This might seem like a ridiculous ask, but after getting used to composing TeX in Overleaf and TexPad, both of which can show a preview of the compiled code in real time, it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult for an editor to allow editing directly in the output. The output pane would basically work as a GUI that allows you to you edit the source more naturally, like in a traditional word processor.

For mathematical formulas and complicated formatting commands, you'd just go back to the source. But for basic text (which is 90% of most documents), the ability to type/highlight/copy/paste right in the output would be a much nicer experience. Does any editor allow this?

  • TeX isn't a word processor; it's a typesetting engine and isn't meant to work like a word processor. PDF files are not intended to be edited as they are ostensibly the final product of the document creation process. I suggest letting go of comparing TeX and friends to word processing. Even if something like you propose were possible, it would inevitably need to modify the source document anyway so it could be reprocessed. Jul 24, 2021 at 3:31
  • @LaTeXereXeTaL I think it was clear from my post that I'm already aware of those points. But from what I gather from your comment, your answer to my question is you aren't sure?
    – WillG
    Jul 24, 2021 at 3:50
  • Could you be looking something like LyX?
    – Gilgamesh
    Jul 24, 2021 at 4:16
  • 1
    BaKoMa TeX Jul 24, 2021 at 7:29
  • 1
    – Fran
    Jul 24, 2021 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


I think the short answer is No.

Please don't ask for it.

To quote Albert Einstein?

One must not simplify things more than what is necessary.

LaTeX will always have two components: source code and the rendered document. This is because it is a markup language. In case you are still interested, see the answers to editors-with-rich-text-viewing-similar-to-overleaf

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