I am using Atom editor to write a huge .tex file and need to keep track of my TODOs for my reference and don't need the highlights to show up in the .pdf file. What's a good way to do this?

I am having a hard time using Atom since I am used to CLion, where the TODOs are highlighted in fluorescent green (maybe yellow). I need something like it.

I use TODOs coz it's easy to grep and get the whole list if I want.

  • 1
    Gedit (for Linux/gnome) highlights TODO comments (in capitals) with a bright yellow background. – Marijn Jun 19 '18 at 14:57
  • 2
    So, are you looking for an alternative editor or a solution for Atom? However, vim highlights TODOs. If you prefer a GUI, I'd recommend texstudio which highlights them as well! – nox Jun 19 '18 at 15:25
  • @nox I am actually looking a solution for atom. But, I'll try texstudio and see how it goes. – nac001 Jun 19 '18 at 15:35
  • 1
    do you have the language-latex package installed for atom? if you know how, you can adapt it to highlight TODOs – naphaneal Jun 19 '18 at 15:36
  • @naphaneal this is a perfect enhancement from language-todo project. – nac001 Jun 19 '18 at 16:15

In TeXStudio this is quite easy: just write %todo or %TODO (see screenshot) and the comment will be highlighted. I have tried almost every editor for LaTeX and came to the conclusion that TeXStudio is the best one (for me).

A example

  • 3
    The list of TODO's also show up in the Structure panel (on the left), which may or may not be useful for OP to know (considering their last sentence in the question). – Troy Jun 19 '18 at 15:30

I addition to Nikola Djordjevic's answer, you can also use the todo package, with which you will be able to write todos in your output document, plus print a list of todos in your document at an arbitrary location. Nice gimmick: use the option disable to ignore any todo commands in the document when you need to pass on your current work to someone else and you don't want them to have to look at the todos, but also don't want to go and comment each one out.

Huge plus for me: TeXStudio will also recognize todo commands and highlight them and their content, not just the todo comments as shown in Nikola Djordjevic's answer. This way, you can have both, source code comment style todos for just the people with access to the source file and command todos included in the document for todos you want to see in the PDF (or on paper). In TeXStudio, both styles will be included in the bookmarks in the left part of the program window.

Additionally, in TeXStudio, you can go to Options > Configure TeXStudio > Adv. Editor and tell TeXStudio which keywords you want it to highlight as todo comments. (Check the checkbox "Show Advanced Options" in the lower left corner of the configuration panel to access the "Adv. Editor" tab.


If you are planning to switch the editor, TeXStudio is the best choice for editing as pointed by Nikola Djordjevic and thymaro.

For Atom, you can edit the stylesheet to highlight TODO as explained here or highlight the entire line as mentioned here. Other packages for Atom that one might find useful are: language-latex, language-todo and todo-show.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.