Common problem areas
See also the OpenOffice Math FAQ
How do I add limits to my sum/integral?
The “sum" and “int" commands can (optionally) take in the parameters “from" and “to". These are used for lower and upper limits respectively. These parameters can be used singly or together. Limits for integrals are usually treated as subscripts and superscripts.
Markup  Result 

sum from k = 1 to n a_k 

int from 0 to x f(t) dt or int_0^x f(t) dt 
or 
int from Re f  
sum to infinity 2^{n} 
For more details on integrals and sums, see the Math commands reference. 
Brackets with matrices look ugly!
For background, we start with an overview of the matrix command:
Markup  Result 

matrix { a # b ## c # d } 
The first problem people have with matrices is that brackets do not “scale" with the matrix:
Markup  Result 

( matrix { a # b ## c # d } )  () 
OOoMath provides “scalable" brackets. That is, the brackets grow in size to match the size of their contents. Use the commands left( and right) to make scalable brackets.
Markup  Result 

left( matrix { a # b ## c # d } right) 
How do I make a derivative?
Making derivatives essentially comes down to one trick: Tell OOo it's a fraction.
In other words, you have to use the over command. Combine this with either the letter “d" (for a total derivative) or the partial command (for a partial derivative) to achieve the effect of a derivative.
Markup  Result 

{df} over {dx}  
{partial f} over {partial y}  
{partial^2 f} over {partial t^2} 
Numbering equations
Equation numbering is one of OOoMath's best hidden features. The steps are simple, but obscure:
 Start a new line.
 Type “fn" and then press F3.
The “fn" is replaced by a numbered formula:
 (2)
Now you can doubleclick on the formula to edit it. For example, here is the Riemann Zeta function:
 (3)
You can reference an equation (“as shown in Equation (2)") with these steps:
 Insert > Crossreference..
 Click on the References tab (Figure 15).
 Under Type, select Text.
 Under Selection, pick the equation number.
 Under Format, choose Reference.
 Click Insert.
Done! If you later add more equations to the paper before the referenced equation, all the equations will automatically renumber and the crossreferences will update.
To insert the equation number without parenthesis around it, choose Numbering under Format instead of Reference. 
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