A symbol indicator is the symbol name preceeded by an ampersand(&) and followed by a full stop (period):

&alpha. , &beta. , &gamma. &in. &Pi.

This will apear on the Web-page as:

&alpha. , &beta. , &gamma. &in. &Pi.

Symbol Dictionary



Symbols - XML Source

symbol definitions are saved in an XML file. You can view the XML file by clicking on this link.

Each symbol will have the following properties:

  • <Name>   the name used in the source (between the "&" and the ".").
  • <Value>   the ASCII value (0-255) of the character to be rendered on the page.
  • <Font>   "S" for symbol font ("Font-family:symbol"), otherwise "N" for normal fonts.
  • <Ucode>   The unicode value of the symbol to be rendered.

Note that will use the Value+Font or the Ucode method depending on the browser being used. Mozilla Firefox for example does not support the Symbol font, while Internet Explorer (at least version 6) has very poor support for Unicode characters. Personally I prefer the Greek letters in the Symbol fonts, and there's nothing I've found in the Unicode set as good as the symbols for integration sign and brackets (see ), but c'est la vie!

Browser Quirks

As you probably know, in HTML the symbol indicator is is the symbol name preceeded by an ampersand(&) and followed by a semi-colon. Because these will already be translated by the browser before they are passed to . The browser doesn't always render the symbol in the same way as , so to avoid confusion, and allow to do the rendering, the symbol name is followed by a period.

The following example should make things clearer:

Browser: &alpha; _ _ Mathyma: &alpha.
Browser: α _ _ Mathyma: &alpha.

has been developed and tested with Internet Explorer version 6. IE accepts the greater than and less than symbols without their closing semi-colon, which means that if you write "&gt." in your source, what gets is ">." which it does not recognize as a symbol, and prints as-is:

~x &gt. ~y
~x &gt. ~y

To avoid this problem it is best to either use the HTML symbols ( &gt; , &lt; - though these will be rendered by the browser differently from ) or use the shorthand for greater than and less than described previously.