How to insert equations or formula while writing notes in Libre Office?

  • I have downloaded a pdf file from an other program in libre office It shows te equations completely wrong. What can i do?
    – user296824
    Jun 22, 2014 at 10:04
  • 1
    LibreOffice Math Guide: wiki.documentfoundation.org/images/a/ae/… Mar 20, 2015 at 8:25
  • How to: solution: with your fingers !
    – user610658
    Aug 23, 2018 at 7:24

6 Answers 6


The most basic answer to your question is Insert -> Object -> Formula in LibreOffice Writer.

  • 6
    Out of curiosity, do you have any idea why the math formula in libreoffice does not adapt Latex syntax? If it does then it's much easier to copy and use the countless, readily-available latex equations from the web!
    – user22363
    Nov 30, 2016 at 22:16
  • I was wondering, is Libreoffice able to calculate the math expression and insert the result? For example can it calculate 10 times 5 = and automatically append the result?
    – Shayan
    Oct 10, 2022 at 11:26

A more detailed answer: If you use this feature a lot (I'm a math teacher, I use it a lot!) you can add a button to the toolbar to take you directly to the formula editor. There is a GUI input method, but you can also use a sort-of command line version where you enter the code for the expression as text in your document, then highlight it and select Insert Formula. As an example, this

 x={{-b +- sqrt{b^2 -4ac}} over {2a}}

will turn into this

Quadratic Formula

Here's the a screenshot: (Notice the first symbol on the tool bar - that's where I've place the Insert Equation button.)

enter image description here

  • Where would I find help about the command line version of this?? Feb 13, 2019 at 22:22

Alt+I, O, F comes handy

There after a formula editor panel will be displayed.

Once you finished press


it will close the formula editor


Install the TexMaths extension (Tools > Extension Manager). You will need to click on Get more extensions online... search for TexMaths in the online repository download and install (usually double-clicking the file will open LibreOffice for installation). Restart LibreOffice and the TexMaths should appear in the toolbar.

Latex installation is also required:

sudo apt install texlive texlive-binaries dvipng

Please note that when you are using the TexMaths extension, you should always use the .odt format to save your files. Microsoft office does not support .svg images.

Also configure TexMaths to use scalable vector graphics (.svg) with this format your equations will always print crisp/sharp no matter how big or small you make them on the page. Do not use .png as the print quality will never be as good as .svg.

  • 1
    this is the best answer for people working with LaTeX and presentations. I think also the basic formulas should adhere to the TeX syntax. It's better to start learning it from the beginning, it will be useful for the future.
    – Santiago
    Nov 17, 2019 at 11:30
  • Just a small typo: the package is called dvipng. Apart from this, great answer!
    – Cleb
    Jul 26, 2020 at 21:05
  • one problem with this solution is that text mode in libreoffice Impress is not compatible with OLE objects, so it's impossible to insert, for example, fractions in text mode with the texmaths extension in libreoffice impress. This seems like a huge oversight!
    – gannex
    Feb 2 at 0:40

Use the Dmaths add-on, which enables you to type the equation directly into the text

e.g. : You would like to type an integral from a to b of f(x) dx, you just type " a;b;f(x) " ( without quotes ) and you type the short-cut "ctrl+shift+i" and there it is.

I'm a math teacher and this is how I type all the equations I need.

There's another add-on that acts the same way called Cmath, but the first one is the most complete because you can also draw simple 3d figures, do plane geometry, and different other stuff.

  • 1
    You could add that it's not free (13 euros). Not that I'm against it but just to distinguish it from Libreoffice in general. Cmath is free by the way.
    – ThePhi
    Apr 15, 2018 at 15:40

Formula bar will be grayed out and unclickable, until you install LibreOffice Math. It will "unlock" your formula bar. The Math icon cannot be found/placed on desktop or all application menu. It is used as extension to use formula bar. That's because the LibreOffice Math software is very useless - can only type some formulas,but not text and things from "insert" menu. But as I said, it "unlocks" formula bar from LibreOffice Write, Presentation, Calc and Draw.

So go to Ubuntu/Unity/Gnome Software (it depends on your operating system) and type "LibreOffice" . Than select "LibreOffice Math" from the suggested search bar. Then install it.

Your formula bar is now useable and clickable!

After you click it, you will see a some kind of LibreOffice Math, but inside LibreOffice Write, Calc, Presentation or Draw. By using operations in your right you make your own equation. The operators will make little boxes where you write letters and numbers.

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