7 reasons why ShareLaTeX works really well to write in LaTeX collaboratively

12 Jul

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A few months ago I published a manuscript on the BioRxiv and then PNAS with 5 coauthors. Four of us used ShareLaTeX to collaboratively write the paper. It worked really well. Here are eight reasons why I like ShareLaTeX:

1. No need to think about a LaTeX editor or any packages on your computer. All work is done online. Great for LaTeX newbies.

2. ShareLaTeX has all the benefits of LaTeX. It is LaTeX, just online. You’ll get the beautiful LaTeX lay-out, and it’s perfect for mathematical equations.

3. No worries about whether you are working on the latest version of the file, you always are, because all work is done on the ShareLaTeX servers. Great for collaborations across timezones.

4. It’s very easy to see what edits your colleagues made. Much more elegant than “track changes” in Word. You can reverse the changes.

5. No need to worry about who else is editing the file, you can work on the same file at the same time!

6. If you need to talk while you’re working on your manuscript, the chat option works too!

7. When you’re done, or need to send a version of the manuscript to someone else, it’s easy to download the entire project (including bib files and figures) to your computer or just the PDF, which is usually enough.

On my wishlist: ShareMathematica

The people from ShareLaTeX now also have an R and Python editor online DataJoy. I haven’t tried it yet, but it could be very useful!

In addition, I hope that the the men and women at ShareLaTeX will think about creating ShareMathematica. For the Mathematica files we used in our project, we ran into version problems occasionally, so that Alison had to send us emails saying: “Please, make sure you use version 8 of the Mathematica file in the DropBox folder!!!” I hope that next time we collaborate, we don’t need to worry about that anymore.

Finally, I wish there was a button that would send our manuscript directly to the ArXiv or the BioRxiv, when we are ready to do so (and remove all the comments before doing so).

Anyways, kudos to the ShareLaTeX team. You made my life a little easier!

(I have no connections to ShareLaTeX, except that I’m a customer)

One Response to “7 reasons why ShareLaTeX works really well to write in LaTeX collaboratively”

  1. GoldMark City July 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm #


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