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LaTeX for the Visually Impaired

Numerous web pages use the MathTran facility for displaying mathematical formulas using LaTeX code using the alt tag. This page is written for visually impaired students who need to understand LaTeX.

The alt tag of an image which is to be translated into a LaTeX image is always of the form alt="tex:$$...$$" where the ellipses represents the LaTeX formula.

Variables and numbers are represented as is, for example, defining a function as polynomial may be represented as follows tex:$$f(t) = x^2 - 4x + 3$$. The caret is used to represent a superscript while an underscore is used to represent a subscript, e.g., tex:$$p(t) = a_2x^2 + a_1x + a_0$$.

Normally, a string of characters are interpreted as a product of symbols. Other special symbols include the backslash which indicates that the next word which follows is a keyword. Groupings of symbols are done with curly braces, e.g., {...}. Note that certain symbols exist strictly for visual layout and may therefore not be immediately useful for the visually impaired.

Fraction tex:$$\frac{1}{2}$$
Special functions tex:$$\sin, \cos, \tan$$
A derivative w.r.t. time (a dot above the variable) tex:$$\dot{q}$$
Second derivative w.r.t. time (two dots above the variable) tex:$$\ddot{q}$$
Arrows tex:$$\rightarrow, \leftarrow, \leftrightarrow$$
Double-width Arrows tex:$$\Rightarrow, \Leftarrow, \Leftrightarrow$$
Greek letters tex:$$\alpha, \beta, ..., \mu, ... \Omega$$
Roman letters (upright) for units tex:$${\rm cm}, {\rm \mu H}$$
Bold face letters for vectors and matrices tex:$${\bf Mx} = {\bf b}$$
Left and right parentheses (the parentheses are the full height of the fraction) tex:$$\left ( \frac{1}{2} \right )$$

Any feedback or requests for further information are welcome.