[BlindMath] Mathpix versus InftyReader

Sean Loraas sloraas at austincc.edu
Wed Jul 5 20:50:37 UTC 2023

How you don't mind I'm sending this reply back to the blindmath list, in
case others find this information helpful.

Glad to hear my reply was helpful. I use a Mathpix subscription, which is
$99 per year for a 2 person license. I do not use it with assistive
technology, but here is some Mathpix documentation for using Mathpix with a
screen reader:
How to use a screen reader on a PDF with math - Mathpix (

New accessibility features in Mathpix (

I'm on my phone so sorry about having to paste the entire URLs.

To answer your other questions, I use the desktop versions (both Windows
and Mac) when taking snips of math passages, which can be pasted in a wide
variety of formats into all manner of environments. Usually Im dropping
them into Word as Mathtype, or into the online Mathpix markup editor as
LaTeX.  I use the web app for PDF files, and use Mathpix markup editor
online to do as much clean up of the file as i can before exporting to MS
Word where my workflow can continue to any of a number of formats:

Braille using Mathtype in MS Word and the BANA templates for Duxbury... to
transcribe to Nemeth in a UEB context.

 For screen reader accessible files I go from Word with equations in either
math type or equation editor to the free Central Access Reader to create
HTML with MathML. I send students both the MS Word file (editable and
becoming more accessible, can be read with JAWS and MS Word 365) and the
HTML file, which is readable with a wide variety of default browser/screen
reader combos on most platforms (windows, mac, iphone, android).

Screen reader accessible files can also be further converted to Large Print
in Word, or to Audio with the Central Access Reader.

Finally, about copyright. There is not a copyright concern for uploading
Pdfs to Mathpix when the sole purpose is converting content for access by
students with documented disabilities. We do request permission from the
publisher when we are requesting a copy of a textbook. Usually we find our
source files for most publications through Bookshare and AccessText.

Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions. Best,
Sean Loraas

 Accessibility Technician
 Alt. Text & Media
   Austin Community College
   Eastview Campus
    Office: 2140

On Wed, Jul 5, 2023, 8:16 AM Bert Van Landeghem <
b.vanlandeghem at sheffield.ac.uk> wrote:

Many thanks for your extensive and insightful reply, Sean.
> Do you also have experience using the software itself with assistive
> technology? And which version of the software do you use? Do you use the
> offline version that does not require a connection to the Internet, or do
> you have a subscription? Do you have any arrangements regarding copyrights
> if you need to upload PDFs for conversion, or is that not an issue?
> Kind regards,
> Bert
> On Wed, 5 Jul 2023 at 14:00, Sean Loraas <sloraas at austincc.edu> wrote:
>> I can speak to the similarities between inftyreader and mathpix.  Both
>> applications convert images of text that include technical notation into
>> actual text and equations, in a variety of output formats like MS Word with
>> Equation Editor or MathType equations, LaTeX, or HTML with equations in
>> MathML/MathJax.
>> InftyReader was the first application to be able to do this, and was the
>> first application that enabled the automated conversion of text and math
>> files from content that was visually readable but not accessible to screen
>> reading software or text to speech. Prior to inftyreader I was limited by
>> having to enter all math by hand, typing, or in rare cases copying and
>> pasting, math from PDFs, or other formats into a word doc with MathType or
>> equation editor, or with Scientific Notebook. The only other solutions were
>> methods that employ equally manual input methods with other markup like
>> LaTeX.
>> Inftyreader made it possible to convert larger files of mixed math and
>> text to a variety of more usable output formats that could be used to
>> produce digital formats like audio, braille and screen reader accessible
>> formats.  But, it was very specific about input: it needs the highest
>> quality (400 dpi minimum, 600 recommended) tiff image files. (Adobe can be
>> configured to output the right format). Then columns had to be separated,
>> and all images removed.
>> Initially MathPix was focused on the digitizing of shorter passages using
>> the convenient snip tool to capture & convert math in literally any
>> environment on a computer. If there is text  and/or math displayed on the
>> monitor long enough to draw a box around, Mathpix can capture and convert
>> it to propper text and equations. It's accurate with a wide variety of
>> fonts, and does pretty good with low quality, to a point.
>> Mathpix is run with nimble and responsive customer service, having
>> contacted me early in their development to investigate our use case and
>> develop functions that we suggested, specifically for the accessibility
>> remediation workflow, like PDF conversion and capturing tables.
>> With improvements for capturing PDF files, and the ability to use their
>> Mathpix markup language as a stepping stone to learning LaTex mark-up, With
>> regular improvements and added features,  Mathpix has completely replaced
>> my use of inftyreader for larger files, and has become invaluable to my
>> workflow for converting STEM course materials at scale.
>> I believe TextHelp Equatio was built on MathPix technology, but in my
>> experience, I found Equatio to be cost prohibitive for document
>> remediation, but had value for students as an accommodation. Mathpix is the
>> most versatile, user friendly, and affordable math, chemistry, technical
>> notation OCR software that I've ever used.
>> Sorry for such a long email. Hope that helps. Best!
>> Sean Loraas
>>  Accessibility Technician
>>  Alt. Text & Media
>>  Austin Community College
>>  Eastview Campus

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