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.


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.


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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