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Hi :)
First apols for forwarding this to the Users Mailing List but
1.  There didn't seem to be anything you'd want kept confidential
2.  It's good to get feedback from a wider range of people.

This list weirdly made it awkward to reply to the whole list so i
figured it wa only sent as a pm by accident.  Nowadays we have to use
"Reply to all" or "List Reply", "Group reply" or other similar things
because normal "Reply to" doesn't work anymore.

Also i have numbered your points to make it easier to respond
1.  Your postings seem fine (apart from accidentally going off-list
which everyone does anyway).  The bug-report is more of a "feature
request" because the way it works at the moment has been generally
agreed as being fine.  It's only now you mention it that the kerning
(spacing) looks really odd.

2.  Yes, that was the type of cheat i was talking about.  It's
technically correct but just very clunky isn't it?  I can understand
you really needing a more elegant solution!

3.  i thought i had suggested using a proper symbol for integration
instead of using the curly "f".  It wouldn't solve the stated problem
but glosses over it by being better in a different way?  Errr, unless
it really is meant to be an "f" instead of an integration symbol!

4.  Scribus might be worth a shot.  Test it first by copy&pasting all
the nice formatting you have done in Writer into Scfibus and then see
if it can handle correcting the kerning issue.  Scribus is meant to be
a DTP so i'd have thought that covers kerning.  It's normal to use a
word-processor to do the writing and then a DTP to polish it up.  But
take it for a test-drive first, right ;) ?

5.  "Math" (the formula editor) can
File - "Save As ..."
"Math ML" = gives  .Mml files
and that might be able to be read by other equation editors.  The
default odf might also be able to be read too.  It might still be a
bit of faffing around trying to get the italics kerning sorted but it
should be better than re-keying all the formulae!  I feel i might be
missing an even easier way, perhaps copy&paste?

Regards from
Tom :)

On 5 December 2013 18:25, Manuel Dudek <> wrote:
Hi Tom,

first of all thank you for the extensive email and sorry for not being able
to respond quicklier. Let me answer your question now and give some remarks
on your comments and suggestions.

1 - i haven't fully understood the concept of the forum and the bugs and the
developers yet, but the bug report I posted is intended to hopefully make
somebody see that this is a real problem in Math which is hopefully not too
difficult to solve. At least it is solved or doesnt occur in MS Word's
equation editor.

2 - indeed all equations incorporating superscript indices look fine, which is
because of the italic style of the preceeding variable. In fact both indices
(super and sub) keep their position, and that's the bug in my eyes, as the
lower indices should be rearranged. What do you mean by "cheating by adding
a 1"? Do you mean in the equation in the thesis? No way, then my professor
would surely laugh little bit about me and then give me a bad mark because
of inproper scientific work (and I would actually agree with him!)

3 - using an already italic style "f" by copying it from Writer and pasting it
into Math does not have any effect. It seems that I really need to draw
somebody's attention on this thing who can change the code of Math.

4 - using alternate programs: Of course I know both alternatives you
mentioned. I considered them shortly for the work at hand, but MS Word is
not practical as soon as pictures have to be added (it has always been a
mess making some changes and then searching the whole document for the place
Word put the picture in), and LaTeX...well....let's say I not want to
program my thesis, although many guys at our instutite are using it. Since I
have the first final version ready I not want to change the program now.
Except this issue I'm totally satisfied with my decision using LibreOffice.

5 - the idea I like is to use another Equation editor and then insert the
equation as an object into Libreoffice. This will still be a lot of effort
to rewrite all equations and not to mention the problems occuring while
numbering them or formatting them. I would not want to write the equation in
Word and import it as some kind of picture, since I feel quality will

As a result, I'm still going to wait a while, and hopefully i can get the
attention of one of these developers, either in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.
Now I decided to do all the other adjustments the professor requested first
and maybe during that time some progress can be done and the next hotfix
solves this problem.

Thanks again for the ideas.
Kind regards

Gesendet: Dienstag, 03. Dezember 2013 um 09:14 Uhr
Von: "Tom Davies" <>
An: Manuel <>
Cc: "" <>
Betreff: Re: [libreoffice-users] How to place subscript indices close to the
variable they belong to in the equation editor?
Hi :)
I'm not sure if the guide helps
because the bug-report suggests it's a feature that might need rethinking.

It's interesting to see that when there is a superscript it looks
fine. Can you cheat by adding a 1 as a superscript "for clarity"?
Would they buy that excuse?

Btw in "Math" (the name of the formula editor) you can use the proper
symbol instead of using "f". Use keyboard shortcuts or the menus to
copy&paste this into the lower-pane in Math

int _{0}

It might be worth considering writing either just the formulae or the
entire document in something else such as inkscape, scribus or LaTeX.

Apparently with Scribus the best work-flow is to write the text in
Writer and then copy that into Scribus so that Scribus can sort out
the layout. Scribus is really a desktop publishing program (DTP)
rather than a word-processor. I'm not sure how fine-grained it can go
so just experiment with a small portion to see if it can handle the
kerning issue, ie allow you to manually adjust the spacing between the
subscript and the "f".

LaTeX is allegedly difficult to learn and you kinda have to stick with
it's default formatting. However those defaults are likely to be
exactly what you need and if some then you could focus on the writing
and let the LaTeX editor worry about the layout more.

Inkscape really isn't the right tool and might be a bit of a
nightmare. If you do use it it might be better to save each equation
as a separate file and then bring each equation into the Writer.
Maybe give it a go with 1 simple equation first. It's more of a
graphics editor and not a word-processor or DTP at all. However when
you do write it allows you a LOT of control over kerning and all
sorts. Unfortunately it's tricky trying to use it to create
text-elements that show-up properly in Writer. Avoid creating a
text-box. Just click where you are going to start writing and then
start typing. Let inkscape calculate how the text-box should look.
Then instead of using _ to create a subscript character just type in
whatever is going to be in the subscript and then sdelct that and use
the icons-bar at the top. The advantage with inkscape is that it lets
you sort out a lot of the kerning issues by selecting the text and
Alt keyboard arrows
To get the 'page' size down (or up) so that the text fills the 'page' try
File - "Document Properties" and it's kinda obvious from there
(another 2 clicks)

If you are considering Inkscape then another tool to consider might be
the Gimp or another image editor. Again it's likely to be a
nightmare. Again it's just small text-boxes to create graphics
elements. It's not as good at editing text but you can create
different sized text-boxes and have them overlapping.

So, hopefully someone else has better ideas!
Regards from
Tom :)

On 2 December 2013 21:02, Manuel <> wrote:
Hello everybody,

I'm using LibreOffice to write my thesis, and since it is going to be a
technical document quite a lot of equations are used containing lots of
variables with subscript indices. Unfortunately the equation editor is
positioning these indices rather far away from the variable they belong
If another variable follows it almost looks like the indices belong to

Here is a simple example: size 11{ital{f_{0}f^{1}_{0}}}

This problem does not occur when writing the variable plus subscript
as italic letters in Writer. Also in the MS Word equation editor this
problem is non-existent/solved as it can be seen in the following picture


This "imperfection" (mathematically the equation is still correct,
nevertheless everybody notices the misalignement even without a
science-orientated background, but worst of all my professor of course)
seems to result from the combination of italic font style, whereas
should basically be written italic in scientific papers, and placeholders
the editor. The italic style leads to letters which could be fit into a
parallelogramm rather then into a rectangle like the non-italic letters.
Therefore the distance from the lower side of the variable to the
indices is increased if the placeholder of the indices is not adjusted
correctly, i.e. moved to the left side along with the parallelogramm.

Until now I haven't found a solution to horizontally adjust the subscript
indices position, only vertical re-positioning is offered by the editor.
Does anybody know a work-around for this problem? Or could this issue be
fixed in one of the next versions of LibreOffice?

Here some more information is added, i.e. screenshots and further

Thanks a lot for your help in advance.
Kind regards

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