OMML Specification, Version 2

The OMML (Office math markup language) specification has been improved in response to the great feedback we received from the ISO reviews. It’s part of the full OpenXML documentation Version 2 and is very handy to have if you’re working with OMML. The full OpenXML documentation itself is also very useful if you’re working more generally with OpenXML.

To get the documentation, click on Then click on ECMA-376 2nd edition Part1 to start a 50 MB download of the file entitled “ECMA-376, Second Edition, Part 1 - Fundamentals And Markup Language”. Browse the zip file and copy “Part 1: Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference”, a 34 MB pdf file to somewhere convenient on your disk drive. Then open that file with the Adobe Reader. In the left pane of the Reader, click on the Bookmarks icon to navigate this huge file.

To get to the OMML documentation, click on SharedMLs Reference Material, and then on Math. You’ll see three entries, “Table of Contents”, “Elements”, and “Simple Types”. You can click on the “Elements” to see each OMML element referenced. Clicking in turn on one of them, you get the full documentation on that element. Similarly you can investigate the "Simple Types".


Comments (4)
  1. Murray,

    Will you present highlights of the changes to OMML? As I recall the BRM process, the changes to specifically OMML were relatively small – actually I can only remember a single change that was approved (something about import of alternative math markup content, if I remember correctly).

  2. JohnM says:

    I am having trouble learning to use the new equation editor. I want to use keyboard input only, but if I get it wrong the AutoBuildup has already rendered it, and I cannot get back to the original text I entered. Isn’t there a way of toggling the autobuildup on/off so I can edit the plain text I’ve already entered to fix it?


  3. MurrayS3 says:

    You can turn off formula autobuild up by choosing the Tools option on the equation ribbon to get math autocorrect and then clicking on the "Replace as you type" option. You can still build up what you type by selecting the Professional option on the context menu or on the acetate menu.

    But it’s better to leave formula autobuildup enabled and then when something builds up differently from what you want, just type Ctrl+z to undo it. You can use this undo hot key anywhere when you edit Word (and most other programs). It’s very handy.

    We’re also working on ways to make the linear format more discoverable. You might want to read Unicode Technical Note #28 on the linear format  (

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