Blog‎ > ‎

LaTeX equations in LibreOffice (Windows)

posted Feb 1, 2015, 10:17 AM by Juan Jose Garcia-Ripoll   [ updated Feb 1, 2015, 10:18 AM ]
Unfortunately, recent editions of LibreOffice have problems with rendering equations that contain complex symbols, such as sums, products, arrows, superindices, overbraces, etc. There are workarounds to this, which involve mainly installing an older version of the OpenSymbol font. I have tried that, but it is not at all satisfactory.

In recent presentations I have rather resorted to an elegant and perhaps more powerful alternative, TexMaths. This is a LibreOffice extension which is very lightweight and which allows you to insert latex equations in your LibreOffice documents, let it be presentations, written texts or drawings. An example is shown below.

To install this you need
  • Installing a recent version of MikTex (2.9 is the one I have)
  • Install dvisvgm, a program that converts LaTeX documents from dvi format to a portable graphics format called SVG. This format can be scaled and allows the formulas to look much prettier. You can download it from here, and copy the content of the archive to the same directory where latex.exe lives
  • Install the TexMaths extension, downloaded from here. This is done from LibreOffice's extension manager.
  • Configure the extension using the icon to the new "pi" symbol, to set up the paths for MikTeX and dvisvgm.
  • Create an equation by clicking on the "pi" symbol. Ideally, click on the preferences to set TexMaths to produce SVG files for all your formulas. The files are smaller and support scaling.
The output will look similar to this:

Example of TexMaths formula
Note that these instructions also apply to Linux or Mac, but in that case you do not need to install MikTeX, but the corresponding LaTeX distribution.