E-Text Formulas and Equations

E-texts may contain scientific formulas and mathematical equations. To be understood by assistive technology, the formulas and equations must be presented as readable text. Fortunately, most authoring software can provide text equivalents for formulas and equations.

Best Practice

  • The easiest way to make formulas and equations readable is to code them in LaTeX, so use LaTeX if that's a feasible option for you.
  • If not using LaTeX, code formulas and equations as text items rather than as images.
  • In all cases, include descriptive text for each formula and equation.

Benefits to Users & Developers

  • LaTeX-based formulas and equations can be exported to various formats.
  • Text-based formulas and equations allow for magnification and are readable by applications such as Math Reader.
  • Assistive technology can produce an audio reading of descriptive text, whereas it would be unable to render the actual formula or equation.
  • Tools such as Equation Editor and MathType provide an easy way to construct formulas and equations.


  • Text Equivalent examples for Formulas/Equations
  • Examples of formulas and equations in LaTeX
  • Creating Formulas/Equations in Microsoft Word
  • Creating Formulas/Equations in Pages