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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Resolving the problem with inserting formulas in OpenOffice with Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy)

While writing some text (under Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy with OpenOffice 2.4) I wanted to insert a formula and much to my surprise the Insert -> Object -> Formula way grayed (greyed?) out. My first reaction was that this is probably because I was missing Java (or more precisely: OpenOffice didn't recognize my installation of the OpenJDK 6). So I tried to configure it, to no avail. I kept getting the error message: no java installation was found in the given directory. Not to developers: it would be really nice to specify what file you are exactly looking for in the directory, so that I can search my HD and located the correct folder!

I solved the Java issue by installing the package via apt-get, but this still didn't solve my formula problem:

sudo apt-get install

Finally I found some posts on the ubuntu forums which indicated that all you have to do is install the correct package:

sudo apt-get install

This solved the problem, but begs the question, why wasn't this package installed by default? I suppose that someone (Sun? Ubuntu? Debian?) was following the Microsoft Office practice of not installing the Equation editor, but this is the one optional component I always installed when I used Microsoft Office.


  1. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Thanks for the solution. I also came to my surprise that this package is not installed by default.


  2. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Thanks for the solution. It also came to my surprise that this package is not installed by default, since it is a quite needed feature, I would say. Thanks once more!


  3. I think that may not be installed complete in the Ububtu Cd because of space reasons, only go to synaptic ans install

    I had the same problem but that seemed to fix it, also it works whit your solution, Thanks!