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I'm wondering, are there any Latex editors or editor plugins which provide a "Rich-text" viewing mode for navigation, much like Overleaf provides?

Rich text mode
(source: overleaf.com)

What I'm looking for:

  • Document structure is reflected, section headers are shown as headers, lists as lists, etc.
  • Math formulas and such are rendered as math when viewed, but edited as code, so I can easily verify they are correct without recompiling my entire thesis.
  • The rich text is display only: Unlike LyX, I write all the LaTex code, so the result is human readable code. But when navigating the document, it is displayed, at least somewhat as rich text.
  • Not a web-app: otherwise I'd just use Overleaf, but I'd prefer a proper editor, so that I can compile on my machine and do my own version control.

As a bonus, if there were such an editor that had these features, as well as the ability to properly show formulas using any \newcommand instance I've defined (which Overleaf fails on), that would be ideal.

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3 Answers 3

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I'm co-founder at Overleaf and the original author of our Rich Text mode.

AuCTeX, which a commenter has already mentioned, was the main inspiration for the Rich Text mode. I also don't know much emacs, sadly, but I did for a while use AuCTeX with Viper mode for vi emulation, which worked pretty well for me.

Aside from LyX and AuCTeX, I wasn't able to find much else for desktop, at least not that were mature enough for serious use. It's not that common to find a code editor with the flexibility to embed styling and math; emacs and code mirror, which we use, are notable exceptions. A side-by-side preview view is less difficult (though still far from easy!), and there are quite a few online tools that provide it, like stackedit (for markdown) and jaxedit (for latex), but I can't think of any offline tools with that format for latex.

I'm glad to hear that you like the concept, and offline support is certainly on our radar. Stay tuned for other rich text improvements, too, such as support for custom commands.

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    Notepadqq is desktop editor with in-place formula rendering but not focused on LaTeX — nothing for Document structure. If full LaTeX is not requirement, several markdown editors that do in-place structure and math: github.com/brrd/Abricotine; Gitbook desktop editor tried in a beta, not sure about current version; texts.io/samples and typora.io for even more WYSIWYG style. Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 15:47
  • @BeniCherniavsky-Paskin Why not post this as an answer?
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 6:34
  • Zettlr also renders math in-place. But it's again a markdown editor. caret.io
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 6:40
  • texts.io doesn't seem to render math in place @BeniCherniavsky-Paskin
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 6:44
  • Since sharelatex is part of Overleaf now, It would be worth a thought just setting up your own server locally and work with that.
    – cagcoach
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 10:03
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I might say LyX. Is a what you see is what you mean (WYSIWYM) editor, that I understand as rich text. I'm probably wrong with the last statement, but the screenshots are similar to overleaf's rich text.

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This feature has been requested in TexStudio. Although developers are not planning to support it, there is some useful information about the alternatives.

BakomaTeX seems to be what OP is looking for. Unfortunately, it seems to be closed-source and doesn't run in recent Linux distributions, but you might give it a try on Windows.

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