot more requests like this in the future, or if we want to better support STEM courses, we might consider adding mathtype for wordpress plugin (or something similar). The licensing looks tricky but I just want to put it on our radar since making it easier to embed math equations might better support faculty members teaching in a variety of STEM of disciplines on the Commons.

Yes, I think that's right - if we were to get a lot of questions about this, we could consider it.

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