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What editors/IDEs are available for easing the process of writing TeX/LaTeX documents?

Please state some useful features like code completion, spell checking, building final DVI or PDF files, etc.

This question is undergoing a systematic refurbishment, see Let’s polish the Editors/IDEs question on meta. If you’d like to see another editor feature covered here or to take care of an editor that’s not covered yet, share your ideas in that meta question.

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Wikipedia has a list: Comparison of TeX editors. –  Caramdir Apr 4 '11 at 2:26

40 Answers 40

Emacs with WhizzyTeX

Available for: Linux, Unix-based systems
Open Source

I just recently discovered WhizzyTeX for Emacs. It gives you a real-time preview of your document, as you type. It can also show you where your cursor is with respect to the document.

It works with everything that I've thrown at it: Math, tipa, synttree, TikZ, etc. The only problem I've encountered so far is that TikZ nodes with text get garbled together.

For Ubuntu/Debian users:

  1. sudo apt-get install advi whizzytex
  2. Start Emacs
  3. M-x whizzytex-mode
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Scientific Word

Available for : Windows

Same as Scientific WorkPlace, but without algebra system (therefore the lower price).

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Scientific WorkPlace

Available for: Windows

Platforms: Microsoft Windows® NT 4.0, or Windows® 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows® 7 or later or Apple Macintosh® running an emulator program such as Virtual PC™, Parallels, or the free Virtual Box running a version of Windows® listed above

License: commercial, US$810.00

Spell Checking: can/must be purchased separately

It has MuPAD as built-in computer algebra system, is described here and a trial version can be downloaded from here.

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Verbosus (a.k.a VerbTeX for Android/iOS/Windows 8)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows 8 (modern UI), Browser

  • License: Free (limited version), Paid (full version)

  • Languages: en (Android/iOS/Windows 8/Browser), de (Android/Browser), fr (Browser)

  • Unicode: Yes

  • Syntax highlighting: Yes

  • Code completion: Yes (Browser), No (Android/iOS/Windows 8)

  • Code folding: No

  • Spell checking: Yes (Android/iOS/Windows 8/Browser: Depending on your preferences)

  • SyncTeX: No

  • Built-in output viewer: Yes (Browser: if you use a browser like Chrome which has an integrated viewer), No (Android/iOS/Windows 8)

  • Project management: Yes

  • Collaboration: Yes (Android/Browser), No (iOS/Windows 8)

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Vim with LaTeX-Box

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
  • License: Open Source Charityware
  • Compilation: using latexmk (<Leader>ll)
  • Unicode: Yes
  • % !TEX directives: No, but has modelines
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes (using Omni Completion; snippet via additional plugin)
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: additional plugin (e.g. project.tar.gz)
  • Version Control: additional plugin (e.g. fugitive.vim)

Vim motions important for tex-documents:

  • { and } to jump to next or previous empty line (=paragraph jumping)

Extends vim motions and text-objects:

  • Motion between \begin/\end and \left\right pairs with the % key.
  • text-objects: Environment objects (e.g., select with "vie" or "vae"), Inline math objects (e.g., select with "vi$" or "va$").

Complementary vim plugin is auctex.vim providing for example following abbreviations:

`a -> \alpha 
`8 -> \infty
`/ -> \frac{}{}

NOTE: Based on LaTeX-Box plugin: Automatic LATEX Plugin for Vim (ATP) rather fully-featured plugin as latex-suite.

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  • Platforms: All Java enabled platforms (Window, Linux, Mac, Sun)

  • License: Free

  • Languages: en

  • Unicode: Yes

  • Syntax highlighting: Yes

  • Code completion: Only for macros to generate images

  • Code folding: No

  • Spell checking: Yes (Using Open-office dictionaries)

  • SyncTeX: Yes

  • Built-in output viewer: Configurable using scripts

  • Additional features to edit LaTeX files: Integrated structure view, LaTeX tool to insert latex commands, BibTex manager.

This IDE goes much beyond editing LaTeX files. It is an environment for scientific computation, data analysis and data visualization. You can plot functions, perform a data-analysis with histograms and arrays, do data mining, statistical calculations. Symbolic mathematical calculations are also supported. A lot of tools for matrix calculations. Data can be shown in 2D and 3D. SCaVis can generate vector-graphics images that can be inserted to the LaTeX documents. The program is written in Java.

SCaVis IDE to edit LateX files

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  • Available for: Linux
  • Free & Open source
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/BiDi: Yes
  • Custom BG/syntax highlighting: Yes (GTK)
  • Best feature: customizable templates/snippets (great for quick insertion of figure/table/listing environments, inserting non-ASCII characters for XeTeX users, etc)

screenshot of LaTeX editing with Scribes

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Atom with language-latex and latex packages

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux

While Atom is a fairly new editor and LaTeX support (through packages) is somewhat limited, it already has a very large community providing extensions through its highly customizable package system. Atom has packages providing Git integration, BibTeX autocompletion and many other features.

Syntax highlighting is provided by the language-latex package, and as of 2014-08-08 the latex package provides code completion and compilation using latexmk. Spell checking and code folding are provided by the core packages of the editor.

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Unix
  • Licence: Open Source (MIT license)
  • % !TEX directives: No(?)
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes
  • Code completion: Yes
  • Code folding: Yes
  • Spell check: Yes
  • SyncTeX: No
  • Built-in output viewer: No
  • Project management: ?

enter image description here

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Sharelatex Open Source

Available: Linux, Mac. GPL

Now this amazing online editor can be installed in a headless server and used in any computer on the network or locally in any linux or mac machine.

enter image description here

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I tend to use jove "Jonathon's Own Version of Emacs" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JOVE for history, downloads at ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/cs/ftp/pub/hugh/jove-dev/) which gives a very compact emacs-like editor for Windows, without the vast overhead of an emacs environment.

I use a secondary cmd window to invoke texify (MikTeX), though I presume jove could set up a macro to do it. In the image below, my editing window is upper left, the cmd window is lower left and the DVI (or PDF) window is on the right.

enter image description here

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