Getting Started with Math
OpenOffice.org (OOo) has a component for mathematical equations. It is most commonly used as an equation editor for text documents, but it can also be used with other types of documents or stand-alone. When used inside Writer, the equation is treated as an object inside the text document.
To insert an equation, go to Insert > Object > Formula.
The equation editor opens at the bottom of the screen, and the floating Selection window appears. You will also see a small box (with a gray border) in your document, where the formula will be displayed.
The equation editor uses a markup language to represent formulas. For example, %beta creates the Greek character beta (β). This markup is designed to read similar to English whenever possible. For example, a over b produces a fraction:
To insert a numbered formula in Writer, type fn then press the F3 key.
For a broad overview and more helpful tips, please see: http://documentation.openoffice.org/manuals/oooauthors/MathObjects.pdf
For very basic step-by-step instructions and tutorials for specific tasks, see http://plan-b-for-openoffice.org/math/index