;

7.6 Other Math Fonts

Several recently developed mathematical fonts also deserve mention. Although the STIX and Cambria fonts are our recommended solutions to the mathematical font problem, there are valid reasons to consider additional options. All fonts in this section are freely distributed.

7.6.1 MathJax Fonts

The MathJax fonts are derived from Donald Knuth's Computer Modern fonts. They are provided in a variety of formats (eot, otf, svg, and woff) that are suitable for download on demand service from the web. We are not aware of any independent packaging of these fonts. You must download the entire MathJax distribution and extract the fonts manually to install them locally.

This state of affairs is not too surprising since the MathJax fonts are intended for use as web fonts. MathJax provides the fonts through its content delivery network for remote access via @font-face CSS directives.

We mention them primarily because Firefox 13+ supports local access to the MathJax fonts. In fact, the MathJax fonts are now the Firefox’s highest priority default math font. This appears to be an intermediate step to providing native MathML support for remote MathJax web fonts in Firefox.

7.6.2 Symbola

The Symbola font by George Douros is a pretty good unicode-based math font that provides extensive math coverage in a serif font face. It is available at the Greek site Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts. It is also prepackaged for many Linux distributions. Symbola’s biggest flaw – in the current context – is that it does not contain a bold font variant (at least in a form that Firefox can use). This results in mixed font faces appearing in mathematical expressions that contain both bold and regular font weights. Symbola’s coverage of mathematical characters is summarized in Table 19.

Table 19: Symbola’s Math Coverage
Unicode Block Description Coverage
U+0370–U+03FF Greek and Coptic 135 glyphs
U+2070–U+209F Superscripts and Subscripts 48 glyphs
U+2200–U+22FF Mathematical Operators 256 glyphs
U+2300–U+23FF Miscellaneous Technical 256 glyphs
U+27C0–U+27EF Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-A 48 glyphs
U+2980–U+29FF Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-B 128 glyphs
U+2A00–U+2AFF Supplemental Mathematical Operators 256 glyphs
Glyph Variants (not all math) 1353 glyphs

7.6.3 Irianis ADF Math

Irianis ADF Math is a font created by the Arkandis Digital Foundry. Irianis Math was designed to augment ADF’s Irianis font family, much like Cambria Math enhances the Cambria font family. Irianis Math, like many of the other mathematical fonts that have been examined, is a serif typeface. However, like Symbola, Irianis Math suffers from lack of matching bold characters accessible by Firefox (unless it is used in conjunction with other members of the Irianis family — a highly unlikely scenario in the current web design environment). Its coverage of mathematical characters is summarized in Table 20.

Table 20: Irianis ADF Math’s Math Coverage
Unicode Block Description Coverage
U+0370–U+03FF Greek and Coptic 127 glyphs
U+2070–U+209F Superscripts and Subscripts 22 glyphs
U+2200–U+22FF Mathematical Operators 256 glyphs
U+2300–U+23FF Miscellaneous Technical 37 glyphs
U+27C0–U+27EF Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-A 7 glyphs
U+2980–U+29FF Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-B 13 glyphs
U+2A00–U+2AFF Supplemental Mathematical Operators 85 glyphs
Glyph Variants 865 glyphs

The lack of bold math font variants mentioned in the preceding discussion can be corrected by tweaking Firefox’s preferences. However, these procedures are outside the scope of this document and typically not of interest to a casual observer of mathematics.