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TechNote #152: Last modified: 08/14/2017

MathType: Web pages with MathML do not display math in Internet Explorer 11


The information in this document applies to:

 

  • MathType 6.9 (Windows)
  • MathPlayer 4 (Windows)
  • Microsoft Word 2002 and later (Windows)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 (Windows)

Issues:

  • When publishing web pages containing MathML, the math doesn't display properly in Internet Explorer 11, even with MathPlayer installed.
  • When creating a MathPage from Word, none of the MathPage output options for MathML will properly display equations in Internet Explorer 11.

Reason:

The technology that allows MathPlayer to display MathML in Internet Explorer (IE) has been dropped from the latest versions of IE. However, IE 11 introduced a way for legacy programs to work in that browser. They call this new feature "Enterprise Mode" (EM). It forces IE 11 to emulate IE 8, which is a version of IE that supports the technology MathPlayer needs in order to display math. We have more information about Enterprise Mode on our MathPlayer and MathML Technology page.


Explanation:

Addressing the issues one at a time, the first step is to configure IE 11 so that it emulates IE 8. Note: It's essential that you have MathPlayer 4 installed. If you're using an earlier version of MathPlayer, we recommend upgrading before you proceed. You can download MathPlayer 4 from our website.

Enabling Enterprise Mode:

There are two ways to force IE 11 to emulate IE 8. First, with MathPlayer 4 installed, you will find an Enterprise Mode command in IE's Tools menu. If you choose this command, you will enable EM for that page. This only needs to be done once per page, as IE will remember the pages on which you have enabled EM, and will automatically enable this mode next time you load the page. IE provides a visual indication that EM is enabled. The indicator is an icon between the "Forward" button and the address of the page you are viewing:

Enterprise mode disabled (top) and enabled (bottom)

The method described above is fine if you're viewing someone else's web page, and need to enable EM when viewing a page or two. If you're creating your own pages, it's more convenient for those viewing your page if you'll include a line in your page that forces IE 11 into IE 8 mode without any action on the part of the viewer. In addition, you can not turn on Enterprise Mode for local Web pages, such as those you might generate from Word via MathType's "Publish to MathPage" feature, or if you're previewing a web page before you publish it to your site. Instead, you can directly force it to emulate IE 8 by adding the line:
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE8" />
to the head of the document. This can be placed anywhere between <head> and </head>, but we recommend that if there are other meta tags on your page, you place this line so that it appears before other meta tags.

Forcing IE 8 emulation for MathPages created with Microsoft Word

MathType's MathPage technology enables you to convert a Word document containing equations, equation numbers and equation references into a web page. If you're unfamiliar with MathPage, see MathType Help for more information. With MathType 6.9, you'll have the choice of 5 MathML output "targets" in the dropdown box in the "MathML using" section of the Publish to MathPage dialog. None of these is exactly what you need, and none will force IE 8 emulation in IE 11. We have created a sixth target, HTML+MathML, that will do this, and will allow you to publish accessible math pages that can be viewed in any MathML-capable browser, and can be read aloud by the NVDA screen reader in IE or Firefox.

To add this new MathPage target to Word, follow these steps:

  1. Download this file with settings for a new MathPage output target. This file contains registry settings that modify what you see in the Publish to MathPage dialog in Word.
  2. If Word and/or MathType are running, close them now. NOTE: Closing MathType involves more than simply exiting all open MathType windows. You must also exit the "MathType Server". The MathType Server doesn’t have anything to do with a network server; its purpose is to keep MathType open in the background so it operates faster after you first use it. To find and close the MathType Server, look in the “Notification Area” in the lower right of your screen, near the clock. Click the MathType Server icon, then click Exit:

Closing the MathType server

  1. Double-click the file you downloaded in step 1. When you do so, will get a warning to the effect that this may "cause components to stop working correctly", and that if you don't trust this, don't add it to the registry. Unless you click Yes though, you cannot continue, so click Yes.
  2. Shortly after clicking Yes, you should get a notice that the keys and values were successfully added to the registry.
  3. To verify the change has taken effect, open Word and in Word's MathType tab, click Publish to MathPage. You should now see 6 MathPage output targets in the MathML section:

New MathPage target added in Step 3

  1. Choose the target that's highlighted in this screen shot -- HTML+MathML. This target will add the line above that will cause IE 11 to emulate IE 8, which will enable your MathML MathPages to work when someone else views them in IE 11, as well as when you save them on your computer, and view them yourself in IE 11.
  2. Note that by doing this, you do not have to individually choose "Enterprise Mode" as described above, for pages that you publish. You may still have to do it for someone else's pages.

We hope this has been helpful. As always, please let us know if you have questions about this, or if you have additional techniques that work. We'd love to hear from you.


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