Using Apache OpenOffice Math

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A PDF of this guide (including all the illustrations missing from this wiki version) is available from this wiki page.

Introduction (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.

Documentation note.png The equation editor is for writing equations in symbolic form (as in equation 1). If you want to evaluate a numeric value, see the Calc Guide.

Getting started

To insert an equation, go to Insert > Object > Formula.

The equation editor opens at the bottom of the screen, and the floating Elements window (called “Selection” before Math 3.2 and “Formula Elements” in Math 3.2) may appear. You will also see a small box (with a gray border) in your document, where the formula will be displayed.

Equation Editor, Elements window, and location of resulting equation.

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.

Additional References

For very basic step-by-step instructions and tutorials for specific tasks, see

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