Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LibreOffice Math/Formula Editor Examples

While I love technology another one of my passions is mathematics. I am currently working on a graduate degree in this field. I like to type a good deal of my course work so it looks presentable.

I know the industry standard for typing mathematics is using a software such a LaTex or Lyx, but I haven't quite made the leap from using LibreOffice as my every day word processor as of yet. Thankfully, LibreOffice comes with a fairly power equation editor - if you know how to use it! The following is my personal cheat sheet for using the editor - enjoy!

If you'd like to download a copy of this you can easily copy and paste I've got an ODT version here and a PDF version here.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. I personally forced myself to learn LaTeX over this past January, and I can't see myself ever using anything else for mathematics again. But before that, I felt like LaTeX was too intimidating, so if I ever needed some formulas in a document, I would use OpenOffice.org's equation editor. This would have helped immensely, and I'm sure tons of other people would benefit from it too. Thanks for the awesome work!
    a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

  2. I've used LaTeX in the past for various projects, but sometimes appearance really matters and a good WYSIWYG tool is exactly what you need. I'm over 500 pages into a math textbook I've been writing using LibreOffice. The single most useful thing to use to speed up your formula writing is the dmaths extension. You can find out more about dmaths at http://www.dmaths.org/

    If you're curious about my math book it is intended for pharmacy techs and is only about 70% done but you can check it out at http://pharmaceuticalcalculations.org

    Thanks for the cheat sheet


  3. I used to go with OpenOffice Math for math equations when I submitted assignments. Yeah, there is some kind of learning curve but the results are very professional. I used some LaTeX stuff for labeling some simple circuits that need to be exported as image file. I love both OO.O/LibO Math and LaTeX! :)

  4. I've used OpenOffice Math a lot too, for writing a script for a lecture on stochastics (why dont they ever release their script?!). It worked out pretty well, also because the equation editor is good to learn on-the-fly. I've also added macros for when i needed to add special characters in the text. For example /alpha or /natural
    Let's see whether i get to my degree without latex

  5. the most thing I miss till now, is a labelled arrow. So I have an arrow and the length of the arrow depends on the label. Also when you have a vector like abcd and wants to draw the arrow over abcd the arrow looks kind of ugly.

  6. Many thanks!!!!!

  7. Where could I find a complete list of the commands used to type formulas on Libreoffice?

    The list you have posted is very useful, now I only need the more basic stuff. I am making a paper of Marketing Management and I am in the need of typing some economics formulas.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. I'm not aware of any other lists - I compiled everything I could find here.

    2. The complete documentation for LibreOffice Math can be found at:


      The command reference beings on page 36.


  8. Your links for the pdf and odt appear to be dead. Any chance you could host them somewhere more reliable? (maybe www.mega.co.nz)


    1. I've updated the links to use my dropbox account. Thanks for the heads up.