Writing manuscripts with complex equations or figures is tough. To make this simpler, the scientific community uses LaTex as one of the ways of writing manuscripts. Indeed, during the course of academic research, LaTex has enabled the creation of sophisticated documents. Yet, only recently has this tool become available for widespread and collaborative use. The two companies who have been leading this field, ShareLaTeX and Overleaf, just recently announced their partnership. This will enable easier online collaborative manuscript preparation and will benefit both researcher and scientific manuscript author.
ShareLaTeX and Overleaf
LaTeX was originally developed as a method of writing documents that incorporate complex mathematical text. Currently, mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, and engineers are among the largest users of LaTeX for its benefits:
- Extensive use in academia
- Ability to be viewed/edited with any text editor
- Consistent and automatic formatting
- Free software use
Importantly, LaTeX even lets writers convert word documents into LaTeX. However, LaTeX comes with a steep learning curve. To address this, several companies have developed user-friendly versions of this software. ShareLaTeX is one such online platform that enables collaboration, is easy to use, provides a document history, and works remotely.
Meanwhile, Overleaf is an online platform powered by LaTeX. It was piloted at Purdue University to facilitate graduate thesis formatting.
A Partnership That Benefits You
Both ShareLaTeX and Overleaf have seen a surge in growth among users and a wider variety of institutional users. Despite being competitors, the two companies have been trying to find a way to work together over previous years. Overleaf’s acquisition of ShareLaTeX will prevent the two companies from duplicating their services and wasting time to develop such products. More importantly, their combined efforts will facilitate the development of a user-friendly LaTeX editing tool.
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