Why Can't I Use a WYSIWYG Editor to Type Out My Content?

It can be helpful to use a WYSIWYG equation editor like MathType or Microsoft Word’s Equation Editor to write out your content because it allows you to visualize the final output as you are typing. However, we highly recommend you avoid using WYSIWYG editors for two main reasons: display and accessibility.


The safest way to ensure correct display of your content is through LaTeX. We cannot guarantee error-free display with content written in WYSIWYG editors.

Below is an example of what content authored with MathType looks like in a learning management system (LMS). As you can see, the content is fuzzy and bolded, making it difficult to read:

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The process of importing content created in a WYSIWYG editor to a learning management system transforms the content into an image, meaning the content cannot be read properly by a screen-reader—without providing alt text—and, thus, is not ADA-compliant.

Below is an equation authored with Microsoft Word’s Equation Editor. At first glance it appears legible, so what’s the issue?

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Let’s take a look under the hood at how our LMS ingested this equation. Below is a screenshot of the HTML markup for this problem. As you can see the equation is tagged as an image, and no alt text is provided, so a student using a screen-reader would not be able to view this content:

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