Since ShareLaTeX joined forces with Overleaf last year, our goal has been to create an online editor that outshines both ShareLaTeX and Overleaf. One that is simple to get started with for beginners, has powerful collaboration features for teams, and that seamlessly integrates with the other tools and publishers you work with.

We’ve come a long way since we started last July, and there’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re excited to announce that as of this month you can try out the new Overleaf v2 editor! Just head over to v2.overleaf.com to give it a go. It’s simple to sign in to Overleaf v2 with your Overleaf or ShareLaTeX account, and your existing account or projects won’t be affected. You can also go back to Overleaf or ShareLaTeX at any time.

Launch early and iterate fast

The only way to build a brilliant product is to ask for and listen to your feedback as we go. We want to know what you need from an online editor, and to make sure the features we are releasing are useful and easy to use. We’ve been testing Overleaf v2 with some early users since the start of the year, and it’s helped us make improvements, from our layout sliders to our auto-compile algorithms.

Overleaf v2 editor

There’s still a lot of work to do on Overleaf v2 before it can completely replace Overleaf and ShareLaTeX, but we think that it’s now awesome enough for people to start using today, so head over to v2.overleaf.com to give it a try! Please do send us any feedback — we’d love to hear your initial thoughts.

Powerful collaboration features

Overleaf v2 offers an impressive collection of new and upgraded collaboration features. The collaborative editing is faster and smoother than in Overleaf v1, and it shows you where your collaborators cursors are as they type. The new track changes mode lets you see exactly what has been changed by your collaborators, and allows you to accept or reject each individual change. You can also comment on ranges of text in your document for precise communication.

Collaboration

Auto-compiling

Auto-compiling is one of the most loved features of Overleaf. We’ve made sure to include and improve on this in Overleaf v2, so ShareLaTeX users can also now just focus on their writing, and let us handle updating the PDF view as needed.

Auto-compiling

As with auto-compilation, sharing a project by a secure URL is a much loved feature of Overleaf which streamlines collaboration. When implementing this in Overleaf v2, we made an important change based on your feedback: Currently on Overleaf v1, the ability to share by URL is turned on by default, from the moment you create a project, but not all users realized this—they expected to have to explicitly choose to enable it. So in Overleaf v2, this feature is turned off by default, but you can open the Share menu at any time to turn it on!

Link Sharing

Overleaf v2 lets you search your bibliography to quickly and easily insert the correct citation. As well as simple auto-complete of your bibliography keys, you can choose to search your bibliography entries by author name, title, publisher or year. This will save you time from wading through your .bib files looking for the right keys, or trying to remember them.

Reference Search

Still in the works

As mentioned, there’s still a lot to do! Here are some of the additional features we’re planning to add before Overleaf v2 is fully launched:

  • Rich text editing, so that you don’t need to hand code every single layout option, and can work with collaborators who are less familiar with LaTeX
  • Linked files to import bibliographies and styles from other projects, reference managers, or the web.
  • Zotero integration, and improvements to the v2 Mendeley integration to support groups.
  • Dropbox and Git(Hub) improvements (see this help article for notes on working offline with Overleaf v2)
  • API integrations, such as those to publisher manuscript management platforms.

Want to know more?

We’re updating this help article with the latest details on the timeline for the Overleaf v2 testing and launch.

Please do let us know what you think of Overleaf v2! We hope you like it! :)

Posted by James Allen on 01 May 2018

Since our announcement earlier this summer that ShareLaTeX has joined forces with Overleaf, we’ve been actively working to harmonize features and functionality across the two platforms in preparation for migrating everyone to a unified service which delivers the best of both worlds—and much more besides!

An important aspect of the integration work is to keep our user communities fully updated with our progress. Following on from the addition of auto-compilation to ShareLaTeX last month, we are delighted to share some further developments: a new Link Sharing feature for ShareLaTeX.

As with auto-compilation, the ability to share a project by a secure URL was a key feature of Overleaf that was highlighted in the user survey as one that we should definitely keep and improve when bringing the two platforms together. When looking at how to implement this on ShareLaTeX and on the combined platform, we took the opportunity to review the feedback we’d collected on the Overleaf version of this feature. One such piece of feedback was that some users weren’t always aware that, on Overleaf, the ability to share by URL was turned on by default, and that they’d expected to have to explicitly choose to enable it. For the implementation on ShareLaTeX, this feature is thus turned off by default (but can be easily turned-on, by following the steps outlined below).

For existing ShareLaTeX users, the new Link Sharing feature replaces the original “public projects” feature, meaning that ShareLaTeX users can now also share projects privately via a secure URL, rather than needing to invite all collaborators personally.

Using Link Sharing on ShareLaTeX is easy. From within the project you wish to share with others:

  • Select Share from the ShareLaTeX toolbar
  • Select Turn on link sharing

Choosing to enable link sharing on ShareLaTeX

  • From within the pop-up window, enable link sharing for this project by selecting Turn on link sharing:

Choosing to enable link sharing on ShareLaTeX

After enabling link sharing the following screen appears to provide you with various options for sharing your project:

Link sharing options on ShareLaTeX

With reference to the screenshot:

  1. This URL provides edit-access to your project: anyone you share it with will be able to edit your project.
  2. This URL provides read-only access to your project: anyone you share it with will be able to view/read your project but they cannot edit it.

To disable link sharing:

  • Select Share from the ShareLaTeX toolbar
  • Select Turn off link sharing:

Disabling link sharing on ShareLaTeX

If you decide to Turn off link sharing, any links you have shared (e.g., directly by e-mail outside of ShareLaTeX) will no longer work and only the collaborators that you have invited from within ShareLaTeX will continue to have access to your project.

We hope that users who like to use both platforms will benefit from having consistent methods and options for sharing links to their projects, and inviting collaborators.

Posted by James Allen on 27 Nov 2017

Years of friendly competition in the same product space have made Overleaf and ShareLaTeX overlap quite a lot, feature-wise. Still, both services have unique strengths and some of these are actually product-defining—almost signature features. This was evident in the survey we conducted just after we announced our merger, and made clear which features we should definitely keep (and improve)!

One such feature from Overleaf is automatic compiling: as soon as you finish typing a significant portion of text, we trigger a recompilation of the document in the background. The main idea is to be as close as possible to a real-time preview of your document, allowing you to focus more on your writing and less on the tool. It also helps prevent LaTeX errors building up in the background, preventing the situation whereby, after writing for a while, you end up with a lot of errors to debug.

We are aware that many of our users really value this feature—we know how annoying it can be to have to stop the train of thought while writing—and “real time compilation” and “real-time compiling” were among the most common expressions in the feedback we’ve received so far.

What do you value most in Overleaf?

With this in mind, we knew that automatic compiling should definitely be one of the first integration-related tasks. As a result, we are now able—and very happy—to announce that automatic compiling is coming to ShareLaTeX! And perhaps you’ve already seen it: if you’re on the ShareLaTeX beta program, auto-compiling landed for you four weeks ago; if not, then perhaps you’re one of the 30% of users that got the feature by now—we’re gradually deploying the auto-compiling feature to everybody.

Of course, we know automatic compiling might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Personal preference or even different projects might make auto compiling a less than ideal match for your workflow. We also really don’t want to be too intrusive, so we’ve opted to have the feature “off” by default for ShareLaTeX users. Do try it out, though—and, please, be assured that you can always turn it off.

Auto-compiling in action

This is just one of the many steps until we reach an integrated and improved service, the best of both Overleaf and ShareLaTeX (and even better, we hope). We believe that, as is, this is already a great improvement for ShareLaTeX users, but we really want to hear your opinion: if you’re a regular ShareLaTeX user, what do you think about this feature? Have you tried it? And if you’re an Overleaf user, how’s your experience with automatic compiling been? Any suggestions on how we could improve it? Please, fill in our very quick survey and help us shape the new, integrated service.

Posted by Paulo on 31 Oct 2017