Why can't I resize math formulas in Impress?

I am working on my presentation using Impress, I have added some formulas using LibreOffice math, but why can’t I resize them. The image that I attached show a Red stop icon when I hover over the corner.

Here is the file containing just that slide :
math_slide.odp (55.9 KB)

Some additional information :
Version: (X86_64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 50(Build:2)
CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 6.2; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3
Locale: en-US (en_US.UTF-8); UI: en-US
Ubuntu package version: 4:7.5.2-0ubuntu1
Calc: threaded

Ubuntu 23.04

Do you have possibly protected position/size?

If necessary, upload the page of the document (Impress format) here so that someone can look at it and examine it.

All important information about your initial question should be present in the initial question box, otherwise edit and complete it., to do it.

Please specify to all inquiries:

operating system
LibreOffice version (four-digit, e.g.
file type in which saved your file


I have updated my post. When I double-click on the formula and choose Position and size, I uncheck the Protect size option and click OK, but the problem remains. It seems that protect size is stays checked even if I uncheck it.

1 Like

Yes, that’s the same for me. But when you are in the dialog, you can uncheck “Protect” and change the size directly in the dialog. This works for me so far.

91167 HB math_slide.odp (51,9 KB)

If you want, you can create a bug description on Bugzilla.

I remember there was some explicit change to avoid incorrect resizing of Math objects; I believe this bug is a regression from that work.

Or even better, we can change the size directly from the Math editor, as mentioned by @Lupp.

The formula object isn’t a graphical shape, but a specialized OLE shape coming with a kind of graphical preview presentation. If you created it originally in a text document it also wasn’t resizeable. The styles used for the formula , including fonts, font sizes and distances are set inside the Math component. Therefore also the overal size of a formula can’t be changed really consistently. Using a formula in Impress (not in Writer!) , there is the workaround @Hrbrgr already described.
If you can omit further editing of the formula with Math, you can also convert the OLE shape to Metafile (e.g.), and it will behave then as other graphics do.

You might want to create a confusion matrix concerning this topic?

Thank you @Lupp, I haven’t thought that changing the size inside the Math component will make it bigger in the slide. Lol, we need a confusion matrix about this topic. I get it that you can resize the formula inside the Math editor itself, but you won’t get a preview on how the formula will look like, you will end up changing the size a lot of time before getting the desired result.

Should we consider changing the size as a solution for this question?

Try it:

size 14 {Accuracy ~=~ {TP + TN} over {P + N} ~~~~~ 
Precision~=~ TP over PP ~~~~~ 
Sensibility ~=~ TP over P ~~~~~} newline
size 14{Specificity ~=~ TN over N ~~~~~~ 
F1-score ~=~ TP over {TP + {FN + FP} over {2}}}

Thanks that works too.

I didn’t expect my answer to be accepted as a final solution. As in so many cases a more complete answer would start with “It depends…”
On what does the preferrable solution depend?
Oh my!

  • Type of document? (Only Impress/Draw or also…?)
  • Number of Math objects contained in it?
  • Expected reasons to edit formulas with Math again later?
  • Should the appearance of many formulas be harmonized?
  • Were the formulas prepared in a helper document (later copied and pasted)?
  • Many more questions and cases supposedly.

If we have a single formula, which moreover does not need to be edited later, conversion to a graphical format is clearly appropriate.
If there are many formulas that should all follow a uniform style, the direct application of my suggestion is too cumbersome.
When harmonization of many formulas is a concern, the question of supporting user code comes into view…
There are means.
For example, you could adapt code I wrote years ago for harmonizing formulas in Writer documents based on one specimen taken as a kind of template. Again for Writer there is also the extension FormatAllFormulas (FAF).
Ask me if interested in more details.

So many answers said the same thing as you suggested (changing the size or even converting the formula), I feel that we should be able to resize the formula just by dragging the corners and automatically the font size should change, I don’t know if the LibreOffice team didn’t want to add this or is it just a bug.

Yes, share with me what you know, I might learn something useful.

There seem to be misunderstandings.
The formula as inserted into any document is an OLE object, and the internal settings of any OLE object must not depend on any changes made to its graphical representation in a surrounding document. If changes to this representation are made possible, they will only afflict the appearance, but not the content (a Math model). If you look at your dog through a magnifying glass it won’t need more food, will it? That size changes to the shown graphic are currently not possible may be a bug or intentional. I don’t know, and there isn’t a “unified will” behind LibO. At least changes to the aspect ratio should remain prohibited.
BTW: Also spreadsheet documents can be the contained model of an OLE shape. In that case size changes to the graphical representation are not prohibited - and I seriously miss a fix aspect ratio!

I like the analogy you made here. I understood what you said, and tell me about the code you mentioned earlier.

I agree with you that this is a bug. If you unprotect the size in the “Position and Size” dialog, then close that dialog, you should be able to resize by dragging as you can with any other graphics object. Currently, you can resize by changing the values in the dialog, but when the dialog is closed, the size of the object is immediately protected again. And that is inconsistent behavior, hence a bug.

Exactly, I don’t know if someone already mentioned this or not but hope to see change one day.

Copy the formula into the clipboard and paste special as GDI into your slide.
pro: formula can be scaled stepless to larger space (it is vectorized)
contra: formula can’t be edited again as a formula.

Thank you, I will consider this solution, but might be used just if we are confident that formula won’t be changed.

In many cases, you will want the font size of the formula to match that of text on the slide. Then it is simply a matter of going into the formula editor, then set the font using the Font - Font size dialog.