[Libreoffice-qa] LibreOffice Math improvements

Robinson Tryon bishop.robinson at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 03:49:59 PST 2013

On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM, Edmund Laugasson
<edmund.laugasson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Esteemed readers!


> I would propose to improve LibreOffice Math. I hope I will post this message
> to the right address. Please involve appropriate people who can solve these
> questions I submit here.

There are 2 primary methods of proposing changes to LibreOffice
1) Filing enhancement requests in Bugzilla
2) Writing some code (or contracting someone to write some code) and
asking for it to be merged-in

As you might expect, you'll usually get faster results via method #2 :-)

> First proposal
> When inserting equation in Writer - there could be possible to put text
> cursor directly between symbols I see in the show area. Then it would be
> more direct way to edit equation

I like this idea for improvement, and I definitely think we should
consider it for future development. I perused our list of Math
bugs/enhancements[1] and didn't see anything that looked quite like
your proposal, so please file a new enhancement request:

> Also moving with arrow keys, TAB-key and also mouse between different
> equation parts would be very appreciated.

Yes, that would be a nice addition. It doesn't appear that such a
feature is offered in MS-Office, and it would speed up the process of
editing formulae quite nicely.

For a11y purposes, we could offer commands to read-out the current
field being edited or to read out the entire formula.

> Purpose is to dramatically increase equation entering efficiency, which
> currently is approximately 10 times slower than with MS Word Equation
> Editor.
> People will never get rid of that code window, which is for advanced users
> and therefore should remain as is. Just some improvements for beginners
> would be very appreciated.

I don't have a copy of Word here to compare, but here's a short video
demonstrating the interface used by MS-Office's equation editor:

> Second proposal
> Please include DMaths with LibreOffice - http://www.dmaths.org/ - there is
> also English version.

Here's the English link:

> This makes a lot easier to enter formulas and even stereometric figures into
> LibreOffice. This will make a lot easier especiall beginners life like math
> teachers who are struggling with LibreOffice Math currently.
> I would propose to include DMaths as default extension since 4.2 and as
> built-in since 4.3 of LibreOffice version.

Let's see... dmaths is currently licensed under the GPL, so the
license might not be compatible as a default extension. Additionally,
it's a 3rd-party extension, and it looks like we don't include 3rd
party extensions in the default build

> Reasons
> Main reason - for math teachers is current LibreOffice math quite useless.
> It takes too much time to enter equations, especially complex ones. But they
> need to enter a lot of equations every day. Currently LibreOffice takes much
> more time to enter compared with MS Word Equation Editor.
> Behind me are millions of math teachers around the world who are expecting
> much better user experience with LibreOffice Math.

For math teachers, installing the DMaths extension shouldn't take much
time. If we're talking about a classroom-wide install, there might be
some options to help speed up the process. Instead of including more
extensions in the default install, is there something that we can do
to make it easier for our end-users to install new extensions in


[1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/buglist.cgi?list_id=374730&query_format=advanced&bug_status=UNCONFIRMED&bug_status=NEW&bug_status=ASSIGNED&bug_status=REOPENED&component=Formula%20Editor&product=LibreOffice

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