Matrix notation in Writer - Ninja

Matrix notation in Writer

Posted by Andrew Z at Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Permalink

You don't need to blow money on Microsoft Word to write nice math notation. Say you are taking Linear Algebra or doing other mathematics that requires matrices: here is how to easily write a matrix in the free-of-charge, open source, cross-platform, Writer.

After installing and starting Writer (which is the equivalent of Microsoft Word), click Insert - Object - Formula. This starts the formula editor.

At first glance, the formula editor can be confusing. To get orientated, glance at the elements dialog: 3.3 math formula editor elements

At the top of the elements dialog, there are categories of math elements: to view the name of the category, hover the mouse cursor over the category icon. Then, to view the entries in the category, click on the category icon. The categories include:

  • Unary/binary operators
  • Relations
  • Set operations
  • Functions
  • Operators
  • Attributes
  • Others
  • Brackets
  • Formats

At the bottom of the elements dialog are the math element entries: click an entry to insert it into the editor.

Here is a basic 2x2 matrix A with entries A11=a, A12=b, A21=c, and A22=d:

matrix A

The first time you try to draw this matrix, you may try to enter this math formula:

A = [ matrix { a # b ## c # d } ]

However, the matrix brackets are too short, and A is not bold. To scale the brackets taller and to make A bold, enter this formula instead:

bold A = left [ matrix { a # b ## c # d } right ]

Wait about one second for the matrix to update in the Writer window. If you are satisfied and wish to exit the formula editor, double click on any blank area of the Writer document. math formulas can similarly be added to other document types including as Impress (like PowerPoint) and Draw (somewhat like Visio).'s math editor is sufficient for math homework and casual math use, but if you are writing a scholarly paper, TeX is the de facto standard.


tom wright said...

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VITRIOL said...

Welcome back. We really missed you :-)

Nathan said...

Do you know how to create a division symbol for simple division problems? The particular symbol I am referring to is a vertical line connected to a horizontal line: "|____" (only the horizontal line is connected to the top of the vertical line).

Jonathan Pritchard said...

Welcome back. Glad to see new articles.