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Re: Generate PDF including MathML


From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Aug 29, 2016 2:07PM

Hi Steve,

such functionality indeed is still on the list for both companies that I work for:

- callas software (www.callassoftware.com):
callas pdfChip is a tool to convert HTML to PDF; it is planned that HTML can be converted to tagged PDF (in PDF/UA-1 quality) but due to a number of challenges (and conflicting priorities: it is easier for us to generate quite nice revenue from other pdfChip features) the functionality (both tagged PDF to begin with, and then MathML support) is still not finished, and I have no date by when I expect it to be finished

- axaio software (www.axaio.com):
It is planned to extend axaio MadeToTag - a plug-in for Adobe InDesign that aims to make creation of high quality tagged PDF / PDF/UA-1 easier and more efficient - such that it allows a user to create an equation in InDesign from MathML, and then to use the MathML to add according structure to the exported tagged PDF. There are still a number of challenges to overcome, and again, I do not have a date by when I expect the functionality to be available.

As has been said, probably the only AT that does something useful with MathML (whether in HTML or PDF) seems to be NVDA (it is crazy that a free tool is again ahead of commercial offerings…), especially given that Design Science’s plug-n fir Internet Explorer can’t be run in recent versions of Internet Explorer. So it it’s a bit of a sad situation anywhere one looks….

We do have a prototypical tool that demonstrates how to present MathML in tagged PDFs in a useful manner, but we still haven’t gotten around to making it publicly available. It could inspire other developers how to go about providing access to MathML in whatever program or whatever AT. If there is sufficient interest we might make it publicly available by the end of the year (free of charge, requires Acrobat Pro, runs on Mac only).

The closest to efficient production of math in tagged PDF is a set of LaTeX macros/extension from Ross Moore, math professor at Macquarie University in Australia. I believe he intend to publish these macros/extensions one day but still has to add final touches such that people other than himself can use it in production. You'd have to use TeX / LaTeX in order to be able to benefit from this tooling.

Managing Director at callas software and at axaio software

> On 29.08.2016, at 19:39, <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
> Another issue is automating the process, instead of having to cut and paste all the MathML snippets into your pdf. I had read that Callas Software had been working on this, but I don't know if they ever got it out. I suspect that functionality was supposed to be part of pdfChip, but their documentation doesn't specifically mention the part about automating the <formula> tag output, though it may very well do so. I don't know at this point.