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Unicode Math

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Unicode admits a plaintext encoding of mathematics approaching that of MathML or LaTeX. This encoding, UnicodeMath, is Unicode Technical Note 28. This ought not be confused with the CTAN unicode-math package.

As of 2024-01, the current revision is 3.2, last updated 2023-04-13.

It is intended that word processors and other tools render Unicode Math in a "builtup" format (this requires symbols with different baselines, stretched grouping operators, etc.). It ought be possible to roundtrip from Unicode Math to builtup format and back to Unicode Math without loss of meaningful content.


Known as fences in MathML, brackets ([]) braces ({}) and parens (()) are delimiters. In builtup display, they ought be at least as large as their contents. Pairs of delimiters, even when nested, needn't match up--any closing delimiter works with any opening delimiter. A closing delimiter may have a subscript and/or exponent.

Math zones

Regions/zones of Unicode Math can be set off with quilled brackets (⁅⁆). A "display region" fills a paragraph in the source text; the region is otherwise considered an "inline region", and ought be rendered more compactly. Adjacent math zones are automatically merged.

Display regions are roughly equivalent to LaTeX's $$…$$ and \[…\]. Inline regions correspond to LaTeX's $…$ and \(…\).