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.

  • 41
    Wikipedia has a list: Comparison of TeX editors. – Caramdir Apr 4 '11 at 2:26
  • 2
    Adding structure view, native knitr/sweave support, and auto correct would be great for these comparisons. – kennyB Nov 7 '14 at 0:13
  • @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 Nov 25 '14 at 8:30
  • 2
    Outliner is probably what I mean, yes. This is a frame that contains sections, subsections, tables, figures for easy navigation in large documents. – kennyB Feb 11 '15 at 23:02
  • Also here is a list of TeX editing softwares for Linuz. What is good LaTeX editor software on Linux? – akikara Feb 21 '15 at 11:59

54 Answers 54

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: Automatic LATEX Plugin for Vim (ATP) rather fully-featured plugin as latex-suite.

  • 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 Dec 28 '16 at 9:45

Geany with GeanyLaTeX

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
Open Source


Another great editor is Geany. It comes with support for Windows and Linux. Furthermore the software has a plugin for LaTeX. It is maintained by one of the main developers. The plugin has a wizard for new LaTeX documents, autocompletion, you can easily insert environments and it is well documented.

Emacs with WhizzyTeX

Available for: Linux, Unix-based systems
Open Source


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

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

For Ubuntu/Debian users:

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

Vim with Snipmate plugin and Rubber

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
Open Source


I used to use Vim-Latex, but I found it too heavy-weight and rigid. Snipmate provides a subset of the functionality, but it is easier to customize and works for any programming language.

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

Scribo

Available for: Mac
Open Source


If you are looking for a beautifully designed LaTeX editor for Mac, you should try Scribo.
Although it's still in beta, it has a beautiful interface with a live outline of your document and a split-view. I am really anxious to see what it will become.

Also, I personally use TextMate and the LaTeX bundle for typesetting small files.

  • Scribo is beautiful. Thank you. – 000 Jun 14 '12 at 11:09
  • Their website is down... – Peater de Xel May 30 '13 at 14:31
  • 2
    Scribo is defunct. Please remove the link to their page, the site is now a malware hole. – Ryder Dec 13 '15 at 10:00

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.

Papeeria

Online LaTeX editor with real-time collaboration, integrated gnuplot, templates and project versioning

  • Platforms: Web browser: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, iOS, Android
  • License: Free plan available, paid plan starts from $5/month
  • Languages: en
  • Unicode: Yes
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, not customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes, not customizable
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, supports PDF
  • Project Management: Yes
  • Autosave: Yes

Free plan includes unlimited number of collaborators and public projects and one private project.

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)

  • Verbosus has the advantage that it uses an up-to-date TeX distribution. – CarLaTeX Feb 10 '17 at 19:08

TechWriter

  • Platforms: RISC OS
  • License: Commercial
  • Languages: en/de
  • Unicode: ???
  • RTL/bidirectional support: Yes
  • % !TeX directives: No
  • Syntax highlighting: No
  • Code completion: No
  • Code folding: No
  • Spell checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: No
  • Built-in output viewer: Yes (WYSIWYG)
  • Project management: ???

  • WYSIWYG Editing
  • Multi language spell check: {en, es, it, pt, fr, de, nl, no, da, fi, se, is}
  • LaTex export
  • PDF export
  • HTML + CSS export
  • Postscript export
  • Word (.doc / .docx) import / export
  • ODT import
  • RTF import
  • CSV import
  • Key shortcuts
  • Smart indexing / references / footnotes
  • image - drag and drop / placement
  • auto save

enter image description here

  • @JosephWright, done, as RISC OS is still around, though niche it may be of interest, and there must be some demand as it's still being developed, and on sale. I found it better than anything else around when it was released 23+ years back, and is still better than many of the current offerings. – arober11 Oct 25 '15 at 8:32

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

Scientific Word — [tag:s

  • Platforms: Windows
  • License: Commercial

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

Archimedes

Available for: Mac OS X
Commercial - $4.99 on Mac App Store


Archimedes is a LaTeX and Markdown editor designed from the ground-up for Mac OS X. It does not require an external TeX installation and includes innovative features like Magic Type, which allows users to insert mathematical symbols simply by drawing them on their MacBook's trackpad or Magic Trackpad.

Screenshot http://www.mattrajca.com.s3.amazonaws.com/archimedes/marketing/1r.png

Features (copied from the website):

Markdown Editing

At its core, Archimedes is a fully-featured plain text and Markdown editor. It includes a fast syntax highlighter and provides convenient keyboard shortcuts for common actions, such as inserting images and links. With complete support for Markdown, Archimedes makes formatting and structuring documents elegant and easy.

Math Mode + Autocomplete

In Math Mode, Archimedes lets you write mathematics in a subset of LaTeX. Just enter $$ to get started. Over 700 intuitive commands, such as \sqrt{a^2 + b^2}, help you produce stunning mathematical output. Archimedes even autocompletes commands and intelligently matches closing braces, brackets, and parenthesis as you type.

Magic Type

Just getting started with LaTeX? Don't know the code for the asymptotically equal symbol? Use your MacBook's trackpad or Magic Trackpad to draw it! Archimedes will recognize the symbol and insert the corresponding code for you.

Live Preview

As you work, a beautifully-typeset live preview of your document is always visible. You can even switch between horizontal or vertical orientation and select a custom theme.

Math Library

Browse the math library to see all available LaTeX commands and their previews in one place.

Macros

Archimedes lets you define macros -- or custom commands -- for the expressions you work with the most. Macros show up in autocompletion results right alongside built-in completions.

Navigator

Working on a long document? Use the Navigator to pull up a table of contents and quickly jump between sections.

Sharing

Share your work with the rest of the world via email, iMessage or AirDrop. Or export a PDF or HTML document to disk.

  • 1
    Hello! Do you think you could try to make this answer comply with the template defined in the following link? It would be helpful for people trying to find what suits them the best. meta.tex.stackexchange.com/a/3254/11002 – boycott.se - yo' Nov 24 '14 at 22:40
  • 3
    In addition to what @tohecz says, I wonder about the 'doesn't require a TeX system' part. Is this really a (La)TeX editor, or is it some form of Markdown-like parsing which recognises just a subset of LaTeX-like math mode commands (similar to MathJax)? The screenshot given doesn't really look like TeX input, for example. – Joseph Wright Nov 25 '14 at 8:27
  • @JosephWright I haven't realized that at the first sight, but it really looks like wiki language. – boycott.se - yo' Nov 25 '14 at 9:12

DMelt

  • 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

  • Are you sure about the license here? According to jwork.org/scavis/features, it's 'free as in beer' for academics but not GPL. – Joseph Wright Feb 1 '14 at 15:58
  • Can we get a screenshot that doesn't promote so many antipatterns? – Sean Allred Aug 1 '15 at 5:08

jEdit

  • Platforms: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, OS X, Linux (Slackware, Debian). Should work on any platform with a Java VM.
  • License: GPL
  • Languages: en, cz de, fr, ja, ru, zh
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: No
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes, regex-based (including .bib)
  • Code Completion: Via plugin
  • Code Folding: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Via plugin or macro (using Aspell either way)
  • SyncTeX: No
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: No
  • Autosave: Yes

Screenshot of jEdit on Windows (font is 'hack'): Linux looks very similar: Screenshot of jEdit with a .tex file open


On Windows and Linux, I use jEdit. TeX support for command insertion, compilation, Aspell etc. is provided via macros, though I tend to use the command line for compilation anyway.

I have a strong preference for cross-platform, general-purpose tools, so choose a text editor rather than a TeX-specific IDE.

Open LaTeX Studio

  • Platforms: Windows, Linux
  • License: Open source/free
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Code Completion: Yes
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes

Open LaTeX Studio main screen

Other pros:

  • Remote collaboration through DropBox
  • Document templates

Compositor

  • Platforms: Mac OS 10.11+
  • License: US$ 20
  • Languages: en
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: ?
  • % !TEX directives: ?
  • Syntax Highlighting: ?
  • Code Completion: ?
  • Code Folding: ?
  • Spell Checking: ?
  • SyncTeX: ?
  • Built-in Output Viewer: Yes, supports PDF, DVI
  • Project Management: ?
  • Autosave: Yes
  • Line Spacing: Yes

Compositor is a WYSIWYG LaTeX editor for Mac.

The DVI Viewer Is The New Editor

In a traditional LaTeX workflow, you would edit the LaTeX source in a text editor, compile the document every now and then, and check the effects of your changes in the DVI viewer.

In Compositor, the DVI viewer is the document editor — you type directly in the rendered document, and every keystroke is immediately reflected. The source editing and compilation steps are completely eliminated from the workflow.

This not just gives you immediate visual feedback, it should also save you quite some time previously spent on compilation runs.

enter image description here

Source Editing When You Need It

There will be situations where you want direct access to the underlying LaTeX source.

Pressing Ctrl+S will open an inline source editor showing the LaTeX source behind the document region you're currently working on (often this will be the current paragraph).

This should allow for a smooth migration experience to this new paradigm, even with commands or environments for which there is no dedicated graphical inspector (yet).

enter image description here

Automatic Package Installation

If your document uses LaTeX packages not bundled with the app, they are automatically downloaded from CTAN.

And if you are using packages not available on CTAN, you can still provide them to the app easily.

Video of functionality

  • Very nice application! – jonaprieto May 8 at 21:41

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

TeXpen

http://sf.net/p/texpen

Linux/Win/Mac

  • Auto-completion
  • Highlighting
  • Themes
  • One-Click compiling
  • Realtime Equation preview
  • Built-in PDF preview
  • ... ...

IntelliJ IDEA with LaTeX plugin

IntelliJ screenshot

  • Platforms: Linux, Windows, MacOSX
  • License: MIT
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: No (until IDEA-57251 is solved)
  • % !TEX directives: No
  • Syntax Highlighting: Yes
  • Code Completion: No
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes - with the RedPen plugin
  • SyncTeX: Yes (as soon as IDEA-159739) is solved)
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: Yes
  • Autosave: Yes
  • Line Spacing: Yes

An IntelliJ plugin joining the features of IntelliJ with LaTeX.

Texiteasy is a great latex editor that is not on this list.

http://texiteasy.com/

It allows easy macro support. From the website, other features are:

Other Features

  • Syntax coloration
  • Command completion (with commands defined in the source, \ref your \label, \cite your bibitem and bibfile)
  • Integrated pdf viewer (auto sync during scrolling, reverse sync with Ctrl+Click on the pdf)
  • Spell checker
  • Hide auxilary files
  • Search with regex
  • Quickly open associted files (input, bibliography)
  • Autodetect the master file (if it is open)
  • Restore last session
  • Configure multiple builders
  • Configure keybinding and themes
  • Split the editor in two parts

Reading TUGboat, Volume 37 (2016), No. 3 275 I saw that there is LaTeX Base, with the following features:

  • live, compile-as-you-type document preview,
  • one-click document publishing and sharing,
  • offline mode,
  • integrations with file storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox,
  • syntax highlighting,
  • and (the very interesting) familiar keyboard shortcuts for Vim and Emacs users.

Unfortunately, if I have understood well, only the online editor for short documents is free.

Winefish

  • Platforms: Linux
  • License: GPL
  • Unicode: Yes
  • RTL/bidi: ?
  • % !TEX directives: ?
  • Syntax Highlighting: Customizable
  • Code Completion: Yes
  • Code Folding: No
  • Spell Checking: Yes
  • SyncTeX: No
  • Built-in Output Viewer: No
  • Project Management: Yes
  • Autosave: ?
  • Line Spacing: ?

A LaTeX Editor for Experienced Users.

Auto-Latex Equations add-on for Google Docs

  • Note: Provides LaTeX equations inside Google Docs, not a full LaTeX document editor
  • Platforms: Browser-based
  • License: Free
  • Languages: All due to Google Docs integration
  • Version Control: Yes, auto-saves all past versions with revision history

For all math equations typeset in MathJax/LaTeX, the Auto-Latex Equations add-on for Google Docs is free and works at a high quality. By replacing all your equations with images of the high-quality equation, it's mobile-viewable and fully compatible with Google Docs image tools.

Equations in delimiters can be rendered in super high quality at whatever time you like by rendering all the equations in your document. If you mess up, you can always undo one (or all), edit it, then re-render.

You can get it for free at the Google Docs add-ons store.

protected by Kurt Jun 1 '16 at 1:04

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