Image Formats

Drawing on an existing SVG

To draw math expressions on an existing SVG, create the SVG XML structure using an XML Element Tree. Then use ziamath.zmath.Math.drawon(), or ziamath.zmath.Text.drawon(), with the x and y position and svg to draw on:

from IPython.display import SVG
from xml.etree import ElementTree as ET

svg = ET.Element('svg')
svg.set('width', '200')
svg.set('height', '100')
svg.set('xmlns', 'http://www.w3.org/2000/svg')
svg.set('viewBox', f'0 0 100 100')
circ = ET.SubElement(svg, 'circle')
circ.set('cx', '20')
circ.set('cy', '25')
circ.set('r', '25')
circ.set('fill', 'orange')

myequation = zm.Latex(r'\int_0^1 f(x) \mathrm{d}x', size=18)
myequation.drawon(svg, 50, 45)


Raster Image Formats

Ziamath only outputs SVG format, but other image formats may be obtained using other Python libraries. Cairosvg can be used to convert to PNG, for example:

import cairosvg
expr = zm.Latex('$x^2 + y^2$')
pngbytes = cairosvg.svg2png(expr.svg())


Declaring Operators

To declare a new math operator, use ziamath.zmath.declareoperator(). This works similar to LaTeX’s DeclareMathOperator to allow custom function names typeset as functions instead of identifiers.

Decimal Separator

For regions that use a comma as the decimal separator, set ziamath.config.decimal_separator. This removes the space after the commas between two digits, by treating it as if it were enclosed in braces, such as 1{,}0. Only used for Latex expressions.

zm.config.decimal_separator = ','

Configuration Options

Global configuration options can be set in the ziamath.config object.

Math Style

The default math style can be set with the following parameters. These settings may be overridden by arguments to zm.Math or zm.Latex.

zm.config.math.mathfont   # Path to math font file
zm.config.math.variant    # 'serif', 'sans', 'bold', 'script', etc.
zm.config.math.fontsize   # size in points
zm.config.math.color = 'black'      # css-supported color
zm.config.math.background = 'none'  # css-supported color

Text Style

The default style of plain text in zm.Text instances may be set using the following configuration parameters:

zm.config.text.textfont   # Path to font file
zm.config.text.variant    # 'serif', 'sans', 'bold', 'script', etc.
zm.config.text.fontsize   # size in points
zm.config.text.color      # css-supported color
zm.config.text.linespacing  # Line spacing multiplier

SVG Version Compatibility

Some SVG renderers, including recent versions of Inkscape and some OS built-in image viewers, are not fully compatible with the SVG 2.0 specification. Set the ziamath.config.svg2 parameter to False for better compatibility. This may result in larger file sizes as each glyph is included as its own <path> element rather than being reused with <symbol> and <use> elements.

If your images looks like all the symbols are stacked on top of each other, try setting this option to False.

zm.config.svg2 = False

Decimal Precision

The decimal precision of coordinates in SVG tags can be set using ziafont.config.precision. Lower precision saves space in the SVG string, but may reduce quality of the image.

zm.config.precision = 2

Minimum Fraction Size

Fractions, superscripts, and other elements are reduced in size depending on the depth of the element. By default, the smallest allowable font size is 30 % of the original font size. This fraction can be changed using zm.config.minsizefraction

zm.config.minsizefraction = 0.5  # Only allow sizes to be reduced in half from the base font size

Command Line

Ziamath may be accessed from the command line, reading input from a file with

python -m ziamath inputfile.txt

Or reading stdin:

echo "x^2 + y^2" | python -m ziamath

Run python -m ziamath –help to show all the options. It attempts to automatically determine whether the input is MathML or Latex, but the –latex argument may be provided to force Latex mode.


While the most common features are supported, Ziamath is not a comprehensive implementation of the MathML or MathML Core specification. At this time, unsupported elements and attributes inculde:

  • Elementary Math Layout: <mstack>, <msrow>, <msline>, <mlongdiv>, etc.

  • Some table alignment tags and attributes, such as borders, <mlabeledtr>, and <maligngroup>

  • Right-to-left text

Latex support is provided by latex2mathml.