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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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2  
17  
Wikipedia has a list: Comparison of TeX editors. –  Caramdir Apr 4 '11 at 2:26

40 Answers 40

Emacs with AUCTeX

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac (incl. Aquamacs fork), Unix
  • License: Free software (GPL)
  • Languages: de, dk, fr, is, it, jp, nl, pl, se, sk are supported by AUCTeX language styles
  • Unicode: Yes, from Emacs 23, characters are represented using Unicode
  • RTL/bidirectional support: From Emacs 24, through bidi-mode
  • % !TeX directives: No, but has several realizations of file local variables
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes, customisable through customize and Elisp
  • Code completion: Yes, via Emacs Predictive Completion, which supports AUCTeX without further configuration
  • Code folding: Yes
  • Spell checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in output viewer: Yes
  • Project management: org-mode, reftex-mode, speedbar

Emacs is one of the oldest programmable editors, which supports the extensive LaTeX, ConTeXt, and Plain TeX editing mode, AUCTeX and its sister package for managing sources, RefTeX.

Emacs with sample file loaded

(In this screenshot, visual-line-mode is enabled. In this mode, lines that are wider than the window are broken between words. The line breaks are not added to the source file.)

RefTeX makes all your references as easy to find as a C-c <key>, for both BibTeX and biblatex, and also provides convenient shortcuts for navigating between sections in your document, bound by default to C-c =:

Screenshot featuring RefTeX's outliner (Note that colour themes are completely customizable)

AUCTeX supports multi-file parsing, so that huge documents with \input or \include commands are easily compiled with C-c C-c from any of their files. No more going back to the master file in order to compile.

AUCTeX's preview-latex offers WYSIWYG previewing of formulae.

Interesting features of Emacs:

  • Use table-insert along with table-generate-source and table-recognize-* functions to easily create a base for your tables.
  • Lots of useful keyboard shortcuts
  • Extensively documented, both in Emacs, via the Emacs and AUCTeX Texinfo manuals, and via many books in several languages.
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25  
You should mention how good reftex is. –  Seamus Oct 3 '10 at 20:30
6  
C-c C-s to create a section (with optional label), C-c C-e to create an environment of your choice (open and close tags)... –  Seamus Nov 9 '10 at 15:57
8  
You should try out orgtbl-mode, it's really awesome. Here's a good tutorial. –  Oscar Nov 14 '10 at 15:49
7  
C-u C-c C-e allows you to change the current environment (eg. from align to align*) C-c C-. marks the current environment. C-c C-* marks the current section. C-c C-m allows you to insert a macro (it has a large autocomplete list...) –  Seamus Jun 1 '11 at 16:48
3  
You mention that emacs does not have directives? But isn't that wrong? I can apply directives to which mode it should be compiled with, and also specify master files? That I would say are directives? –  zeroth Feb 18 '13 at 11:44

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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TeXstudio

(formerly TexMakerX)

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD
  • License: GPL v2
  • Languages: cs, de, en, es, fr, hu, ja, pt_BR, zh_CN
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: ?
  • % !TeX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable and auto-customized
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, supports PDF
  • Project Management: Yes

I'd recommend TeXstudio an interesting fork of Texmaker that I find more usable and customizable.

Here is a screen shot of TeXStudio.

TeXstudio sample document screen shot

Other pros:

  • cross-platform,
  • writing support (incr. search, folding, navigation, auto-completion, custom macros)
  • inline interactive spell-checking
  • support to the main latex tools, including tikz, pstricks, etc.
  • multi-views: math, structure
  • svn support
  • runs in a usb
  • pdf viewer included, but can be configured to use external viewers (also with synctex)
  • live-updating inline preview for formulas and code segments
  • tools for easy table editing and table-code formatting
  • multiple cursors
  • document templates
  • very active and responsive developer and community
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1  
@DevSolar Unfortunately, aside from the standard wiki comparison, I haven't been able to find any. In general, TeXStudio comes with more features and options (I always ended up choosing it over TM because the latter was missing something I wanted; on the other hand, TXS has gotten so many options it might be overwhelming nowadays). By design, however, they both have a similar look and feel, so you can easily switch if you don't like one of them. –  scallops Sep 19 '11 at 0:19
6  
TeXStudio isn't Texmaker with additional features. It was forked years ago and there are more differences now as there were in the beginning. I tried both and somehow prefer Texmaker, it just feels cleaner to me. –  doblak Nov 26 '11 at 17:35
1  
I switched to this from TeXworks right now! –  PHPst Apr 22 '13 at 5:17
4  
TexStudio, is recommended by MikTex distribution in their manual as an advanced choice editor, after spending some time toying with TexWorks (the basic choice if you are a total beginner). I couldn't stay long with TexWorks, while TexStudio is there inviting with its many features. For spell checking and language, there is some nice plugin with great potential called language tool. –  doctorate May 25 '13 at 16:12
5  
After using TexMaker for a year I switched to TexStudio. It has much more features, but the selling point was the much better support of custom shortcuts. It's also blazingly fast on my low-end laptop, compared to TexMaker. –  Dwelle Jun 11 '13 at 12:17

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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Sublime Text with LaTeXTools or LaTeXing Plugin

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux


This is a simple, but powerful, editor. It's similar to Notepad++, but available on multiple platforms, and much easier to setup for LaTeX with the LaTeXTools or the LaTeXing plugin—both available from the Package Control tool. It is also similar to TextMate, but is being actively developed and has a huge community which develops plug-ins for. It's also much prettier than both of them!

Note that this commercial software, and inquires a licence after an evaluation period (costs $70 USD). It is possible to run Sublime Text without buying a licence, but you will be reminded that you are using an unregistered copy.

Sublime Text features some really powerful tools when it comes to typing, some of which you don't understand that you could do without:

  • multiple cursors
  • go-to anything
  • snippets
  • incremental find
  • project management
  • numerous build-systems

and more (take a look at Perfect Workflow in Sublime Text 2). The screenshot below also displays its feature for finding citations from BibTeX.

Sublime Text is an almost completely text based editor, with almost unlimited potential. The list of features is about as long as you want it to be. Install Package Manager, and you have a long list of repositories only a few seconds install-on-the-fly away.

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Unix
  • Licence: Free to try, free to buy
  • % !TEX directives: Yes
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes
  • Code completion: Yes
  • Code folding: Yes
  • Spell check: Yes, both built-in and external packages
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in output viewer: No
  • Project management: Yes

enter image description here

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1  
The evaluation period can last forever, I've been using it for over a year. –  levesque Feb 27 '13 at 20:06
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Also, when used with Skim you get a very, very fast compiling PDF viewer that syncs with your code to give you the same PDF functionality that other editors provide. –  BoZiffer Mar 15 '13 at 1:44

Latexian

Available for: Mac
Commercial - $9.99 on App Store


Latexian is made by Taco Software. It is available Mac OS X 10.6 or higher (including Mavericks).

This is a very lean editing environment at its core, with many features that can extend its capabilities. One very nice feature is an integrated execution environment that updates a live preview window in near-real time with edits. It is perfect for quick, simple projects.

Click image to enlarge

Features (copied from software site)

OS X Lion & Mountain Lion Features

For OS X Lion and Mountain Lion users, Latexian has support for Autosave, Resume, Versions, and Full Screen.

Navigator

Quickly navigate to chapters, sections, and included files using the Navigator. You can also add your own bookmarks to the Navigator by adding a comment to your document starting with the "!" character.

Live Preview

Live Preview allows you to see how your document typesets while you are editing. The PDF preview appears in a split pane and updates automatically.

Code Completion

Latexian includes Code Completion for LaTeX and BibTeX documents. When navigating the completion list, a brief description is shown for the selected item.

Code Folding

Code Folding allows you to collapse segments of text, making it easier to navigate through your text. Latexian identifies chapters and sections in your document and provides disclosure triangles to fold these in one click. Latexian will remember and restore your folds if you don't edit a document externally.

Code Clips

If you ever get tired of copying and pasting frequently used text segments, then Latexian's Code Clips will alleviate your problems. Code Clips allow you to store, manage, and access those text segments more easily. With Code Clips, you can assign keyboard shortcuts (Command + 0-9) to insert a clip into a document. You can also insert clips through Latexian's Code Completion panel.

Spell Checking

Latexian includes syntax-aware spell checking, including spell checking while you type. It ignores your LaTeX commands, and highlights errors in your text content.

Code Coloring

As you edit your document, Latexian colors your text to make it easier to read and navigate. Coloring is customizable, and Latexian supports coloring for LaTeX and BibTeX documents.

Console

Latexian includes an interactive console for presenting the output of the typesetter, and accepting input requested by the typesetter. Error messages are hyperlinked to the document location where the error occurred.

Find & Batch Find

Latexian includes advanced Find functionality for searching individual documents or entire projects. Support for regular expressions is included.

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RTextDoc

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux (written in Java)
  • License: Commercial with free demo version
  • Languages: en, 14 other
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes (20 languages)
  • Grammar Checking: Yes (14 languages)
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes
  • Section structure viewer: Yes

This editor has a few features that can make it attractive: instant grammar checker, word look-up with more than 40 dictionaries and built-in graphics program based on PStricks. It also supports AsciiDOC syntax to write documents. Other features include:

  • LaTeX → HTML converter
  • HTML → LaTeX converter
  • LaTeX → MathML/XML converter
  • WYSIWYG Equation Editor and Bibliography database editor WYSIWYG Equation Editor Bibtex manager
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SCaVis

  • 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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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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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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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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TeXnicle

  • Platforms: Mac
  • License: Free
  • Languages: English
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: No
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes (configurable)
  • Code Completion: Yes
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes
  • Project Management: Yes

enter image description here

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Notepad++

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • License: Free software (GPL)
  • Languages: en, zh, fr, es, hu, ru, nl, pl, de, it, da, cs, sl, sk, uk, tr, pt, no, sv, ca, ar, lt, gl, fi, el, ro, ko, he, fa, sgs, bg, id, sq, ja, hr, ka, eu, be, sr, nn, th, ms, oc, fur, lb, tl, uz, kk, af, ky, mk, lv, ta, az, bs, eo, lij, hi, sc, ug, te, an, si
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: Yes
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable (also background color)
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes (through DSpellCheck)
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No. You can configure notepad++ to use an external PDF viewer like Acrobat Reader or SumatraPDF with forward and backward searching.
  • Project Management: Yes (no master file)

notepad++ sample document screen shot

I use Notepad++ and I love it. It has all the powerful features you expect from a good text editor (powerful find/replace, regex, macros, plugin support, etc.) and lots of features for coding, like syntax highlighting (and it has built-in rules for TeX), code folding, etc. The best part is that you can map keys to run external programs, so all you have to do is tap a bound key and it instantly runs your favorite compiler or automator and displays your output in one step, outputting errors in the command window if there are any.

It's not made exclusively for TeX, but if you're on Windows and want to use a single text editor for many purposes, one of which is TeX, Notepad++ is a very good option.


This question has answers with two methods of setting up the connection between notepad++ and a TeX distribution, as well as with SumatraPDF.

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LEd

Available for: Windows
Freeware


I can recommend LEd. It is Windows only and is just not working on some computers, still it is very functional; standard things like spelling, tree views, macros are present, while it has some more nice functions. I especially like a toolbar for beamer, but also noticeable is an option in search which can be used to highlight occurrences of a few queries at a time (regex supported of course).

enter image description here

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7  
I used LEd for a while and liked a lot of the features, but eventually I ran into too many bugs and moved to TeXnicCenter. –  fryguybob Jul 27 '10 at 16:50
1  
I wish it were supported (at least bug fixing, making it run on Windows7,...) properly. It is a great editor. –  Skarab Jan 20 '12 at 9:57

TeXnicCenter

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • Open Source
  • Languages: English, German, more dictionaries for spelling control downloadable
  • Unicode: Yes (in version 2, which was released mid-september 2013).
  • RTL/bidi: ?
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable (also background colour)
  • Code Completion: Yes
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No. You can config TeXnicCenter to use an external PDF viewer like Acrobat Reader or SumatraPDF with synchronized viewing.
  • Project Management: Yes

I highly recommend TeXnicCenter. It stands out because it is the right mix between a GUI heavy editor (think Lyx) and no GUI (think emacs). Moreover, it is very easy to setup on Windows; and it integrates with MiKTeX without requiring extra configuration.

An easy-to-navigate user interface provides a document tree, editor and compiling output as well as a vast array of drop-down menus:

TeXnicCenter GUI
Click image to enlarge

Customizable profiles allow for manipulating of latex, bibtex and makeindex parameters, as well as post-processing features and viewer parameters (e.g. forward and backward search):

TeXnicCenter profiles
Click image to enlarge

TeXnicCenter also allows to jump directly to the line that caused an error and provides code completion. TeXnicCenter has easy and integrated project management tools, and handles multiple files conveniently. It can be synchronized with pdf viewers such as Adobe Reader or SumatraPDF to provide forward and backward search options. Forward and backward search lets user jump and navigate between LaTeX code and pdf output seamlessly.

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2  
TeXnicCenter does not run on linux directly, but perhaps through wine? –  fryguybob Jul 27 '10 at 16:49

ShareLaTeX - Online LaTeX editor in your web browser.

  • Unlimited projects for free
  • latex, pdflatex and XeLaTeX compilers
  • Collaborate with others, see what they are typing in real time like google documents
  • Auto Complete
  • Multi Language spell check
  • Chat with online collaborators
  • Export and import data.
  • Sync with Dropbox
  • Regular snapshots allowing for rolling back
  • Vim and Emacs Bindings
  • Custom Themes
  • Extensive inbuilt template library

See other peoples cursors

command auto complete

enter image description here

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1  
+1 for a cool web alternative! –  MHaaZ Jul 1 '13 at 1:19
1  
The only decent option if you run Chrome OS –  David Rowthorn Dec 5 '13 at 11:38

Kile

  • Platforms: Linux, Windows1 (XP, Vista, 7)
  • License: GNU GPL 2
  • Languages: bg, bs, ca, cs, da, de, el, en_GB, eo, es, et, fi, fr, ga, gl, hi, hne, hu, it, ja, kk, lt, mai, ms, nb, nds, nl, nn, pl, pt, pt_BR, ro, ru, sk, sv, tr, ug, uk, zh_CN, zh_TW
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: Yes
  • % !TEX directives: No2
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes (but the -synctex=1 flag must be added manually to the build engine)
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Limited3 (PNG preview of snippets – e.g. current environment or selection – converted from DVI/PS/PDF)
  • Project Management: Yes

Sample document in Kile on Windows with default settings and structure view open.

1 Installation instructions can be found here. The Windows version of the KDE applications is not finalised, so some of them may be unstable.

2 While Kile does not have !TeX directives for defining compilation tool etc., it does have some "magic comments", similar to Latexila and TeXStudio. They are %TODO and %FIXME, which appears in the structure view, for adding notes in the code, and %BEGIN/%END for defining foldable regions of code.

3 A full built-in output viewer will be available in Kile 3 and is already available by compiling the Kile git master branch

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5  
Kile is a wonderful program for LaTeX editing, some of the features like creating tables automatically, image insertion, and list/enumeration macros are extremely helpful. As a beginner, Kile basically taught me LaTeX. +1! –  EricR Jul 27 '10 at 15:41
18  
Kile is the editor when you're on Linux, and find that vim/emacs is too much effort to learn. –  Martin Tapankov Aug 19 '10 at 5:44
6  
Kile's the editor I've been looking for for years. Few nagging "features" that can all be disabled, everything's customizable to my likings (and I have very special ones indeed) and so on. –  David Dec 11 '11 at 19:43
2  
@RyanReich GNOME the de facto standard desktop? Maybe in the US, where Red Hat is strong, but certainly not in Europe. –  mafp Jan 16 '13 at 22:02
2  
I just installed it and been using all day. I think this is the best latex editor I tried so far, and I tried few. Easy to use. –  Nasser Jun 17 '13 at 22:25

WinEdt

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • License: Shareware, personal license $60
  • Languages: en
  • Unicode: Yes (from version 7)
  • RTL/bidi: No. "WinEdt 7 is currently NOT capable of properly handling Arab or Hebrew (or Thai) texts." (Mailing list April 2012).
  • % !TEX directives: Probably possible.
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable and including a .dtx mode
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code Folding: Yes, customizable (from version 8)
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes with appropriate PDF viewer (e.g. SumatraPDF)
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: Yes, own project management system and outliner

Winedt sample document screen shot

WinEdt is a good option on Windows.

I wrote a post on some of the features I liked in WinEdt 6.0. To summarise:

  • Tree View can be customised
  • Automatically display your current location in TOC
  • Colour coding that aids usability
  • Intelligent defaults
  • Options to customise almost anything
  • Easy configuration interface with MikTeX
  • One click build process for LaTeX documents
  • Intuitive default shortcut keys and intuitive alt menu letters

It's not free, but it's also not that expensive.

WinEdt's new full Unicode support and its translation tables allow to show ∀α in the screen but to write {\forall}{\alpha} in the disk.

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BaKoMa TeX Word

  • platforms: Windows, OS X, Linux
  • License: commercial -- €55 or $101 per licence (other quantity discounts)
  • Languages: English
  • Unicode: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: ?
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes. Can view output in real time, and directly edit output file
  • Project Management: Yes

I think BaKoMa is an innovative useful WYSIWYG editor. It allows users to edit both in the .tex file and in the output file. The real-time preview feature can come in handy when creating graphics and figures (e.g. using PSTricks or TikZ). In a review of BaKoMa, Martin Osborne made the following comment:

If you find the output of \int_0^\infty hard to visualize, you'll definitely have trouble with the output of

\psline(25,25)(25,0)
\psline(0,0)(50,0)
\psset{origin={25,0},unit=25mm}
\psplot{-1}{1}{x dup mul}

[BaKoMa] TeX Word makes it easy: you type the code and the output appears instantly. For me, TeX Word has cut the production time for figures by at least 75%.

bakoma screenshot

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Texpad

  • Platforms: Mac (and iOS)
  • License: Commercial
  • Languages: English, German and Japanese
  • Unicode: Yes
  • % !TeX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Auto-typesetL OSX only
  • Code Completion: Yes, command completion and autofill
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, supports PDF
  • Project Management: Yes, included files opened automatically

Both

  • Document outline (navigatable table of sections, subsection, etc)
  • Auto-detection of typesetting chain (bibtex, makeindex, etc.)
  • Global search
  • Biber support

OSX

  • Custom typeset scripts
  • Snippets and code macros

iOS

  • Onboard typesetter with support for Virtual fonts, e-TeX and PGF (beamer/tikz).
  • Built in bundle manager
  • Typesetting API to provide typesetting services to other applications
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2  
This should really be higher on the list. –  lyxicon Dec 8 '13 at 7:05

Vim with LaTeX-suite

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
  • License: Open Source Charityware
  • Languages: ?
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi support: partially
  • % !TEX directives: No, but has modelines
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes (using Omni Completion, extendable with SnipMate plugin)
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes, see e.g. this question
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: ?

If you're really hardcore, you can always use Vim. There's a suite of macros and whatnot appropriate for Vim which can be used to edit LaTeX files.

Vim sample document screen shot

You can have word/command completion via <C-P> and <C-N>, to go the previous and next matches, respectively.

There is a version of Vim with graphical menus, called gVim. If it is used with LaTeX-suite, then various TeX commands are displayed in the menu bar for quick insertion in the text. (For Mac, there is a native build called MacVim.)

Features

Vim also allows for code folding, the package vim-latex offers automatic code folding. Folding can also be done manually based on a key (e.g., {{{ and }}}) to open and close automatic folds. Example of folds can be seen as follows:

vim code folds

As per original question, some other useful features not listed elsewhere in this post include

VIM

  • Regular Expressions
  • Powerful keyboard short-cuts/commands
  • Extremely customizable
  • Smart Indenting

LaTeX-Suite

  • Calling the compiler is quick with \ll; viewing the result is \lv
  • Environments accessible with three letter sequences in insert mode:
    • EEQ = equation environment
    • EFI = figure environment
  • Place-holders (<+text+>) can be jumped to with Ctrl-J without leaving insert mode
  • Inverse searching: Double click in (supported) pdf viewer and you jump to corresponding tex source line
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8  
I definitely second the Vim recommendation. For instance, it's very easy to define all kinds of keyboard shortcuts (e.g. for me 5prop turns into \begin{proposition} \end{proposition}) that make typing very easy. –  Akhil Mathew Jul 31 '10 at 0:17
3  
And even if you don't want to use the vim-latex macros, you can define silly short cuts like I do: dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~ww278/#texres –  Willie Wong Aug 3 '10 at 16:20
2  
vim (with plugins) and a Makefile. –  Johan Aug 15 '10 at 9:40
3  
There is always gVim for those of you who don't like the command line. and the vim-latex plugin is very helpful for completion of commands. –  Dom Feb 17 '11 at 16:29
2  
I also use vim but without any plugins. One of the great things is that it's the usual vim environment, which I also use for mail and other applications: you don't have to learn a new environment. I haven't used vim folds yet, but it's the next thing I want to learn because it will add more structure to the editing of large LaTeX documents. What's also nice is the multiple undo-redo feature. –  Marc van Dongen Jan 3 '12 at 17:35

TeXworks

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, OS X, Linux all pre-compiled plus source available
  • License: GPL
  • Languages: en, af, ar, ca, cs, de, fa, fo fr, it, ja, nl, ko, pl, pl, ru, sl, tr zh
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: Yes
  • % !TEX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, regex-based
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable based on 'known entry' list
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes, but have to install by hand
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, PDF (Poppler-based)
  • Project Management: No

Screen shot of TeXworks on the Mac: the layout stays the same on Windows and Linux:

TeXworks sample document screen shot on Mac


On Windows and Linux, I use TeXworks, which provides with an editor window and a document preview window. Clicking in the document preview locates the edit mark at that TeX source corresponding to the clicked location.

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5  
The fact that TeXWorks has both the goodies of a GUI (you can easily and instantly see what you get) and a pure text editor like Emacs (you, not a program, writes the code) really makes it a hot shot. –  Tomas Lycken Aug 4 '10 at 16:51
1  
+1 for TeXWorks --- still needs a few features that I can't live without, but I'm checking the progress regularly and I hope this could turn into the "standard" LaTeX editor. –  Martin Tapankov Aug 19 '10 at 6:02

Gummi

Available for: Linux (unstable development version for Windows exists),
Open Source


Emacs is great, but what I generally use is Gummi. It has a 2-pane live preview which is really useful for catching syntax errors and formatting errors early on. Plus, when you save your latex document it will automatically save a pdf copy. Other features include helpers for matrix editing, inserting images, and a citing tool.

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1  
Gummi is really useful when you are creating the code for a picture (eg PSTricks or Tikz). You'll see your picture change as you add to your code. –  DJP Jul 22 '11 at 16:02
1  
+1 for distraction-and-clutter-free beginner-friendliness! –  nutty about natty Mar 30 '13 at 18:49

Texmaker

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, OS X 10.5+, Linux
  • License: GPL license, free
  • Languages: cs, de, el, en, es, fa, fr, gl, hu, it, nl, pl, pt, pt (bra), ru, se, sr, zh (cn), zh (tw)
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: ?
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, supports PDF
  • Project Management: ?

Texmaker sample document screen shot

Customizable code completion
Customizable code completion

Rectangular block selection
Rectangular block selection


The editor TeXstudio started out as a fork of Texmaker and was originally called TexMakerX.

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7  
texmaker and the forked texmakerx sounded quite interesting, but then I realized that they support only LaTeX. Not so useful for a plain&ConTeXt user. –  Taco Hoekwater Nov 12 '10 at 14:07
1  
The texmakerx fork is new to me. Thanx for the tip! –  Egon Willighagen Dec 16 '10 at 10:16
1  
TexMakerX was renamed to TexStudio. It was forked long ago and is somehow not just TexMaker with additional features, it feels different now if you just try both. I prefer TexMaker, seems cleaner to me. –  doblak Nov 26 '11 at 17:38
9  
This is the best Latex IDE for beginners. I tried TexWorks, TexNicCenter, Notepad++ and TexMaker. And found TexMaker to be the most user friendly for newbies. –  Marcel Valdez Orozco Sep 9 '12 at 19:21
4  
The most useful feature of texmaker is missing in this list: whenever you have a main-tex, which \input{} other content-tex, you can tell texmaker which tex is to run (called Master Document). So you don't have to switch to the main, press F1 (for Quick Build), and switch back to the tex you are currently working on. Just do your changes in the content.tex, press F1, and view the results. Second best feature I haven't seen with other IDEs: The build-in document viewer jumps to and highlights for some seconds the latest changes. I simply love that! –  Dominikus K. Mar 6 '13 at 15:13

Scribes

  • 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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TextMate

Available for: Mac
Commercial (Not anymore since version 2.0)


With OS X I use TextMate with MacTeX. Now I don't want to change OS X for Linux only because I work with TextMate. It's powerful like vim and emacs. It's not free 45 euros. You can do all what you want and you can use and define snippets, macros, commands with shell programming or python or ruby. You can use it for mails or you can create HTML pages or you can programming with R, or Ruby. Perhaps to like this editor you need to learn a programming language like ruby or python (Perl and bash can be used). You can try it during one month for free.

Some screenshots:

Click image to enlarge
In this screenshot, you can see the bundles and in the LaTeX bundle you can see some commands and macros. You can define your personal bundle like my "latex author", you can work with the terminal from TextMate. You can find some movies on the net, to see how to work with TextMate.


EDIT: Since version 2.0, TextMate has gone open source, here it is the link to Github.

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Scientific WorkPlace

Available for: Windows
Commercial

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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LaTeXila

  • Available for: Linux
  • Open source
  • Unicode support: Yes

LaTeXila is an Integrated LaTeX Environment for the GNOME desktop. It has a very nice and clean interface. Its available in Ubuntu software center. You can preview what you write, when ever you want.

It has some "magic" comments for making todonotes, which will show up in the structure panel on the left hand side. These are %TODO and %FIXME, in both cases followed by some text (if there is no text, it won't show in the panel).

enter image description here

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LyX

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Open Source


I use LyX and I love it. From the webpage:

LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to writing based on the structure of your documents (WYSIWYM) and not simply their appearance (WYSIWYG). LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a graphical interface. This results in world-class support for creation of mathematical content (via a fully integrated equation editor) and structured documents like academic articles, theses, and books. In addition, staples of scientific authoring such as reference list and index creation come standard. But you can also use LyX to create a letter or a novel or a theatre play or film script. A broad array of ready, well-designed document layouts are built in.

Quite intuitive and user-friendly, and it is possible to import from and (more importantly) export to LaTeX.

Too many useful features to mention, but I'll mention one that I find extra good: If you want to typeset a "2-dimensional" math expression, LyX is the way to go. I have used LyX for nearly ten years. Switched to AUCTeX recently, but I still use LyX whenever I want to get the LaTeX code for a complicated math expression.

enter image description here

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14  
The thing I don't like about LyX (or WYSIWYG-ish in general) is that it puts an emphasis format (that's all you see!) rather than content structure (which is hidden behind the format). LaTeX code does it the other way around, the structure is explicit and this helps you focus on the content rather than the format of your document. –  Juan A. Navarro Jul 30 '10 at 6:01
10  
I really don't like LyX, but I don't think that this is grounds to downvote you :) –  Vivi Jul 30 '10 at 7:40
28  
I really do like LyX, but: LyX is not an LaTeX Editor and we really, really should stop selling it as such! LyX is a document system in its own respect with an own document format, it just uses LaTeX as (one) backend. So every LyX document can be exported to LaTeX, but not every LaTeX document can be imported into LyX (even though simple stuff works pretty well). If collaborating on some document, all or no authors have to use LyX. This, by definition, does not qualify LyX as an "editor". –  Daniel Jan 4 '12 at 9:22
2  
@JuanA.Navarro Interesting, I feel exactly the other way around. When looking at raw LaTeX code, I find it hard to focus on the content, since it is mixed with the structure and formatting aspects of the document. Also, the displaying of chapter and section titles in big, bold fonts (instead of the same way as normal text) makes it much easier for me to understand and modify the structure of my document. –  rolve Apr 9 '13 at 13:43
1  
@JuanA.Navarro, for me the fact that Lyx injects all sort of messy macros (and writes out the source with awful indentation and spacing) is the put off. –  vonbrand Feb 8 at 23:14

KtikZ

Available for: Linux and Windows
Open Source


I am a big fan of the Linux editor Ktikz. By default Ktikz is meant to be a real-time editor for TikZ pictures. However, one can edit any type of environment just by editing the default template. Moreover, by creating a template consisting only of the text

<>

one can get real-time compilation of LaTeX documents.

I usually restrict my use of Ktikz to editing Beamer presentations or drawing TikZ pictures (or other projects where the visual output needs extra attention or tweaking). For other purposes the real-time compilation can be more of a distraction than it is worth.

For windows users: install QtikZ (also available in the link). Tested with windows 7 and miktex 2.9, and it works with no problem.

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