[tex4ht] [bug #226] Spurious elements in mathml output of \mathit, \mathrm, \mathbf etc

William F Hammond gellmu at gmail.com
Fri Nov 22 23:43:35 CET 2019

Greetings to all:

(This thread goes back to 2014, but Michal posted today.)

On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 5:30 AM Michal Hoftich wrote:

> Follow-up Comment #5, bug #226 (project tex4ht):
> I've found an issue with this approach - the \PauseMathClass will prevent
> correct tagging of nested structures. For example:
> \mathit{\overline{a}+\overline{b}}
> This will result in
> <mover class='mml-overline' accent='false'><mrow>b</mrow><mo
> accent='true'>¯</mo></mover>
> The b character should be placed in <mi> element. So I think we should
> revert
> back to the use of <mstyle>.
> The original issue of spurious <mi> elements for longer texts can be fixed
> using post-processing - make4ht provides common_domfilters extension, which
> does  exactly this.
Can such post-processing be reliably robust?  (I doubt it.)

I don't think that I really have anything new to say.  It's only that I
think this type of issue
makes the case for profiled source documents.  I wrote a more detailed
comment with
illustrations in LaTeX, ran it through tex4ht linked to MathJax, and posted
it here:


where one sees MathJax cough on the *first* MathML error, which is having
the 'a' loose
in an mrow.

It may make this a bit clearer if I show you how *overline *and *mathbf *might
be handled with CSS:

overline {
    padding-top: 0.1ex;
    border-top: 0.2ex solid;

mathbf {
  font-weight: bold;

That his is not vapor may be seen here:


which is the XML shadow, styled solely with CSS (no MathJax), of the
LaTeX-like source:


                                -- Bill
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