This post will explore how to use MathPix snip to convert a PDF full of math Images into an accessible Word document with accessible math!
The Importance of Converting PDF Math to Accessible Formats
Math is a universal language. Yet, its accessibility is often restricted. The culprit? PDF files filled with math equations that aren’t screen-reader-friendly. This gap needs to be closed, and that’s where tools like MathPix come into play. Today we’ll go step-by-step through the process of using MathPix to convert these PDF math problems into accessible Word documents.
Why PDFs Fall Short
PDFs have long been a preferred method for distributing academic materials, including math problems. However, they fall short when it comes to accessibility. Screen readers and other assistive technologies often struggle with PDF content, especially complex equations. This can be a significant hurdle for people with visual impairments or learning disabilities. Speaking of which, I can make your pdfs accessible for you:
MathPix is not just a tool for capturing individual math problems. It’s a robust software capable of converting up to 100 pages of PDFs filled with math problems. The equations can be handwritten, typed out digitally, or in any other format. Here’s how you can make the conversion happen:
1. Have a PDF ready to rock:
The first step is simple. Ensure you have a PDF that contains the math problems you wish to convert into an accessible format.
2. Log In to MathPix:
Navigate to snip.mathpix.com and log into your account. If you don’t have an account, create one. It’s a straightforward process.
3. Upload the PDF:
Once logged in, click on the PDF option located on the far left of your screen. You’ll see an upload button; click it and upload your PDF.
4. Choose the Conversion Option:
After uploading, you’ll have a few options. You can either ‘Open the PDF,’ ‘Convert it to a Note,’ or ‘Export the File.’ If you’re planning to make changes to the equations, choose ‘Convert it to a Note.’
5. Visual Review:
A snapshot of what your math problems will look like will appear on the right-hand side of the screen. On the left, you’ll see your math equations formatted properly in either LaTex or Math ML.
6. Export to Word:
Here’s the crucial step. Click the export button located at the top right corner of the screen. Do not export as PDF. Choose the Docx option.
Inspect in Word
Once exported, open the resulting Word document. You’ll find that the math problems are now within Microsoft Word’s default Equation Editor.
Opt for MathType:
If you have MathType installed, you’ll have an option to convert these equations into Math ML, making them even more accessible. Finalize Your Document: You now have an accessible Word document filled with your math problems. It’s ready for further editing if needed or distribution.
Additional Benefits and Takeaways
What makes this process so impactful is its scalability. If you have an extensive PDF, MathPix handles it with ease. The tool offers you the flexibility to deal with different types of math problems, from basic arithmetic to complex calculus equations.
Making math accessible to everyone is crucial. Today, we explore how MathPix Snip can help. This tool captures math problems and turns them into accessible Math ML.
Why MathPix Snip is a Game Changer for Math Accessibility
Accessibility in math is often overlooked but highly essential. One key tool to bridge this gap is MathPix Snip. The tool captures math equations and converts them into accessible Math ML format. This means more people can interact with math content, especially those using assistive technologies like screen readers.
Inaccessible math content can create barriers. It excludes those who rely on assistive technology. Making math accessible opens doors for inclusive learning. That’s why tools like MathPix Snip are crucial. They make math available to a broader audience, promoting equal opportunities in education and the workplace.
Steps to Create Accessible Math using MathPix Snip
Here is how you can use MathPix Snip to make math problems accessible.
Open MS Word: First, prepare a new Microsoft Word document where you will paste the equations.
Launch MathPix Snip: Open the MathPix Snip tool and select the ‘New Snip’ option. This allows you to draw a box around the math content you want to capture.
OCR Technology: MathPix Snip uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. It reads the math equation inside the box.
Copy Math ML: Navigate to the Data tab within the tool. Here, you can copy the Math ML code with just a single click.
Paste in MS Word: Go back to your Microsoft Word document and paste the copied Math ML code.
MathType Option: If MathType is installed on your computer, it will prompt you. Choose to create a MathType equation.
Accessible Math: The pasted equation is now in Math ML format. This format is readable by screen readers and other forms of assistive technology.
Adding More Equations: You can add more equations to the document using the same process. You can either leave them in the Word document or use them in a web page.
Accessibility First: The main goal is to ensure that the math content is accessible to everyone, including those who use assistive technologies.
MathPix Snip should be part of your accessibility toolbox if you work regularly with math content. By using this tool, you are taking an essential step toward creating a more inclusive and accessible environment.
Today we’re going to be covering the basics of Microsoft Word. If this is your first time to the accessibility guide channel, you should know that I highlight a lot of accessibility best practices and principles when creating any type of document. Welcome to the accessibility guide channel. I’m very excited to be with you today. My name is Shawn Jordison. And let’s jump right into the basics of Microsoft Word. If you would like to open a brand new document, you would select the file button and then select New.
This will give you the option to either select a blank document, or you could search for online templates. An example might be a resume, I’m going to select this resume template and select Create this will automatically insert all of the all of the contents in the Microsoft Word document that you can simply just edit, we can come in here and type our name, replace the image and go on and on. Additionally, this is where you can open a new file, we can select the file button and then select open. This will launch a file explorer equivalent from within Microsoft Word, we could select the Browse button and search for the file on our computer. In this example, I’m not going to open a Word file. But that’s how that’s one method you could use. Additionally, you can simply double click the Microsoft Word document from wherever it is, and use that instead. Now when you first launch a new document, at the very top of the page, you will see several individual elements called file home insert, draw design, and others. We are going to refer to these as tabs. And all of the content from with inside of a tab is called the ribbon. So on the Home tab, in its ribbon, we have a variety of different options and different sections. For example, we have the clipboard section, the font section, Paragraph Styles, editing, Adobe Acrobat, voice editor, add ons, and so on. These are all on the Home tab in the ribbon. Now each one of these different areas often will have additional settings. For example, on the Paragraph section of the Home ribbon, we have a pop out window. This is where we can expand on additional settings for paragraph. And in here we have things like indents and spacing, line and page breaks. And this is where we can adjust indentation or spacing or multi line spacing. And each one of these areas like styles has additional pop up windows. And sometimes there’s even further Windows you can get into if I select the Options button under the styles pop out from the Home ribbon, we have a ton of different options we can show for different types of styles. These are imperative for accessibility best practices. Additionally, if we select the Insert tab, we have options like adding a cover page, adding blank pages or page breaks, we can insert a table pictures, shapes, icons, Smart Art charts. Additionally, you can add in online videos. This is where you can add links or bookmarks or cross references. This is where you can add comments you can adjust the header or the footer or page numbers on a given document. You can add in things like text boxes, or other quick parts, which I advise against doing.
Text Boxes are actually inaccessible to screen readers. And so do yourself a favor and do not rely on the use of inserting text boxes. Additionally, this is where you can insert things like equations or symbol. And each one of these tabs has more and more options. We have the draw feature we have design features, we have different themes we can select for our document we have a layout options where we control margins orientation, the size of the page columns line breaks, we have a references tab where we can insert a table of contents footnotes, table of figures or other indexes. On the Review tab we have things like spelling and grammar. The store is a word count, read aloud Check Accessibility, which we will spend quite a bit of time doing translating features setting the language of a page. This is also where we can add comments and track changes or restrict editing. On the View tab. We have things like read mode, which will change the way that your document is displayed. We have print layout, we have Outline View draft view, we can add things like gridlines or a ruler to our document. We can also show things like the navigation pane where we can see a list of headings pages or our search results from within the document. Now I have some special toolbars in here. I installed third party software and these include things like MathType, Abby, fine reader, 15, Grammarly and Acrobat. What if we wanted to change up the view of our document? Well, in the bottom right hand corner, we have options like read mode, print layout, and Web Layout. And we have the ability to zoom in, and we could zoom way into our document, you can also hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard, and scroll on your wheel in or out to set the zoom of the document. Now because this is an accessibility based channel, I want to point out where the accessibility checker if you select the review tab, we have the option Check Accessibility. And we can check the accessibility of the document, we can check just the alternate text for images, we can check the navigation pane and the focus and other options for accessibility.
Now if you want to change the way this top level bar looks, there’s a variety of ways you can do that. On the far right corner, we have a drop down menu that says Ribbon Display Options. If we select this button, we can change the way our screen is displaying by changing it to something like Show Tabs only. This will make it to where you have a little more real estate on your document. And you can easily get back to the features. As soon as you select the tab. I’d like to have mine as always show ribbon. But that’s just me. Now if you had some features that you wanted to add to this toolbar that were maybe missing. Alright, let’s work on customizing the ribbon to customize your ribbon options, you’re going to select the file button. And then in the very bottom, we have the word options. From here, we can go down to customize ribbon. And this is where you can change the way your top ribbon looks. So if you wanted to add additional tabs, this is where you would do it. Additionally, on your Quick Access Toolbar, this is the this is for the section at the very top where we have saving undoing and redoing, you can add other elements that you may use more frequently than more frequently than other options. Additionally, on the Add Ins tab, this is where you can activate any of your add ins to be present on the Toolbar From within Word. A good example of this would be the Acrobat toolbar, where it is currently activated. And if I wanted to this is where you can remove it from your ribbon to once you’ve adjusted the way you want your ribbon to show up, you can select the OK button. And that will take you back to your document. All right, now that we kind of have the lay of the land of Microsoft Word, let’s throw in some text.
I always like to start with maybe some key words that are going to tell the user what the document is about. And for this example, we’re going to use something like introduction to Microsoft Word, and then we can put some text in here and I can just simply type and press the spacebar and obviously I’m just putting in some gobbledygook and once I get to the end of the line, you will notice that it’s going to automatically move the text to the bottom of the next slide. This is because we have default setting set for our indentation. And as I keep adding text, it will keep being left justified unless we do something different. All right, now that we have some text in here, let’s add some additional text in here. I’m going to say advanced Microsoft Word techniques. But for now let’s keep typing some more junk in here. And all I’m trying to do is just get some filler content in and that’s perfect. Now the first thing that I want to do is apply a Heading style headings are used for screen reader navigation, and are extremely important for maintaining the accessibility of our Microsoft Word documents. Typically there is a single heading one within a document. But there are some instances where you can have more now to apply this heading level one, I’m going to select the text and then on the Home tab in the Styles section, I’m going to select Heading One, this then puts a heading level one in our navigation menu on the left hand side. Now if I select Advanced Microsoft pancake techniques, I can select Heading Two, or I can also do a shortcut using my keyboard and do Ctrl plus Alt plus three and this begins to build an outline of the heading structure from within our content. Now what if I wanted to update the way that my headings look? This is pretty straightforward.
I can select the text and let’s open up the pop out window for the font section on the Home ribbon. And in here we have override We have options that we can set for our heading level one. Now in this example, we have regular italic or bold. I’m going to make it bold. And let’s make it larger. Let’s make it 22 point. And then let’s select. Okay, now I want to apply a couple of different things. Let’s also make the font color deep, dark red. Now from here, our heading level one has now been updated. But what if I want to update it for every single instance of my heading level one? Well, I could come up to the Styles menu, right click the heading one option and select Update heading one to Match Selection. Now if I select some different texts, and I mark it a heading level one, it’s going to retain the same exact style that I use for the text. What about this paragraph text, if we wanted to make it smaller or change the font size, we can come up to the font tab and change the drop down option for our different fonts. And we can choose any font we want from this list. Let’s go with Arial Black. And then if I wanted to change the font size, I could simply choose from the list we can go all the way up to 72 or higher. To maintain our accessibility I want to ensure we are 12 point or higher. There are some additional settings that we can adjust in here. For example, we can make this entire paragraph sentence case we can make it lowercase, or even uppercase. All in one click we can also adjust the font size by pressing this decrease or increase font size button next to the actual number. Additionally, this is where we can set our subscripts or superscripts. And finally, we can also highlight text by using the highlight color feature. If we want to change to a different color, we can select the drop down menu and choose a different color to highlight the text. To remove it, I’m going to highlight the text again and say no color. All right, I’m going to paste some different text in here from another document that I have. And let’s update the heading level the heading levels in here. I’m going to make this a heading level one. And we have some other headings in here. And let’s take a look at how we can start formatting some of this text. For example, if I wanted this very top paragraph to have different line spacing, I could simply highlight the text using my mouse. And on the Paragraph section, I have options called line spacing, where I can adjust to these preset settings. This is where you can make everything double line spacing, or you can make it left justified, center justified or right justified. Additionally, we can right click the highlighted text that we have selected and choose the paragraph feature. This will bring up additional settings that you can set for example, we can adjust the indentation from the left hand side. Or we can change the line spacing from single 1.5. Double exactly or multiple. And you can set additional spacing. So for now, we’re going to add a left indentation of half an inch. And then I’m going to select OK, this indents the entire thing at once. What if I just wanted to indent the very first line? Well, I can simply move my cursor to the first part of the line and select the tab key. And this will apply a tab spacing into the document. What about a bulleted list? Occasionally, you will want to have your text in a bulleted list. This is imperative for the accessibility of our document. So we’ll apply a list element, you will simply select the text that you want to make into a list and in the paragraph tab, you will select the bulleted list option. In this example, I just on assigned a list, but we can select it to apply it again. Or we can choose things like a numbered list or even a multi level list where you can have additional sections inside of this list. So if I wanted to add additional sections into this list, I’m going to move my cursor to the bottom of this first numbered list. I’m going to select the Enter key. And then I’m going to select the tab and we can put some additional text. And if I wanted to indent further, I could press enter and tab again. Or we could go even further. Additionally, you can move where the current list item is by using this decrease and increase indent. If I press the decrease indent, it’s going to move the content into the list item above it. This is extremely useful for building a multi level list that is accessible. Additionally, you only want to use a numbered list when there is when the order is actually important. Otherwise, we can stick to a bulleted list you can left Click the bullets so that they’re selected, and then right click them and select adjust list index. This is where you can choose how far in you want your other list items. What if we wanted to add a hyperlink?
Well, I have several hyperlinks in this document. But let’s say we wanted to add a new one to this text hypertext leaps. The first thing I’m going to do is select the words that I want the link to appear. And then I’m going to select the Insert tab and select link. This will then allow me to update the address of the link I want to enter under address. And then we also have text to display. This is important for screen reader users to have clear and concise language for our text to display. You want to avoid things like click here and more info, as it can be ambiguous and confusing for people using Assistive Technology. Additionally, you could jump into other areas of your file. This is useful for bookmarks. And you can also have it set to email somebody, I like to use an existing file or web page, I put in my hyperlink, and then I’m going to select okay, now before we keep going with formatting links, additionally, you can have your text in a column. If you select all of the text, and select the Layout tab, on the Columns option, you can choose to display your content into three different columns. This is actually the most accessible method to maintaining this style of formatting for those that rely on Assistive Technology. I’m going to undo that though. You can also do things like inserting a table. So on the Insert tab, we’re going to select table, and we’re going to choose a three by three table. And this is where we can put in some context for our table. Now typically, the first row is going to be our header. And we can put the words information, best practice and avoid and we’re going to say accessible links. And the best practice is to be as descriptive as possible. And avoid click here language. What about headings, we want our headings to the best practice is to use headings in order and do not skip headings. And you want to avoid skipping headings or using a document without. And what we can do when we have a table, it actually brings up a whole new table design tab. So with your cursor inside of a table, we can select the table design button. And on the very far left, we have options like header row, first column in banded rows. This is essential for accessibility. And under our Table Styles options. This is where we can choose how we want our table to be displayed visually. I like to choose a simple type of layout, but one that the one that gives me the most amount of information. All right, let’s deselect banded rows.
Okay, so on the table design tab, we have had a row selected and first column selected, that means this content is going to be a header row and this column on the left is going to be the header rows, excuse me, this one on top is going to be columns, this one’s going to be rows. And this is essential for our table accessibility. Now some other rules for table accessibility, do not use merge cells and do not have complex tables. Think simplicity. What about if you wanted to add a caption to this table? Well, you can right click the Table. Actually, you want to select the table First, right click and select Insert Caption. This will allow you to type a caption that goes above the table and serves as a label. In this example, I’m simply going to type accessible links. And the label will be for the table and above selected item and choose OK. And then if we wanted to, we could also make that a heading. But for now we’re going to leave it as is what about inserting an image well. On the Insert tab, we have the option to insert a picture, a shape icon, smart art or a chart. Let’s insert a picture for now. And we can search for the image from our device. Or we can look for stock images. And I love this blueberry one, I’m simply going to select it and then choose Insert and this will insert the image into our document. Now just like the table tab, we now have a new tab with our image selected, we have picture format. Now if we wanted to we can remove the background from the picture. We could do color corrections or add artistic effects and transparency or we could throw it into a frame by simply selecting one of the picture styles You can also adjust things like the Picture Border, or picture layout. And I want to make sure I’m adding alternate text. So to do that, I can select picture format, and then alt text. And this will give me the ability to add alternate text. And this says macro image shot of blueberries, that’s actually perfect. I don’t need to address address that at all. And then finally, the last rule for images and accessibility is that they are always set to in line with text. So under the Wrap Text ops option under the picture format tab, always make sure your images are in line with text. If you choose these other options like square tight or through, what happens is, the image can get placed directly in the middle of your text. And this can be very confusing for people with Assistive Technology. If you do this method, the screen reader will also break across these texts, and it’s not going to read correctly. So it is imperative that you have your image wrapping set to inline with text. You also have options like cropping.
And if you had multiple images layered on top of each other, you can stack them in different orders by using the bring forward or Send Backward options. What about inserting a header or footer? Well, there’s two ways you can do this. The first is to use the Insert option and select header. And you can choose the different options you I actually like to do this other method, I like to double click in the very top part of the document. And I get a new tab header and footer on the header option, we now have the ability to choose different options, I’m going to actually choose page number, and I want it to appear at the top right of the page. And then I can select the option go to footer. And we can add other content in here, like maybe the date. And then to get out of the header and footer box, I can simply select to Close Header and Footer. What about inserting math, if you wanted to insert math into your document, you can select the Insert button, and then select equation. And this brings up an equation box where you can then type in different forms of math, I’m simply going to choose a random math equation. This in this case, the quadratic formula, and that will insert it into the document. This doesn’t mean that it is accessible. But you can do this within Microsoft Word. I’m going to undo that equation. What about dictation if you wanted to speak into your document, instead of writing that on the Home tab in the ribbon over by voice, we have the option to dictate, I can simply press the microphone button, and Microsoft Word will begin to transcribe everything that I say and put it into my document. This is a very powerful feature for people with disabilities, or for anyone who is working with typing and entering a lot of content at one time to stop I’m simply going to hit the stop dictation button. And we can adjust any settings we want for our microphone, or the spoken language from the drop down menus, and then select Save. What about inserting a chart or graph on the Insert tab, we have the ability to select a chart. And we can choose a variety of different line charts, pie charts, bar charts, or columns. And we’re going to simply select OK, the first window that appears is our data window, you can adjust these datasets to update the content from within your chart. I’m going to leave the default data points for now. And I want to show you how to make this chart more accessible. The first thing we want to do is make sure that our elements all have labels. So I want to select first this blue element and I want to select Data Labels. I can then select the orange one, and choose Data Labels and then the gray bar and select Data Labels. But there’s more to it than just that. I also need to make sure that my bars are accessible for color contrast ratios. To do that, I’m going to select one of the elements right click and select Format Data Point. This will bring up new options on the right hand side, I can select the fill option and change it to a pattern for our documents to be accessible, it’s important that we choose a pattern for every one of the different data points, the colors can be different, we can still use orange and vertical lines. We’ve got blue gridlines for this other set, and then you are allowed to have one solid color and in this case, we’re going to go ahead and leave this in. Now if I truly want this to be accessible. I need to reinsert this graphic as an image. The fastest way to do that is to screenshot the content and reinsert it. I have other videos As you can view on this topic to find out more information about creating accessible bar charts, but for now, we’ll just keep going. If you wanted to add a watermark to your page, you can select the Design tab and then select watermark on the far right. And let’s go ahead and throw a do not copy watermark onto this. And this watermark will be applied to every page in your document. What about the page color, you can adjust that here too. Or you can even add borders to your document. What about adding a table of contents. To add a table of contents, the first thing I like to do is create a new page. To do that, I’m going to move my cursor to before the first words in this document, and I’m going to select Ctrl, enter, this will create a blank page where I can then select the references tab and select table of content and then choose automatic table. This will apply a table of contents for our file. If you were to convert this to PDF, these Table of Contents will stay in there. So if I actually control hold my Control key, I can click this actual errors in the Contents panel and it will jump me to that spot in my document. This is very useful for navigation. All right, let’s open up the review tab. Next. And this is where we have things like the spelling and grammar check, I can simply select the spell checker. And what’s going to happen is a window will pop up on the right hand side called editor. And it’s going to ask me if I want to fix all of these underlined words.
So I can simply select the option that I want to update it to, and it will automatically jump to the next item that I need to fix. It also checks for grammar. And as we move through the content, it simply will go to the next one and to the next one. And we can choose to ignore them. And we have things like the editor score, it tells us what type of writing it thinks we’re doing. It just gives us some helpful information. Additionally, we have the word counter. This is where we can see how many pages we have in our document, how many words there are paragraphs and lines, etc. If you wanted to have your content read aloud, we can go to the Review tab and select the read aloud feature. Applying links in Word, I can simply press the microphone button and Microsoft Word will begin to transcribe everything that I say and put it into my document this, I could then pause that option, we can also set the settings for our reading speed, and the voice that is played back. And then finally, we can also check accessibility. This brings up an online accessibility checker. And we can do things like in this case, we have an error, this object, this chart is missing the description, I’m going to add a description for it. And I’m just going to put the word chart in there for now. And we can go back to the accessibility checker. And it looks like our font color, this gray in our top header is not passing minimum contrast requirements. So instead, I’m going to change it to black. You can also set page breaks within your document. This is useful if you’re working with multi page documents, you can set line numbers, and the list goes on and on. Let’s go back to the Insert button. And this is where we can do things like inserting a cover page, I could simply select cover page, and then choose a style of page I want to enter. And there’s usually some default information in here. Let’s go ahead and update this default information. We’re going to say this is useful if you need this, but I actually don’t so I’m going to undo it. What about a blank page. Sometimes it can be useful to simply select insert blank page to get new content into your document. Now what if we wanted to move our text around? Well, you can do things like that by simply selecting the text that you want to move. And then with your mouse, you can left click and drag, which brings up a box and a mouse and when I let go of the left click it will move all of the text to that location. And if we wanted to undo that, we can simply press the undo button at the very top or we can select Ctrl Z. Additionally, if we wanted to copy some text, we could select the text we want to copy, right click it and select Copy. Or we can do Ctrl C on our keyboard. And then if we wanted to paste it somewhere, we can move our cursor by double clicking anywhere inside of the document. Sometimes it makes us use the Enter key to create blank space. And then to pace we can right click and select Paste. There are multiple different options for pasting. We can keep Source Formatting, we can merge formatting or keep plain text only. And those options really depend on what exactly you are copying. Oh verb. And then for me because I work with accessibility, I like to delete any blank spaces as they create redundancy for a screen reader. All right, what about something like Find and Replace? What if we wanted to replace every instance of the word word with pancake or something like that? Well, one thing we can do is select Ctrl H on our keyboard.
This will bring up the Find and Replace window or in the search menu, we can type, Find and Replace. And then let’s find the word word. And we’re going to replace it with pancake. And then select Replace all and it says all done, we’ve made three replacements, and then select OK, Introduction to Microsoft pancake. And there you go. All right, what if we wanted to start adjusting the way our text actually looks, this is going to be a new section where we cover different formatting options for our text, I want to show how to adjust the margins of your document. So if you want to change the layout, you’ll simply select the Layout tab. And in the layout ribbon, we have things like margins where we can choose a one inch nor a one inch margin, this is the default one. Additionally, you can choose to have your document displayed in landscape view. You can also change the paper size from letter to legal to ledger or 11 by 17. Back. If we wanted to save this document, what would we do? Well, I would go to the File button. And then I would select save as this is where we can choose the Browse button. And then we can determine if we’re going to save this file as a Microsoft Word document. Or we can change the drop down menu to something like PDF and then we can select save. Alright, last but not least, if you actually want it to print your document, you can simply select the file button and choose Print, you can adjust different settings from these drop down menus of how you want the printer to actually arrange your document. You can do print one sided print on both sides, you can choose the page size, the margins, and then when you’re ready, you’ll just select Print. That concludes this introductory video on the basics of Microsoft Word. Make sure to check out my channel for more up to date videos on how to make your Word documents accessible. And as always, I can be your personal accessibility expert Thank you for watching