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I am writing my PhD thesis in Overleaf and have my supervisor making comments and tracked suggested edits on it on Overleaf. I have a series of very long chapters with many suggested edits and comments. I would like to save those comments and suggested edits in a safe format, in order to minimize the risk for me to accidentally lose them and to have the chance to go back to re-evaluate them once I applied them without losing trace of what was suggested.

If I try to copy-paste the whole file in a new .tex file, comments are not saved so I can't make a backup copy of the commented file.

If I download a zip file fo the project and then re-upload it again, comments don't appear anymore and edits seem to automatically be incorporated in the text without any sign to show where the edit was.

The comments are hundreds so I can't copy-paste them one by one in the lines of code and turn them in todo notes... is there a way to save them directly as they are so that I can always go back to them and not lose them? In practice I would like to always have access to some kind of view as it is shown below in the figure, either on overleaf itself or in PDF, doesn't matter where as long as I can see where the comments and suggestions were and I can create a file that I can store separately from the file I am applying the edits on.

Here is a screenshot of an example of my thesis subfiles with the type of comments edits that I want to be sure to not lose

Here is an example code of an empty thesis subfile

\documentclass[Thesis.tex]{subfiles} 
\parindent=10pt
\setcounter{secnumdepth}{4}

\begin{document}

\chapter[short title]{long title}

\startcontents[chapters]
\singlespacing
\printcontents[chapters]{}{1}{\setcounter{tocdepth}{2}}
\onehalfspacing

Here will be many sections

On this line there will be a comment

In this line there will be something added after this

\stopcontents[chapters]
\end{document}

I ma getting increasingly nervous as if something was to happen to the Overleaf server or if I accidentally delete some comment or damage the file without having any other backup to go back to, this would be a dramatic disaster...

1 Answer 1

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(Tom from Overleaf Support here.)

Currently (beginning of 2021) it's not possible to export the comments in any way; they are only accessible via the Overleaf editor. However, let me assure you that our data is safely stored and well backed up, see also https://www.overleaf.com/legal#Security

Considering the accidental loss of the comments if you accidentally delete the contents: If this happens, we have a mechanism that stores the file with the comments still in place. So if you reach Overleaf Support with a request for file recovery, we can do that for you. Just please if that happens, kindly do include: (1) the project URL, (2) the file name, (3) the time when the loss of data happened, (4) your timezone. This will expedite the process of the comments/track changes recovery.

I hope this helps clear your doubts.

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    Hi Tom, Thank you for your answer. I think a way to save/export those comments would be a great feature to add and it is a shame to not be able to keep a commented and untouched version of the file to go back to, in case one needs to double check after having applied corrections... But it is reassuning to know that there is a way to have the comments back in case I was to lose them and to know that you have everything backed up on your side. Jan 29, 2021 at 13:51
  • @AnnalisaBellandi: I have a question for you, do you use the free overleaf version or maybe an upgraded one with your supervisor (e.g., student subscription or a personal one)? I use the free version and I cannot see the comments given by my PhD supervisor, so I was wondering why it is the case.
    – Jo-Achna
    Apr 5, 2021 at 18:38
  • @Jo-Achna you should probably make your own question about this. Though yo' will probably see your comment it is more polite this way, or even write to overleaf support directly, they are here to help
    – daleif
    Apr 5, 2021 at 19:29
  • @Jo-Achna Comments are a free features, so you shouldn't have any issue with them.
    – yo'
    Apr 7, 2021 at 11:34
  • 1
    github.com/overleaf/overleaf/issues/934 Feature request: [Feature] Git version control for comments #934
    – CPBL
    Apr 19 at 14:41

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