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Vote for the feature YOU would like to see included!

Note: Developers do not read this page regularly. This is intended as a place for users to discuss features. If you intend to reach the developers,

Also, this is not the place to report bugs. Again, use the LyX bug tracker for that.

You can vote for an existing feature request by adding your name (preceeded by treble star***) below the feature. You can also request an entirely new feature (preceeded with single star*, and double star** for sub categories), with the sole limitation your imagination.

This is the second of two pages of feature requests. The pages are:

  • FeaturePoll1 - tools, citing, tables, graphics/preview, math, inline elements, editing
  • FeaturePoll2 - packages, layouts, saving, exporting, output, LaTeX, navigating, installers, look, misc

Note that:

Package support

  • Support package SIunits (see bug 3483). Often requested on the user's mailing list.
    • → LyX 1.6 supports the units package (in math), but siunit(x) support is still desirable
    • Helge Hafting
    • Peter Brett
    • wvengen
    • Alex Vaughn
  • Support ledmac/ledpar packages for line-counting and (editing) parallel bilingual editions.
    • ps
    • asolove
    • Fred Church
    • Manuel Batsching
    • Daniel Stender
    • Somadeva Vasudeva
    • Jürgen Riegel
    • Max Moliere
    • David Gessel (Ledarab too!)
  • The most recent version of the FiXme package is quite flexible in terms of the kinds of notes one can write (for either collaborative writing, or notes-to-self) -- having either a layout module for this, or having built-in support for it would be great. There is already a layout for the todonotes package, but todonotes seems rather limited by comparison.

Layout files and Classes

  • Link to help docs for each document class from the Document Settings->Document class dialog (perhaps just using texdoc -s classname)
    • With a note that you might need to install -doc packages (at least if you use TeX Live)
    • I'm not sure if this is feasible, but it'd also be cool to have some indication of what the options of each class are, where you type in class options (might require actually adding per-class info to LyX though :-/)
      • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer

Layout handling

  • Document defaults in the .layout The .layout file should be able to specify a default font, page size, margins (any document setting the .layout author deems appropriate.) Today, I can mail a coworker a .layout for "in-house a5 brochures", but he still have to set page size, margins and font for each and every document he makes. Saving settings does not help, for these settings are not wanted as generic document defaults.
    • Helge Hafting
    • Rudi Gaelzer
    • Hellmut Weber
    • Gregor Hochschild
    • Benny
    • Alex Vaughn
  • User defined text styles and .layouts Through LyX or a helper app – so users won't need to know .layout syntax.
    • Helge Hafting
    • Rudi Gaelzer
    • Gabriel Many
    • Frédéric Faure
    • Gregor Hochschild
    • Liviu Andronic
    • Benny
    • Danny Evans
    • Alex Vaughn
  • A sort of package installer for latex classes & layout files: for istance, the pro Lyx users could package the necessary files for that latex class in a .lyxm module file (a simple zip with a index?) and distribute it, the interested users should only import that file with this new installer and it will copy the files and update Lyx configuration.
    • Stefano
  • A syntax for defining math macros in the layout file: The .layout file should be able to specify math-macros to be used in all documents with that layout.
    • Or Meir
    • Jim Oldfield (ideally you could copy from a math macro in LyX and paste into the layout file in a text editor)

New classes/class extensions

  • A \pause command available through Insert -> Special Character that would be useful for creating slides with the texpower, powerdot and beamer packages and would make the ugly corresponing ERT unnecessary. Such an additional special character could further be used for other commands (or characters) by appropriately redefining it in the preamble. (we have a Pause paragraph style (selectable from the Paragraph style combo), an inset is not necessary [jspitzm]
    • Ekkehart Schlicht
    • Jean-Pierre Chrétien I find the style sufficient and visually clear

Saving and Backup

  • Saving multiple files to an archive. →Implemented in LyX 2.0
    It'd be nice to save the master document, possibly some child documents, and all figures into a single .tar.gz file. Such a file makes it easier to pass a book project around. Making LyX open such a file isn't that hard - just unpack the .tar.gz into the temp directory instead of copying individual files.
  • Allow saving output to a separate directory to separate test files from working files. This is a critical function for working with large, complex XHTML documents. (See enhancement requests #3402 and #7494 for more details.)
    • Jim Smilanich
  • More comprehensive backing up (See bug 5521). I would like LyX to retain the automated backups that it makes. In the config you can set it to backup every "n" minutes (normally 5), and you can set "Maximum last files" (normally 16, I think). That could be used to set how many backups to keep. In $LYXHOME/backups or somewhere, the last 16 copies of the 5 minute autosaved copies could be kept. This would allow you to recover from mistakes made up to 4 hours ago. That would be sweet. LyX files are small. This wouldn't take up much room, and the hooks for the system are already there for the #filename.lyx# backups. Also, a gui for recovery would not be needed immediately, as the backup files would be standard LyX files.
    • Cam Stone
    • Anton Fetisov
    • Jim Smilanich


  • Additional export formats
    • Export to TEI XML or SGML
      • Jeremy Malcolm
      • Mirko Briemle
    • Native mode or export to "Docbook 4.4 XML". O'Reilly used to accept troff and LaTeX, but now advise their authors use Docbook 4.4 XML "cf Chpt2: The Proposal"; the tools they recommend are now all proprietary. Ideally this would be a native-mode XML with in-line XML/Docbook grammar parsing and context-sensitive selection of available objects. See this bug bug.
      • Douglas Ray
      • Joseph Harfouch
      • Pascal Vollmer
    • Native export to RTF or Openoffice. This may be limited with complex texts which contain a lot of formulas but could work with simple texts.
      • Alejandro Gutierrez (in fact, export to ODF the ISO/IEC 26300 standard)
      • Liviu Andronic
      • Witold Firlej
      • Boris Radosavljevic
      • Jim Smilanich (+1 for ODF)
      • Rainer Koelle - strong support for RTF or even docx; the selling point is 'interoperability' with (unfortunately) MS Word
    • Export to DITA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Information_Typing_Architecture
      • Gabriel de Perthuis
      • Mark Barratt
    • Direct Import and Export function of .doc and .docx files
      • Maximilian Peters
      • Boris Radosavljevic
      • Will Furnass - could possibly look at pandoc(approve sites) for inspiration as to how to perform the LyX/LaTeX to OOXML+OMML conversion.
  • Exporting workflow
    • Add an option to "Rebuild All" when exporting/previewing in any supported format. LyX 1.4.3 does not seem to handle file dependencies reliably, especially when exporting/previewing an unchanged parent document that has child documents which have changed. The exported/previewed parent often does not include the recent changes, because LaTeX has not been run on all the changed files. This problem is very noticeable with grandchild documents, i.e., when a child document itself has children. At present, the only solutions I have found are very messy: exit and restart LyX, or manually delete the master DVI file from LyX's temporary workspace.
      • Note: Please report such cases to lyx-devel, so that we can fix them at the core.
      • Graeme Morrison
      • Hellmut Weber
    • Drive lyx exporters from the command-line. Could be used to generate documentation in a commit hook. → lyx already know --ps
  • Integration of parts of the LyXtoX scripts created by Chris Karakas.
    • At some point in the future it would be great if some of these scripts, lyxtox scripts integrated into the lyx project in some way.
    • Currently new versions of LyX appear to output SGML that does not work correctly. As a result the SGML output is incompatible with the lyxtox scripts which are currently only compatible with LyX 1.2.1, part of lyxtox does a cleanup of the LyX SGML output, it would be great if such cleanup scripts were not needed and lyxtox's functionality could be more closely intertwined with LyX itself.
    • If you want an example of what the overall output looks like of a LyX document processed with lyxtox see GNU Linux Tools Summary
    • I think this could be a great selling point for LyX if these scripts were more integrated with LyX (it would be great to have a button from LyX that could do part of this functionality).
      • Jeremy Malcolm
  • More support for literate Programming with Lyx. Ideally what I'd like to see is the ability to insert code from a scripting language or other programming language that gets compiled and executed prior to the final production of the document. This could, for example run some code that produces graphical output that would get included and embedded in the final product, or for example produce values that would be presented in a table. I believe you would want the ability to execute the code segments independently from the document itself. If I had my choice of scripting languages I would choose Lua, because it's lightweight, fast (e.g. LuaJit) and easily embeddable. However some kind of generic programming or plug in interface would be nice.
    • Matt Bromberg
    • Ole Jørgen Brønner

Output (Printing, compiling)

  • More extended print dialog that support options like printer selection, double sided printing, selection of the paper source, etc.
    • Martijn Brouwer
    • Steffen Tacke
    • Kirk McDonald
    • Ran Rutenberg
    • Rudi Gaelzer
    • Simon Brown
  • When updating DVI bring xdvi window to front
    • John C. McCabe-Dansted
  • Compile (for viewing, updating, exporting) in the background, so that user can carry on working on the document.
    →implemented in LyX 2.0
    • C P Barrington-Leigh
    • Piero Faustini
  • Progress bar while running LaTeX: Not necessarily have are real progress bar, but have a Dialog, in front, that tells you what is going on. My doc needs time, and the statusbar is kinda not verbose, so a Log-View would be nice. E.g. have all the non LaTeX Errors ( 'unable to convert Grafic to EPS') instead of modal Boxes in a Log-list as "Error: ....".
    →implemented in LyX 2.0
    • Reiner Wainhold
  • A "revert to last successful compile" feature. E.g. if the "latex" command successfully generates a dvi file, back up the LyX file (and maybe included files etc.). If the latex command fails to generate a dvi file then offer to restore the LyX file to the last known "good" state. Integration with change tracking may also be good.
    • John C. McCabe-Dansted
    • Kirk McDonald
    • Luiz Souza
    • Benny
  • Would it be possible to have a clickable element somewhere in the graphical user interface to cancel the current compilation ? Also, would it be possible to use multiple threads or processes during the compilation ? For example, converting the images form a format to another one could be done in parallel for all images.
→Multiple threads are used as of LyX 2.0
  • Sebastien Pierard

LaTeX, TeX, tex2lyx, ERT...

LyX<->LaTeX intercharge

Note: By a general consensus of the developers, using LaTeX as a native format of LyX is no option. Query the lyx-devel archieves for details.

  • Edit LaTeX code in LyX. You can see the .tex file while you write in Lyx and it updates automatically. That's fantastic, it makes things easier for stubborn LaTeX users. If this is possible, what would make things even better for LaTeX users would be to be able to edit the .tex file and see the LyX file update all inside LyX(a bit like you can in MS FrontPage). That way people can do all their clever LaTeX tricks that they're used to while still getting all the many many benefits that make LyX better than LaTeX by itself. Thanks!
    • Michael Best
    • Aurélien Gentils
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
    • Petter S
    • Yann Disser
    • Alex Vaughn
  • Better Latex import/export: Because of the errors caused with each lyx/latex transform, I'm finding it difficult to collaborate with pure Latex users if I use Lyx.
    • Scott Otterson
    • Marco Rossi
    • Peter Davidson
    • Luiz Souza
    • Andrea Del Prado
    • Francois Beaubert
    • Ryan Cross
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
    • Sylvain Reboux
    • Gabriel de Perthuis
    • Manuel Fernandez - use latex as lyx file format
    • Viktor Nilsson - use LaTeX as lyx file format
    • Angus MacLean
    • Carlos Florentino
    • Jim Oldfield - specifically: on import be able to recognise theorem-like environments, including adding the appropriate module (this is easily the biggest cause of ERT in documents that I import), and on export use \newcommand in preamble for math mode commands instead of the weird \def concoction that gets output at the moment (I guess that this would only work for commands defined at the start of the document, but defining this later is bad style anyway IMO).
    • John Horsemoon - Ideally use latex as lyx file format. Even if this is not possible in the short term, allow latex as a native file format, in the sense that lyx then has the option of opening and saving tex files directly, without going through import-export menus and confirmation for overwriting existing files. Internal representation can still be done in the lyx format. Tex/Latex is the universal format that everyone can use for collaboration, whereas lyx file format is specific to a particular application. The end product (tex file) of scientific writing should be independent of a particular application or platform.
    • Tim Huegerich - When importing LaTeX files, save the line breaks in the .tex file internally so they will be output the same upon export. It's ok if parts edited in LyX have line breaks in arbitrary places in the .tex file, but keep unedited parts of the TeX file unchanged.
    • Alex Vaughn
  • Paste Latex Section (Relyx in Place). And if LyX know the latex constructs it relyx's them. I have a lot of old latex documents wich i want to reuse. But not all of it, just some tabels and stuff. But if I paste the into LyX i have them as evil red. Or have to create a file and must run relyx and copy and paste.
    →implemented in LyX 2.1
    • David Rosenberg
    • Marco Rossi
    • Luiz Souza
    • Francois Beaubert
    • Rudi Gaelzer
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
    • Benny
    • John Horsemoon (Very useful. The capability is already there. Just needs an interface, e.g. Paste Special --> Paste as Latex)
    • Carlos Florentino (99% of my collaborators and colleagues that use LaTeX, are compiling it with programs much worse than LyX (for this purpose), like emacs, winedit, texshop, etc... If I had to name one feature, it's pretty obvious that this is now THE MOST important feature that everyone is urgently needing to start using LyX. Please include it in version 2.0. I do not believe it is difficult to implement, as J. Horsemoon, says "it's already there. Just needs an interface"!)
    • Sander Nijdam
    • Tim Huegerich
    • Alex Vaughn

Source Code View/Editing

  • Edit source mode
    I'd like it if there were an edit source mode. It could basically just allow you to indicate your preferred text editor. Then, when you pressed the edit source button, the LyX file would open up in the editor as a temporary text file. When you save the temporary text file, LyX would automatically detect the changes in the file and update (vice-versa also working would be super cool). (long term, a view codes mode (now in 1.5.x, a view-source dialog showing the underlying latex/docbook/linuxdoc source code) like Word Perfect would be even better, but that'll be years in the future). Right now I'm stuck with closing LyX and opening up the file in an editor, then closing the editor and opening up LyX again (handy for doing things like moving all of my citations into footnotes). If this feature is already in there, make it more obvious!
    One example of "fair" use is when doing lot of search and replace (for instance changing all the _x subindices for _y) It is way more easy to the prefered text editor. I am aware that LyX round-trip edition may be tricky and not fully safe, but at least for me it would be enough if I could directly send the .lyx file from LyX to an external editor.
    This without closing lyx document and with no file lock problems, edit the text, save and that lyx automatically reloads the document. Some editors even support positioning the cursor after opening.

It depends on the user not to mess the document so much that LyX is not able to read it again.
I do this a lot now and it is just an inconvenience to have to save, close, open, look for cursor position, edit, save, open again. Just a bit of integration with some text editor would be desirable.

  • Gabriel Many
  • David Rosenberg
  • Chris Barrington-Leigh
  • Bo Peng (view-source is done in 1.5, editing is more difficult)
  • Mauricio Velasco
  • John Ward
  • Peter Davidson
  • Luiz Souza
  • Francois Beaubert
  • Dominik Waßenhoven
  • Rudi Gaelzer
  • Roberto Gorjão
  • Ryan Cross
  • Viktor Nilsson
  • David Roberts
  • Angus MacLean
  • Alejandro Paltrinieri
  • Ahmed Omran
  • Antonio Martos
  • Carlos Florentino
  • Thomas Weyn
  • BEnny
  • Baron Sing
  • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Van Dyck Michiel
  • Tim Huegerich
  • Alex Vaughn
  • It is possible to dock the Source Code window on the right, but then the check boxes and update button should appear on top/bottom of the source code, not on the side of it (to conserve screen estate).
→Implemented in LyX 2.1
  • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Robert
  • It would be nice for it to function more like the OpenOffice formula editor, where one can view and edit the source in a separate window, and have it updated in real time. I'm sure this would be difficult, and may introduce bugs, but sure would be nice. If it had an autosave function, then any huge mistakes by the user would result in reloading an autosaved file?? ANyway, I like Lyx.

LaTeX distribution handling

  • Easier installation of new ctan latex style files into LyX. At present it is possible (in linux at least) but requires a bit of latex/cli mastery.
    • Note: TeXLive has a graphic Package manager, MikTeX as well.
    • John C. McCabe-Dansted
    • Marco Rossi (some developer could write layout for .cls classes requested by the user's community)
    • Peter Davidson
    • Ran Rutenberg
    • Francois Beaubert
    • Emme Ci - Most latex styles are modifications of some well known official latex styles. Skeleton .cls could be automatically generated from the original's .cls. Since no inheritance information is provided in the sty files a dialog asking the user to select the most similar style would be needed (a mechanism that can guess the closest .cls would be best).
    • Alex Vaughn
  • TeX Information (the lists of classes and styles that LyX knows about) should be sortable. As it is, the list shows the location/directory, but it would be nice to sort it alphabetically insead. → implemented in LyX 1.4


  • Outliner
    • Outline mode
      Like MS Word/Powerpoint, I would like to be able to edit in the TOC window, using TAB and Shift-TAB to quickly promote/demote headings; and add and remove and cut-n-paste headings.
      → implemented in 1.5
    • promote/demote nested headings in the outliner at once
very often it is useful to promote/demote not just a single heading, but all of it's subheadings. In MS Word this can be done with a single click (or TAB/Shift-TAB), but in Lyx it is necessary to manually promote/demote each and every one of it's children, it's children's children, it's children's children's children and so on, which for big documents is a lot of work.
→ implemented in 1.6
  • promote/demote multiple headings in the outliner
  • ability to select multiple items in the outliner and promote/demote them with one click.
  • Ability to move section, subsection, sub-subsection in the outliner by drag and drop. Currently, this is only possible by pressing the up/down buttons in the outliner repeatedly.
  • a checkbox to allow moving also the text associated with the item, to allow a quick rearrangement of the document.
  • Navigation menu can jump to any fig or table. Navigating to equations also would be great! → New in 1.6
  • It would be nice to have a "dependency map" (like a new kind of Outliner) in which each node represents a Definition environment, a Proposition, a Theorem, possibly also a simple "concept" associated with a paragraph (e.g.: "state of the art"). Each item has, among its properties, the linked paragraph and a list of items from which it depends. When the user moves an item also the associated paragraph is moved accordingly; in the case it is moved above one of its dependencies the software should warn her and highlight the items whose order has been "violated".
  • Content hiding
    • Folding editor for nested enumerate/itemize environments: It would be nice to be able to hide and expose all things below a certain depth, e.g. by clicking a triangle next to the parent of those things you'd want to expose or hide.
      • David Rosenberg
      • Scott Otterson
      • John Ward
      • Sylvain Reboux
      • Atle Gjengedal
      • David Breuer
      • Anna Stief
      • Benny
      • Richard Ashcroft
      • Danny Evans (this used to be standard in older WYSIWYM systems like GrandView and MORE)
      • Jake Scott
      • Drew Anderson
      • Robert
      • Immanuel
  • Separate panels for selecting the environment navigating the sections of the document (basically pullaway versions of the environment listbox and Navigate menu).
  • Content Locking
    • It should be possible to lock editing of content of marked sections to prevent accidental edits to that section. It should be further possible to enable and disable navigation to them ie show or hide a particular section. This will be particularly useful in long documents to prevent accidental changes. Also a toggle where it is possible to show/hide text or equations only in another section. Possible implementation may also allow a user to open a read-only version on a second tab where different things may be shown or hidden. E.g. He/She might be able to edit a section in one tab, while viewing all the equations in that section/entire document in another tab.
      • Rahul Gupta
      • MIkael Kardell
      • Espen Myklebust

Distribution (Installers, Platforms, etc.)

  • Portable version
    • Portable as Windows Version on a stick on workstations without admin rights.
      → LyX 1.6.2 works fully with USBTeX! (See http://wiki.lyx.org/Windows/PortableInstallation)
      • Gabriel Many
      • Marco Rossi
      • Leandro Mattioli
      • Michael Chen
      • Roberto Gorjão
      • Marcelo Faria
      • Ehrlich Andreas
      • Nelson Almeida
      • Mario Merino
      • Liviu Andronic
      • David Muelheims
      • Joshua Bearden
      • Zulkifli Hidayat
      • Matt Oates
      • I Made Riko
      • Steven Gilberd
      • Aurélien Gentils
    • Possibly a remastered Damn Small Linux embedded using QEMU. - Lyx 1.5.3 is part of Knoppix 5.3.1 live dvd
  • Easier installation of Windows version, fixing the problem with the reporting of a missing textclass.lst file (see Windows.LyX137, Installing LyX, Note) (new in LyX 1.4.2)
    • Anonymous
    • Matt Bromberg (It's still a problem with the v1.5 install. Or perhaps more precisely this file gets corrupted somehow.)
  • Always win32 installer for newest LyX version on the website would be nice (new in LyX 1.4.2)
    • Yann Disser
    • Kirk McDonald (Agree!)
    • Bo Peng, please, a all-in-one 10 min installer.
  • I don't know how easy it is, but here is my idea: it would be nice to have a Cocoa-based version of LyX for Mac. This would allow the use of the system-wide spell checker built in OS X, so no need for additional coding efforts or to download dictionaries, etc.%
    • Lawrence Raso
    • Manuel Marques (yes!)
    • Maximilian Wollner (I think it is quite a lot of work, so unless someone has way too much spare time, it won't happen for long...? (I wish I knew how to code in Cocoa))
    • Christoph Kochmann (or at least a way to get rid of the toolbars above the edit window and put it into an inspector window)
    • John Stein
    • Andrey Trebler (Qt 4.5 is bringing both 64 bit and Cocoa to Mac OS; would it be great to make LyX for Mac the best looking and most powerful LyX?)
    • Andrew Fecheyr
    • David Rendon
    • Simão Rodrigues
  • I do look forward to an Android or iOS version of LyX, with which students can write math homework on the bus or the train.



  • Prettier Icons: The current icons should be replaced with ones from the Tango Project.
    • Lugh Komesaruk
    • Luis Gomes
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Icons for dark themes (current icons use black color, relying on the fact of theme being bright). Changing to Tango Project perhaps fixes this automatically?
    • Guillem Pastor

Plugin API

  • There are numerous TeX packages and there always will be people asking LyX developer team to support certain packages they like. Maybe it can be simplified by having a plugin API, so people can write their own extension without first wading through all the source code of LyX, like what other open source software, like Firefox, Notepad++ and even TeX have been doing.
    • Karsus

Tag me


  • Description environment should have a box (like the one you get with Ctrl-M) around the label, so that multi-word labels can be input without using protected spaces. This is particularly important if the labels are later processed with some user commands, but also adds more consistency.
    • Philip P.
  • Possibility to scroll further down than the end of the document (so that the last line is at the top of the screen, I hate having to "look down" all the time, or insert faux linebreaks) - implemented in 2.0
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Zoom slider (for people without mouse wheels / knowledge of what a ctrl button is)
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Add/remove toolbar icons, like OpenOffice.org
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Toolbars should have a right-click menu item to add more toolbars.
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Fullscreen mode should have drop-down (auto-hide) toolbars/scrollbars/tabs and an 'X' button to exit fullscreen mode (taking a hint from Firefox).
    • Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  • Provide a dialog box or a page setting view where graphically page setting may be performed to be stored in a .layout file, Including how titles subtitles section etc. are placed and their display etc. But perhaps only lorem-ipsum as the text in it.
    • Rahul Gupta
  • More comprehensive typography interface. It'd be great to see non ERT (icon/menu-accessible) features added based on their relevance/presence in typographic tradition and theory. For instance, I'd like to see a dialogue or menu for a number of different recognized means of starting a new paragraph---i.e. outdent, symbol without indent or linebreak (in addition to the ones already available).
    • Scott Steele
  • Gallery interface icons and instant preview. I'd like to immediately see a rough approximation of whatever option I'm hovering my mouse over. As it is now, I'm often clicking/undoing. This is somewhat frustrating as I found it faster to change options in plain LaTeX and recompile than to test features through LyX.
    • Scott Steele
  • Website
    • Add an RSS feed to the News page and the Developer News sections. → done!
    • A Lyx blog where developers occasionally sum up what is being developed and what users can expect from the next version vould be even nicer (just pasting the updates on NewInLyX20 would be fine).
      • Alex Vaughn

Please Note, no preference is indicated by the order of the categories.

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Page last modified on 2014-09-01 11:35 CEST