$\LaTeX$ is a markup language used to write and render mathematical formulas, typeset documents and write scholarly articles. It is an easy language to learn but a harder language to master. LaTeX writing makes use of the WYSIWYM approach – which means you won’t generally see the final preview of what you are writing.
Best LaTeX Editors
Writing LaTeX is an even more challenging task, but LaTeX editors can help you in this with autocompletion, compilation, page setup and design configurations. In this article, I have listed some of the top LaTeX editors that scholars worldwide use and love.
These LaTeX editors can help you write, edit, and compile LaTeX documents easily. I have been using LaTeX editors and apps for over a decade now. Based on my experience, I have listed the 10 Best LaTeX editors for both Windows and macOS. In addition to Windows and Mac, most of these apps are also available for Linux-operating systems (like Ubuntu, Elementary etc.). Be sure to check the downloads pages and see if an app is available for your use.
Let’s see the best LaTeX editors for Windows & Mac without further delay.
TeXStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for creating LaTeX documents. Using this powerful tool, you can make changes to numerous positions simultaneously. It offers more than a thousand mathematical symbols and automatically completes the code while you are typing. It also lets you drag and drop images to the editor conveniently.
In TexStudio, you can keep references to important points in your text using bookmarks. You can also copy, paste, and insert table columns with just a click of your mouse. Similarly, you can convert filenames and references into links by pressing Ctrl and clicking your mouse.
Overleaf is a cloud-based collaborative online LaTeX editor that is remarkably simple to use. It is one of the best LaTeX tools presently available in the market and allows you to view the document history. Moreover, you can insert equations, images, bibliographies, and much more. It also provides a wide range of templates and a real-time preview of code.
Using Overleaf, you can write, edit, and publish documents with great ease and speed. Once you’re done, it allows you to easily share your work with other people. You can also identify LaTeX errors speedily and track comments and changes in real-time.
Use Overleaf online (Free for One Collaborator)
Kile is an efficient and free-to-use IDE for LaTeX editor that can automatically complete multiple line codes. With its help, you can code and compile at a much greater speed without any problems.
TeXmaker is a popular document editor that offers support for auto code completion, Unicode, and much more. It comes with an integrated PDF viewer and provides a structured view for fast navigation. It is simple to use and configure and allows you to compile the code with ease. You will be able to perform code folding (collapsing the code) and insert over 370 different mathematical symbols.
TeXmaker allows users to generate a quick document using a wizard and easily search for the text in folders and subfolders. It can automatically locate errors and warnings and offers support for all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Authorea is an online LaTeX editor that helps users write and publish data conveniently. It is well-known for supporting commenting to discuss the changes in real-time. It also helps you start developing using templates and manage versions of documents without any issues. You can convert documents from Word and PDF and add rich media to them using this tool.
Authorea comes with 24×7 support and collaboration in real-time. Since it has been optimized for online use, it opens a whole lot of opportunities compared to its peers.
LaTeX Base is a simple and better web-based LaTeX editor that automatically compiles the code as you write. One of its major advantages is that it offers familiar keyboard shortcuts and allows users to feel at home. It also offers syntax highlighting and allows you to publish and share the document with just a click of your mouse. You can also add images to your document with ease.
Although LaTeX Base is primarily meant to be used online, it allows you to work in offline mode as well. It is notable for efficient integration with file storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
If you use VS code as your code editor, LaTeX Workshop is an extension that you must install. It can save files automatically in PDF format and allows you to switch between .tex and .pdf extensions easily. Along with several useful shortcuts, it allows viewing PDF files in the browser itself.
In the application, you can start writing on a new line by pressing Alt+Enter and typing in commands using the “\” operator. You will also get a preview on hovering upon mathematical tags.
Note: If you use Sublime Text as your default code editor, read this guide on how to natively use LaTeX with Sublime Text.
LyX is a handy document processor that helps users write using a WYSIWYG and WYSIWYM editor. It comes with a simple and user-friendly graphical user interface and powers you to easily edit mathematical formulas. LyX also provides appreciable support for floating numbers, tables, and captions. Moreover, it offers automatic completion of the text and allows you to produce multilingual documents.
Using LyX, you can easily compare different document versions and export them in PDF format. You can also track changes easily and use the application on various platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Emacs is a professional Unix-based text editor tool widely used by all types of users – ranging from students to programmers. It is widely regarded as one of the best text editors. With proper setup, you can use Emacs as a full-fledged LaTeX editor. See this tutorial on how to use Emacs to create LaTeX documents. Also, see this handy PDF guide to using GNU Emacs as a Front End to LaTeX.
Emacs also offers complete inbuilt documentation and a packaging system for downloading and installing extensions. It is readily supported on all major platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac.
TeXnicCenter is a free and open-source integrated LaTeX environment trusted by millions of users worldwide. It allows you to perform unlimited undo or redo operations. It is a powerful application that supports auto code completion and UTF-8 (Unicode Transformation Format). TeXnicCenter offers a quick setup wizard and a user-friendly interface with well-designed menus and toolbars.
Notably, you can readily customize tools in TeXnicCenter according to your convenience. It also offers syntax highlighting and automatically matches the parentheses in your text, making your work much more manageable. It can be downloaded only on Windows.
So, this was it from my end. When you are choosing a LaTeX editor, be sure to see the kind of features it supports. I have been using TeXStudio for a while now, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. If you want to go more visual in approach, you can try LyX. Most of the offline apps require proper configuration and packages. Be sure to install the prerequisite software to get started faster. Online LaTeX editors are, well, quicker to access and use.