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.

List of editors

Links to answers.

  • 50
    Wikipedia has a list: Comparison of TeX editors.
    – Caramdir
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 2:26
  • 3
    Adding structure view, native knitr/sweave support, and auto correct would be great for these comparisons.
    – kennyB
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:13
  • 1
    @kennyB Not sure what you mean by 'structure view' (outliner, perhaps?). Knitr/sweave looks to me to be rather specialist plus I'm not quite clear on what would be required. Perhaps this is one to raise on meta, probably as a new thread linked to our older 'tidy up the IDE question' one.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 8:30
  • 3
    Outliner is probably what I mean, yes. This is a frame that contains sections, subsections, tables, figures for easy navigation in large documents.
    – kennyB
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 23:02
  • 2
    Also here is a list of TeX editing softwares for Linuz. What is good LaTeX editor software on Linux?
    – akikara
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 11:59

57 Answers 57


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
  • 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 has basic support for TeX and friends. AUCTeX is a plugin to Emacs which provides a much more advanced support for editing LaTeX, ConTeXt, docTeX, Texinfo, and Plain TeX documents. It comes with a sophisticated auto-completion mechanism for environments and commands, supporting by default more than two hundreds LaTeX packages (but virtually any package can be automatically parsed in order to provide autocompletion for its commands and environments).

Emacs with sample file loaded

Emacs 30.0.50 running on Gnome 44, with a little cosmetic customization (no toolbar, flat and lighter mode line, current line highlighted). Notice the fringe indicators (curly arrows) around soft-wrapped lines (enabled by default) and the context aware spell checking, provided by Jinx

RefTeX is another plugin to Emacs, independent from and complementary to AUCTeX, which aids you with the management of bibliographic sources. It 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:

  • Customizable lax search: decide whether to match è when searching for e, or when searching for ', etc..
  • Indirect buffers for viewing and editing one file at two different places.
  • follow-mode makes side-by-side windows behave like a single tall window.
  • Use table-insert along with table-generate-source and table-recognize-* functions to easily create a base for your tables.
  • Type M-x align-current to align &'s in tables.
  • Fold sections and navigate the outline structure of the document using Outline Mode.
  • Lots of useful keyboard shortcuts for writing LaTeX.
  • Operate on multiple files (e.g. chapters of a book) in group with filesets.
  • Emacs keeps a full undo history tree (which can be navigated using Vundo or undo-tree), and allows undoing changes within a specific region of text.
  • Other advanced/IDE features: regular expression search and replace; registers for saving text, positions and more; a large selection of extension packages available (mainly on GNU ELPA and MELPA).
  • Extensively documented, both within Emacs, via the Emacs and AUCTeX Texinfo manuals, and via many books in several languages.
  • Supports most of vim's features and keybindings through evil-mode.
  • 36
    You should mention how good reftex is.
    – Seamus
    Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 20:30
  • 11
    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
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 15:57
  • 13
    You should try out orgtbl-mode, it's really awesome. Here's a good tutorial.
    – Oscar
    Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 15:49
  • 6
    Using Emacs (AUCTeX) as a TeX editor has another advantage, namely the ability to select rectangles (select by column rather than row) - which makes dealing with tables/tabular environments a bit easier. (The outline mode with AUCTeX is very useful too, for long documents, allowing one to "hide" or "fold" sections.) TeXWorks is not bad, especially as an out-of-the-box editor (Emacs always requires a bit more fiddling) Commented Dec 9, 2010 at 5:17
  • 14
    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
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 16:48


(formerly TexMakerX)

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD
  • License: GPL v2
  • Languages: cs, de, en, es, fr, hu, ja, pl, pt_BR, ru, vi, zh_CN
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: experimental
  • % !TeX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable and auto-customized
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes, including grammar checking based on LanguageTool.
  • 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 in its default configuration.

TeXstudio sample document screen shot (default configuration)

However, its numerous options will probably allow you to customize it to your liking. Here's another setup.

TeXstudio sample document screen shot (customized configuration)

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
  • smart BibTeX auto-complete (including multiple, comma-separated citations) and hovering on \cite text shows a preview of the BibTeX entry
  • document templates
  • very active and responsive developer and community
  • adjustable icon size makes it suitable for high resolution displays (preferences->show advanced options->gui scaling)
  • support for editing dtx files


  • 9
    Is there some place listing the differences between Texmaker and TeXstudio?
    – DevSolar
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 7:31
  • 14
    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
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 17:35
  • 15
    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
    Commented May 25, 2013 at 16:12
  • 26
    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
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 12:17
  • 13
    I switched from TexMaker to TexStudio quite some time ago and haven't looked back. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 10:06

Vim with vim-latex aka 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 Vim plugin (which concurrently goes by the names vim-latex and LaTeX-suite) 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.)


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


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


  • 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
  • Customizable snippets for inserting commands and environments
  • 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

For issues, pull request and installation from github see here.

  • 14
    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. Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 0:17
  • 2
    Oh definitely, one of my favourites is ":imap \desc \begin{description}<CR><space>\item[]<CR>\end{description><UP><END><LEFT>" Creates a description and repositions the cursor to being typing in the description field.
    – EricR
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 7:35
  • 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.
    – Heather
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 16:29
  • 3
    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.
    – user10274
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 17:35
  • 4
    @AymanElmasry: It's not the fault of vim-latex, it's the fault of your distribution's package stating its dependency on texlive-2007. You could either tell your package manager to ignore dependencies for the package, install a "dummy" package, or install the plugin manually instead of going through the package manager.
    – DevSolar
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 7:48


  • 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: Yes

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.

  • 14
    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. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 14:07
  • 4
    The texmakerx fork is new to me. Thanx for the tip! Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 10:16
  • 30
    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. Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 19:21
  • 14
    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! Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 15:13
  • 4
    -1 TexMaker does some arcane evaluation of regular expressions in its search and replace box. This is wholely inappropriate in a LaTeX editor because of the common use of various characters between LaTeX and regex. The result is that one cannot simply replace all \section{ with \subsection{.
    – alx9r
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 18:20


  • 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, auto-follow option to scroll source and preview together)
  • 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.

  • 9
    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. Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 16:51
  • 2
    +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. Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 6:02
  • 1
    I love TeXWorks for easy, out-of-the-box two-way sync!
    – Chang
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 2:13
  • 1
    +1 for non-geek friendliness of TeXworks, which is sort of a paradox with LaTeX. I've used TeXworks to submit papers to IEEE conferences with success. Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 20:29
  • 1
    Accesible dropdown menu to switch between different compilators (pdftex, Context (pdftex), pdflatex ...) A small minus for lack of printing possibility in the integrated pdf viewer. Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 11:30

Sublime Text with LaTeXTools 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 plugin, which is 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

  • 6
    The evaluation period can last forever, I've been using it for over a year.
    – levesque
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 20:06
  • 14
    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
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 1:44
  • 2
    Definitely recommend Sublime. It has vim integration, has spellchecking... Whatever you want, you can find it here! It is THE solution for all platforms :) A pity that it hasn't been voted higher up, that when I first viewed this list I didn't notice it.
    – xji
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 0:34
  • 3
    What on Earth does 'free to buy' mean?! Also, I am very pleased to know that it has features which I 'don't understand I could do without'. This seems very likely true since it has features of which I am entirely unaware and it is extremely probable that there are some I can do without ;).
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 23:31
  • 1
    @crf, it's shareware. Once in a while you receive a popup during saving that reminds you of that fact. The software is fully functional, even without a license. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 14:02


  • 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 [uses system dictionaries so works even for unsupported languages]
  • 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
  • Command Line: Yes
  • Structure/Outline View: Yes
  • VI Input Mode: Yes

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

1 Starting from version 3.0, there is a windows installer available. Installation instructions for 2.x versions 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

  • 10
    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
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 15:41
  • 27
    Kile is the editor when you're on Linux, and find that vim/emacs is too much effort to learn. Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 5:44
  • 8
    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
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 19:43
  • 4
    @RyanReich GNOME the de facto standard desktop? Maybe in the US, where Red Hat is strong, but certainly not in Europe.
    – mafp
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 22:02
  • 4
    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
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 22:25


Available for: Mac
Open Source

In Mac I use TexShop, shipped with MacTeX, and works smoothly together with MacTeX.

Among the features that it has are:

Editing features

  • syntax highlighting
  • source/PDF synchronization
  • autocompletion of commands and environments
  • macros
  • stationery (for document templates)
  • latex panel of commonly used symbols
  • matrix panel for simple array input
  • import spreadsheet cells with LaTeX formatting
  • regex search/replace
  • customizable themes for coloring text and background
  • controls to horizontally split source or preview window
  • preview window document outline pane
  • customizable choice of auxiliary files to delete

Processing features

  • built-in support for TeX, LaTeX, Xe(La)TeX, Lua(La)TeX, ConTeXt, BibTeX, biber
  • built-in support for Sketch, Asymptote, Sage, LilyPond, LatexMk, MetaPost
  • user definable Engines (scripts to process documents)
  • 10
    I also like TeXShop because you can have side by side source and pdf output, also with two-way synchronization between them (Cmd+Click on a piece of code and you're taken to its place on the output). The only things I miss are tabs to organize many open files and better project management. Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 6:08
  • 5
    I also used TeXShop, as it is a very clean and powerful editor with a great pdf viewer included. I abandoned it because I wanted code folding and a structure (tree) view for faster navigation in my large document and therefore now I use TexMakerX (tex.stackexchange.com/questions/339/latex-editors-ides/…) for my thesis (and TeXShop sometimes for smaller documents) Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 18:30
  • 3
    Did they remove that feature? TeXShop used to support the use of an external editor!
    – cfr
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 0:33
  • I consider it a rather large drawback that TexShop is only available for Mac and not other platforms. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 14:03
  • I use TexShop in combination with neoVim and some Latex and Snipmate Plugins. Works like a charm! There may not be an official "external editor" feature (idk), but you can open a main file with texshop and edit the content files with whatever editor you like.
    – mike
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:32

Overleaf (v2) - Online LaTeX editor in your web browser.

*Note: ShareLaTeX and Overleaf have been merged in to one Overleaf v2 and Overleaf v1 had retired on January 8th, 2019.

  • 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
  • It's Open Source, so you can install it on your own server

See other peoples cursors

command auto complete

enter image description here

  • 4
    The only decent option if you run Chrome OS
    – DavidR
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 11:38
  • 14
    I can't understand why this doesn't have more +1's! I've ceased using installed LaTeX programs entirely since finding ShareLaTeX. I can edit the same document from any device I own, even my phone if I'm in a bind. (It's a shame they don't have an app yet; their site, admittedly, just barely works on a phone.) Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 13:59
  • related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/3/compiling-documents-online
    – matth
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:31
  • 3
    ShareLaTeX has the shortcoming that its TeX distribution is only periodically updated, but has the advantages of a very well done documentation, with a lot of straightforward and useful examples for beginners, and of an excellent customer assistance.
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 10:53
  • 1
    Moreover, it is open source so you can also spin up a local version of it which means you don't need internet. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:11


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

  • 29
    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. Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 6:01
  • 19
    I really don't like LyX, but I don't think that this is grounds to downvote you :)
    – Vivi
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 7:40
  • 76
    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
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 9:22
  • 15
    @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
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 13:43
  • 4
    @rolve, it all depends on how you tend to write your code. I have seen very messy code mixing content/formatting within the body of the document, but by using semantically defined commands you can make the distinction very explicit. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 17:59


  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • 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.

  • 2
    I've been using TeXnicCenter for years. It's great!
    – Rebekah
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 16:36
  • 2
    TeXnicCenter does not run on linux directly, but perhaps through wine?
    – fryguybob
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 16:49
  • 1
    @masgo I wouldn't call it uncomfortable. It is pretty straightforward tex.stackexchange.com/questions/86253/…
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 21:37
  • 1
    @percusse The explanation given there is like the definition of uncomfortable for me: Go to some folder, edit a file as administrator, write XML by hand, use HTML encoding while doing so. And the commands apply globally and are not project specific. - Also the sentence: "but if you include too many of them it will just get slower and slower since as the number of possibilities increase so is the time to scan for them." It seems like no clever mechanism like a prefix tree is used.
    – masgo
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 16:07
  • 1
    It is a pity that v2.02 from September 2013 appears to be the final release.
    – u17
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 16:44


  • Platforms: (Windows XP until version 9.1)/Vista/7/8/10/11
  • License: Shareware, personal license $40-$100
  • Languages: en
  • Unicode: Yes (from version 7)
  • RTL/bidi: Yes (from version 10)
  • % !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 or built-in)
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes (from version 11, not fully built-in but in a separate window)
  • Project Management: Yes, own project management system and outliner

A lot of useful add-ons for WinEdt can be found on the WinEdt's Community site

enter image description here

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.

  • @percusse I enjoyed learning LaTeX with WinEdt, but I found that eventually I wanted a true programmer's editor that I could use for a broader range of editing tasks. I know use Vim. Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 10:40
  • 1
    BTW: DANTE members get a nice discount on the editor: dante.de/index/Intern/WinEdt.html (German)
    – topskip
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 20:18
  • 2
    I would add search/inverse search possibility - you can jump to the place in the rendered file which you are currently editing, and, more importantly, jump from the place in the dvi file which you are currently reviewing to its TeX code. Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 4:59

Visual Studio Code with LaTeX-Workshop (on GitHub)

other extensions are available

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • License: open source (on GitHub), License MIT
  • Languages: de, en, fr, ...
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: ...
  • % !TEX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, customizable (extensions)
  • Code Completion: Yes, customizable (extensions)
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes
  • Project Management: Yes
  • Autosave: Yes
  • Line Spacing: Yes

vscode with LaTeX-Workshop note: picture from LaTeX-Workshop description (link: animated gif)



  • Platforms: Mac (and iOS)
  • License: Commercial
  • Languages: English, German and Japanese
  • Unicode: Yes
  • % !TeX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Auto-typeset: 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

enter image description here


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


  • Custom typeset scripts
  • Snippets and code macros


  • 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
  • 11
    This should really be higher on the list.
    – lyxicon
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 7:05
  • 4
    @lyxicon - Yes, this app is awesome.
    – Kiyoshi
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 15:13
  • 3
    really love this one
    – Runar
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 5:15
  • 5
    This is the first app for Mac I ever purchased, and I never regretted it. Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 10:43
  • 8
    I downloaded the trial version and I did not even need 24 hours to purchase it! It's amazing and it has the best user interface ever. Updates are regular and developers always get back to you whenever you contact them. Recommended 120%.
    – EoDmnFOr3q
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 14:55


Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux and others (Java based)
Open Source

I've been happily using TeXlipse in Eclipse for a long time, it has integrated code completion (including BibTeX entries), customizable templates, an outline view - and being integrated into Eclipse it includes all useful stuff I'm used to when working in Eclipse, like editor shortcuts, version control, etc.

There is also an Eclipse pdf viewer plugin Pdf4Eclipse with complete support of SyncTeX, which allows forward and reverse search in LaTeX documents. Since TeXlipse rebuilds the LaTeX sources automatically (in background) after a save, the code and the preview of the document are always synchronized.

Example of TeXlipse together with Pdf4Eclipse
Click image to enlarge

  • 3
    Does TeXlipse / Eclipse compile the documents well? Including running pdflatex and bibtex multiple times?
    – Dima
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 15:04
  • 8
    It's probably worth mentioning that Eclipse might not be the best choice to install as a TeX-only IDE if you don't already have it, just because it's rather large and has many features that aren't needed to write up an assignment, for example. Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 20:11
  • 3
    One plugin that is almost essential for PhD writers is integrated SVN/GIT backup using subclipse/eGit. Every edit is retrievable and can be stored in the cloud. There's enough horror stories on the net about losing one's thesis because of a hard-drive failure the week before the viva/printing etc
    – DGarside
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 21:11
  • 6
    I'm surprised Texlipse scores so low on this. To my mind it is far superior to many of the bespoke LaTeX packages. It automatically flags up errors AS YOU TYPE THEM, and compiles smartly so that minor errors are ignored. Consequently the time spent dealing with errors is greatly reduced. Compiling is a doddle as one can edit while compiling. The "Templates" feature (CTRL + SPACE) is superb. It also runs without installation if like me you are working on a locked-down Windows machine. As mentioned above SVN is a major plus. Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 11:07
  • 3
    My problem is that Eclipse needs to put everything in projects, so you don't simply edit and compile a .tex file. Instead you have to click through the New Project Wizard. Or am I wrong?
    – marczellm
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 10:34

Atom with latex, latex-plus, or latextools packages

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Licence: Open source (MIT license)
  • % !TEX directives: Yes
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes (with language-latex package), customizable
  • Code completion: Yes, customizable
  • Code folding: Yes
  • Spell check: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in output viewer: Yes (with pdf-view package)
  • Project management: Yes (with atom-project-manager package)

Atom is a modern, approachable, yet throughly hackable text editor based on web technologies, with a large community providing extensions through its highly customizable package system. Atom has packages providing Git integration, BibTeX autocompletion and many other features. It draws frequent comparisons with Sublime Text, but has the notable advantage of being open source and completely free.

To compile LaTeX from within the editor, one may choose from a number of packages: latex, latex-plus, and latextools. The last one is an ongoing port of Sublime Text's LaTeXTools plugin and seems to be the most feature-rich of the three (as of 2016-03-20), with additional goodies like reference and bibliography completion as well as environment wrapping. Alternatively, the latexer package also provides reference and bibliography completion.

Syntax highlighting is separately provided by the language-latex package. The output can be automatically opened and synced within the editor through the pdf-view package, or in an external viewer.

enter image description here

  • latextools + language-latex seems to be the best package combination to me as well. However I find atom quite unstable, crashing 2 to 3 times a day with data loss...
    – jan-glx
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 9:12
  • 1
    If you build your pdf with "Cmd + alt + b", how to you keep the builder from dumping all that *.log, *.aux, *.fls etc. files in your directory? I'd like to keep my *.tex files alone Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 0:11
  • 2
    @nxrd Probably a late response, but others might be interested, latextools has this as an upcoming feature. In the meantime, you can delete your temp files with the keystroke cmd+L backspace.
    – Runar
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 19:23
  • 1
    How is it wrt to RTL support?
    – Ur Ya'ar
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 20:51
  • 5
    RIP Atom. It was nice knowing you.
    – frabjous
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 15:39


  • 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.

  • 1
    I would really second this approach as Notepad++ has capabilities far beyond what any editor on Windows have. (from my experience). The easiness in creating macros, recording, etc. is surprising and it does all this with one program!
    – nickpapior
    Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 18:09
  • .bib syntax highlighting is available as an add-on as well. And regex find/replace built in is very useful.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 13:40
  • I use notepad++ for my bib files, as it is more bare bones and easier to get what I want done. Also if I don't use emacs a lot it is hard to flip into its shortcuts from windows programs, though I admit it is better for what I want to do.
    – Canageek
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 17:52
  • I particularly agree with the last-but-one paragraph "if you're on Windows...". Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 21:28
  • There is a native Linux port of Notepad++: see askubuntu.com/a/413179/16395 (I do not know if it has the same LaTeX capabilty, though).
    – Rmano
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 14:31


  • Platforms: Linux (unstable development version for Windows exists)
  • License: Open Source (MIT)
  • Languages: ar, ca, cs, da, de, el, es, fr, hu, it, nl, pl, pt, pt-BR, ro, ru, zh-CN, zh-TW
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi support: ?
  • % !TEX directives: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Code Completion: No, but shortcuts to code snippets.
  • Code Folding: No,
  • Spell Checking: Yes (liited
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes
  • Project Management: Yes

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 and table editing, inserting images, and a citing tool. Even better, there are configurable snippets of code. For example just writing "item" + Tab write an itemize environment and the first item, and left the cursor after \item.

It should be noted that Gummi really work with a hidden temporal copy as .file.tex.swp (instead that directly with file.tex) for previews, and the same happen with auxiliary files. This has the advantage that your working directory apparently remain clean but occasionally this can produce unexpected errors (e.g., using \jobname in Gummi)


  • 3
    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
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 16:02
  • 2
    Gummi is a really minimalist, distraction-free excellent piece of code. The Windows version is not so often updated, but works fine. Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 19:16
  • 6
    +1 for distraction-and-clutter-free beginner-friendliness! Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 18:49
  • -1 for lack of support for luatex :( Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 19:35
  • Now support also also luatex.
    – Fran
    Commented Jun 3 at 21:07

Vim with vimtex

  • Platforms: GNU/Linux, MS Windows, Mac, wherever you get Vim with clientserver and a TeX distribution with latexmk running
  • License: Vim License (Vim), MIT License (vimtex)
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi support: Partial
  • % !TEX directives: Only % !TEX root, however, Vim by itself supports many things such as modelines and buffer-local variables
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes, customizable via colorschemes; further support for the listings package, minted package, as well as some minor improvements on top of the built in Vim syntax plugin
  • Code completion: Yes; added completion of references and labels via omni-completion, auto-completion available with e.g. neocomplete and YouCompleteMe
  • Code folding: Yes (according to document's structure)
  • Spell checking: Yes (built into Vim)
  • SyncTeX: Yes (additional hacks for viewers which do not use SyncTeX available)
  • Built-in output viewer: No
  • Project management: vimtex supports multi-file documents, but does not provide a way to manage a project per se

I believe Vim needs no introduction. vimtex can be seen as a continuation of LaTeX-Box and is probably the best TeX plugin available for Vim at the moment of speaking. Compilation is handled very smoothly through latexmk. Most popular PDF viewers are supported (including some which by themselves cannot do forward searching).

See a list of features here or read the docs. Unlike LaTeX-Suite, vimtex is a more modern plugin and encourages a much less monolithic design. For example, it provides an omni-complete function for references and labels, but leaves it up to other, more specialized plugins, to automatically call this function.

  • I think github.com/xuhdev/vim-latex-live-preview can be used as a built-in output viewer Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 9:09
  • I think this is still the best way as of 2023. One nice addition is to use some snippet engine to complete the mostly rather long Latex commands. This makes it possible to tex live during lectures or seminars.
    – Gargantuar
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 15:54

gedit with the gedit-LaTeX-plugin

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
Open Source
Unicode: yes
RTL/bidi: yes

It has a clean interface and provides: Code Completion, Spell Checking, Syntax Checking and Validation, Outlines, Wizards, BibTeX Integration, Template Editing, User-Defined Snippets and a preconfigured comprehensive build system using rubber (including LaTeX → DVI with source specials for inverse search).

For my gedit LaTeX suite to be complete, I add two other plugins, first the 'Control your tabs' plugin to get Ctrl-(Shift)-Tab behavior, and also the AutoCompletion plugin which provides automatic suggestions for completion of any word, based on the words already present in the document - it can be a real time saver.

Temporary edit: Currently the plugin is not ready for release with gedit 3. So, if you're running the latest Ubuntu (11.10) or like being cutting edge, you need to manually install the LaTeX-plugin. The easiest way is to download the version you want from here extract and install with the standard ./configure, make, sudo make install sequence. Read the INSTALL file in the archive for more details. You can also get the most recent version of the plugin from their git repository.

Note: If the ./configure script gives the error "No package ‘gtk+-3.0′ found" then, under Ubuntu, run sudo apt-get install libgtk-3-dev and then try the script again.

  • Same here. It's actually quite good yet lightweight. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 11:51
  • I have tried various and keep coming back. Love it! Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 7:45
  • 1
    Why is gedit so overrated about that ?
    – vdegenne
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 17:27
  • @Simon does this have code folding and tabs to manage multiple files? Commented May 5, 2013 at 19:58
  • I personally find it the best editor out there for latex with heavily "bidi" texts. It needs a couple of tweaks and configurations but after a while it works perfectly.
    – Habib
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 8:09


Available for: Mac
Free & Open Source since 2012 August i.e. 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.

  • How do you view your compiled source?
    – Alan Munn
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 22:56
  • Command R = Typset & View (the first item of the last screenshot) You have preferences to use pdflatex or latex, xetex etc. but you can create your personal script Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 4:45
  • Sorry, that wasn't really what I meant. You need some extra program to view the PDF, right? I was asking about how that works. (e.g. is there source/pdf synch?)
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 10:39
  • @Alan Ok ! I use Skim it's possible to synchronize tex files and pdf. Some users use TexShop to view the pdfs. Sometimes I use Adobe Reader but I prefer Skim. It's possible to use TextMate, but this is very elementary. Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 10:58
  • The new version 2 is not commercial anymore.
    – Manuel
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 18:25


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.

  • 1
    I recently made a 150 pages document (class notes) entirely in LaTeX and TikZ. It was a great help for complicated drawings.
    – fabikw
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 19:20
  • This is great! I just used it on windows and it works perfectly!
    – Heidar
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 15:53
  • Recently, I updated my texlive2015 to the version Texlive2018. However,strange things happened. Qtikz worked perfectly with texlive2015,but it didn't work with texlive 2018. Though I add the correct path of pdflatex and pdftops, it still shows that ' could not load LaTeX logfile.' How can I solve this problem? Please
    – user450201
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 2:07


Available for: Windows

Note: Development of LEd has stopped, and the last version is from 2009.

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

  • 8
    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
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 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
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 9:57

Latexian - Discontinued

Available for: Mac
Commercial - $9.99 on App Store

Latexian was made by Taco Software, a company which has now closed. It was available Mac OS X 10.6 or higher (including Mavericks). Limited support is still being provided for those that previously purchased their software.

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.


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.


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.

  • I really like their company name :) Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 12:21
  • 3
    Unfortunately, it seems Taco Software closed shop some time in 2015.
    – talazem
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 23:42
  • 2
    Unfortunate. They made a nice product.
    – flip
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 14:18

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

\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

  • 1
    @Kevin Yeah, it might be nice to list how much it costs. It's quite substantial. Commented May 5, 2013 at 20:57
  • 7
    There are three things I don't understand about BaKoMa. 1. Why isn't it more widely used? You edit the TeX code and instantly see the output, or just edit the output---saving a huge amount of time. How is it possible to create slides, for example, any other way? 2. Why isn't there an open source project to develop a similar system? 3. How can anyone complain about paying the price of dinner for two for a system that is so superior to the competition? The 200-odd people who think Emacs is a better system must be living in a different world than I am! Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 0:33
  • 4
    @Martin: I agree wholeheartedly. I guess people don't realize the value of incremental instantaneous live preview until they use it. And lots of people don't need to LaTeX figures. Commented May 7, 2015 at 16:18
  • 2
    I've been devotedly using BaKoMa since 2007 and it amazes me that none of the other options appear to have even caught up to the version from 2007. I am about to upgrade to the 2015 version (university insists on having their own active license--won't complain too much) and it's nice to see many of the old quirks have been fixed. I agree the cost shouldn't be an issue for serious researchers: this is orders of magnitude better than the alternatives. It's just hard to get people to pay for something when a free option exists, even if they are so far behind. Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 22:33
  • 1
    LawTeX is basically abandonware, This is the last release that we will make: Until Microsoft repents and makes Visual Studio portable, we will no longer release any app update. Not to mention the "license terms" are really sketchy. At least with BaKoMa you have a real product that has been existing a number of years that is regularly updated.
    – A Feldman
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 22:03

GNOME LaTeX (previously named LaTeXila)

  • Platforms: Linux
  • License: Yes, GPLv3+
  • Unicode: Yes
  • Syntax highlighting: Yes
  • Code completion: Yes, not customizable
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes, with Evince pdf viewer
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: Yes
  • Autosave: Yes

GNOME LaTeX is an Integrated LaTeX Environment for the GNOME desktop. It has a very nice and clean interface. Its available in Ubuntu software center.

GNOME LaTeX doesn't have an integrated output viewer, but it works well with Evince which is also a GNOME application. It has customizable one-click buttons to build, view and convert documents.

enter image description here

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



Available For: Windows

WinShell is a free multilingual integrated development environment (IDE) for LaTeX and TeX. The program includes a text editor, syntax highlighting, project management, spell checking, a table wizard, BibTeX support, Unicode support, different toolbars and user configuration options. It is not a LaTeX system; an additional LaTeX package is required.

WinShell screenshot
Click image to enlarge

  • 2
    Finally, someone mentioned it. I've tried almost all IDEs mentioned thus far, and only WinShell managed to stick, and is now my editor of choice. There are a few handy options that I miss, though (namely, including a fancy symbol from a menu if you've forgotten the name -- the way TexnicCenter does). Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 5:47
  • 1
    What I found useful in winshell is that it is portable and has unicode support.
    – fabikw
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 16:46


  • 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

  • How do you solve the lack of support for Biber, if you do? I need some of its features, mainly Unicode. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:47
  • @HaroldCavendish: I don't have a Mac... consider asking in chat.
    – Werner
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:56
  • Thanks, it was worth it. Should anyone look for the same, all it takes is to go to Preferences –> Typesetting –> Engines, make a duplicate of the desired one (e.g. pdfLaTeX) and redefine the variable BIBTEX by replacing the path to BibTeX with the one pointing to Biber. Thanks to Joseph Wright's suggestion. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 22:37


Available for: Windows

Inlage is a great LaTeX IDE for Windows Vista/7. It has a lot of features that make it easy to handle LaTeX. The autocompletion has many commands with icons and descriptions and if you have a tablet pc you can use the Math Input Panel to translate a symbol or an equation to LaTeX.

Main features:

  • Math Input Panel to LaTeX
  • Excel/Calc tables to LaTeX
  • autocompletion
  • spell checker
  • docking system
  • inverse/forward search (SumatraPDF)
  • code folding

Click image to enlarge

  • Inlage looks great. It is commercial, but might be worth the money.
    – ipavlic
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 17:45
  • 1
    I found a inlage a few months ago via this thread and I'm very happy with it. I used it for several papers and now i'm writing my thesis with it.
    – kventil
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 10:22
  • 2
    unstable ... inlage 5 ... Personal opinion ... User since an year ... Had to switch to editor ... Commented May 7, 2013 at 1:34
  • 1
    Inlage 4 is more stable than the newer one. Inlage 4 is for free now, Please download and try it ... Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 8:34
  • It appears that Inlage 4 only works with MikTeX, and not with TeXLive, so it is not usable for me. Otherwise it would have looked quite nice.
    – hbaderts
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 6:51

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$" or "va$").

Note: Based on LaTeX-Box plugin is Automatic LATEX Plugin for Vim (ATP) which is a rather fully-featured plugin similar to latex-suite.

Update about project activities as of May 2019

It seems that the development of latex-box and atp (comment) have ceased. The more active projects are vimtex and vim-latex.

VimTex image

vimtex image

  • The most important aspect of latex editor is overall ease of use. Most editors are same if you know latex basics. The main difference is how good is autocompletion, and whether compilation is automated. If there is a way to sync doc to say google drive, it could be advantage, but can be achieved by using offline google drive. Emacs and vim is for programmers and difficult to learn for others
    – Vaibhav
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 9:45
  • The link for "ATP for vim" is not working.
    – evaristegd
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 3:27
  • Updated the link for ATP in the answer and added a note about which projects look actively maintained.
    – Hotschke
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 10:46

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