Authorea Tutorial: How To Write LaTeX (Intro)

Authorea Help

Authorea compiles LaTeX to the web. If you are used to writing in LaTeX, you will notice that Authorea is not your typical LaTeX editor. The big difference with other editors - online or not - is that Authorea compiles LaTeX (and other markup languages) to HTML. This has some great advantages. One advantage is that every article you write becomes a webpage which you can privately share with your colleagues (and the public, if you wish) to receive comments and feedback. Another advantage is that since Authorea runs on the web, you get some extra perks such as native support for Git and data-driven interactive plots (such as d3.js and IPython notebooks).

Web-friendly LaTeX. The only downside with rendering LaTeX to HTML is that not all LaTeX is intended to fit in a webpage. Some LaTeX commands and packages are meant to position and write elements in a printed page, not on a webpage, and these will most likely not work. So, stick to core LaTeX and you will produce great looking documents which look well on the web and when printed. Here’s a cheatsheet for web-friendly LaTeX which compiles inside Authorea.

Journal styles and PDF. Of course, you can still download a PDF version of your paper formatted according to your journal of choice at any time. In fact, on Authorea you don’t have to specify styles, classes, or packages at the beginning of your writing. You get to focus on the content and you can then export your paper in the format you like in just one click. In a traditional LaTeX editor, you work on the raw LaTeX source and from time to time you compile the .tex file to see the results in a PDF. Compiling LaTeX can be a pain in the neck, right? ...especially when you have spent hours formatting the paper in a format and then find out that you have to reformat it for another journal. Authorea prevents all that. It lets you focus on the content (no need to define preambles, document classes, etc.), and pick the format on the fly (just click on the export button in the top right).

Modularity. Every Authorea article is modular: it is composed of individual files which can be text blocks and figures, for example, but also data, scientific notebooks, and code! Think of every Authorea article as a file repository (it is indeed a Git repository). If you click on the folder icon on the left sidebar, you will visualize the file structure of this post, for example.