A feature of Word 2010 I love is the capability of inserting truly inline mathematical equations.

By "truly inline" I mean that for all intents and purposes, editing or adding a mathematical formula feels like editing or typing regular text, all in place. No "Insert Object" or "Insert formula" or such things.

This is one of the reasons I still use Windows.

Can I get this functionality in Ubuntu, eg in LibreOffice, as well?

  • 1
    Just a thought, if your familiar with microsoft Word 2010, why not just install it using WINE instead of migrating to a different word processor? – Nil Apr 17 '13 at 20:37
  • @Nil I've considered such an option and in case I can't have another alternative, I guess this is what I'll do. – niels Apr 17 '13 at 20:38
  • Just a thought, but I'm sure there is a way to do it in LibreOffice. I'm not familiar with it though, so don't let my earlier comment deter you. I usually use TeXworks to make LaTeX documents instead of using word processors. – Nil Apr 17 '13 at 20:40
  • Here - libreoffice.org/features/math – scouser73 Apr 17 '13 at 23:02
  • Thank you all for your solutions, namely Marcelo Galas, carnendil, MHC), I upvoted them all. Many are very close to what I seek, but it doesn't seem that I've found what I'm particularly looking for. Maybe I'll just use Wine. – niels Apr 18 '13 at 20:43

In LibreOffice Writer you can actually write the formula "code" and afterwards select it and by using the "Insert Formula" button it converts it directly to pretty print formula. You could map the "Insert Formula" function to a keyboard shortcut and do it much faster that way. I'm an engineer, so I type quite a number of formulas per document and this is the method I use. It works for me, maybe it could work also for you. Below, I'm putting the formula "code" for the equation of velocity.

V={%DELTA x} over {%DELTA t}

An image of the this code rendered by Writer:

enter image description here


You could try Dmaths (see a demonstration video), a free software extension for LibreOffice. Formulas are an object in LibreOffice, so they will be not, to use your own expression, "truly inline".

But if you are not afraid to learn something new (but LaTeX scares you), I would definitely recommend GNU TeXmacs. The files will not be in a format that LibreOffice or MS Office can recognize, as far as I know, but you will be able to type quite simply all the math you want, and more. GNU TeXmasc is a WYSIWYW (what you see is what you want) editor.

LaTex is still the best, in my opinion, to create beautiful documents. If you can't wait to see the output of what you are writing, you can (almost) do it if you edit your documents with LyX. LyX is WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean) editor.

LibreOffice and MS Word both are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) applications.

Good luck!

  • I think I just gave you three more reasons not to use Windows... :P – carnendil Apr 17 '13 at 21:35
  • I'm familiar with LaTeX and a regular LyX user; when it comes to prepare the final version of my projects, it is LyX that I use. However, when it comes to the time when I need to quickly and easily change and redo some math I much prefer the easeness of Word (despite that the functionality I seek is actually present in LyX as well...). The first reason is that LyX's screen math fonts suck (or just don't render nice on my screen, I don't know) and the second is that I'm used to "standard" document processors (the ones that you press enter many times and see the new lines, haha). – niels Apr 18 '13 at 20:36
  • It's all just a matter of convenience. When it comes to finalization of my work I always use LaTeX and LyX (and not Word) – niels Apr 18 '13 at 20:39
  • You can try any of the suggestions for LO presented (@MarceloGalas' typing the formula code and rendering later, @MHC-suggested TexMaths, or Dmaths, which supports combination of keys), and I'm sure you could find one solution that you can get used to. On the other hand, TeXmacs uses TeX fonts, so what you get on screen doesn't look terrible (check the screenshots in theit webpage). – carnendil Apr 18 '13 at 20:51

These are all great answers. I am a fan of TexMaths, personally. It's a LaTeX equation editor for LO that supports inline equations. Coupled with a WYSIWG equation editor such as EqualX or Daum Equation Editor it's a very powerful tool.

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