I apologize in advance if there exist threads dealing with this.

We teach a course on LaTeX. We do not ask students to install huge TeX Live packages on their own devices and thus use Overleaf for the course.

I am thus looking for a good way to edit the source file offline without local compiler installation. Overleaf Help Documentation -- Working Offline in Overleaf only tells ``You can use any plain text editor to edit your projects locally'' and does not recommend any specific editor for this purpose. Is there anybody having experiences of working in this style? If there is, could you recommend any editor that is user-friendly for beginners without local LaTeX compiler installation? For instance, does TeXShop work well without MacTeX installation?

  • 2
    Any editor works well to edit your TeX files. A (La)TeX editor typically just provides the syntax highlighting for the language as well as an interface to compile. If you're not going to compile your document, then you don't need a (local) installation of (La)TeX. – Werner May 4 at 16:02
  • I think it's not only an editor but the associated compiler too that @decsci is asking for. In that case I'd suggest looking at the portable MikTeX version which this decade-old answer points to. Not sure if there's anything else in recent times... – Partha D. May 4 at 16:32
  • 1
    If you do not want to compile, it's better to use an editor that is not expecting to have a compiler installed. On the intuitive and easy to use, it depends... on Windows Notepad++ has nice syntax coloring for LaTeX, on Mac I do not know, really. – Rmano May 4 at 16:50
  • 2
    you can use any editor but that means cutting and pasting the text back and forth to overleaf to produce the pdf (or using git or dropbox sync if you have the pro version) , isn't it easier to use the overleaf editor in that case? – David Carlisle May 4 at 17:12
  • 1
    @decsci I normally use vim, so my point-of-view on user-friendliness is... not the common one, let's say. On windows I have used Notepad++, which is really easy to learn and it has syntax highlighting for LaTeX. Anyway, my opinion is --- if you use it sporadically, whatever editor with syntax-highlighting is ok. If you plan to use it a lot, it pays off to learn a real, powerful editor... like vim, emacs, or much others. – Rmano May 5 at 13:26

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.