Using Source view

Using the same equation as in the previous section, we will take a brief look at Source View. Source view is an alternate mode which displays the exact MathML syntax and structure, and operates just like a text editor, allowing you to directly edit equation content within the MathML itself.

Click on the Source view tab just below the editor window. You will see the MathML source displayed for the existing equation x plus z equals 9 as shown here.

MathML displayed in MathFlow's Source View

Highlight the 'z' character and change this back to 'y'. Notice how changes are reflected in blue text, while the existing text remains black.

Edited MathML

Let's change the formatting of the MathML itself. Highlight just a few rows of the text and press Shift+Tab a number of times. This shortcut key combination will move selected blocks of text. The MathML is still valid, but not really in a standard readable form. We did this exercise to demonstrate the first of two special Source View commands.

Several lines are now indented to the right

First we will use the Format command, which will nicely position the MathML syntax into an easily readable form. You can 'format' the edited MathML by ¹clicking the Source menu then Format, by ²right-clicking in the editing window itself and choosing Format, or by ³clicking the Format Source (document icon) toolbar button. Whether any or all text is selected or not, Format will affect the entire document (equation). Also notice that the edited values are now black again.

Format command in the Source menu

Now click back to Design View. Changes made to the MathML in Source View are immediately reflected in Design View and vice-versa.

Changes are reflected in Design View.

Switching back to Source View, the MathML can be checked for proper syntax and structure by ¹selecting the Source menu then Validate or by ²clicking the Validate toolbar button (checkmark icon, also called the syntax checker). Since the MathML in this example passes validation, 'Validation completed successfully' will appear in the lower status bar area.

Validate command in Source Menu

Remove one of the line's end tags and try to validate again. The first error found will display in the status bar and the offending syntax will display as red text. Now click OK to close the error dialog and OK again to close the Editor. Now you will see a warning about the MathML errors, preventing the editor from closing. Switch to Design View and the editor will prevent this as well due to the malformed end tag. At this point you must Undo your actions or correct any MathML errors before continuing.

MathML error

You can find more information on Source View in the MathFlow Editor Source Editing section in the main MathFlow documentation.