Introducing Our New Editor

The Authorea Team

A new era


Fall marks a new era for Authorea. Summer was already very eventful -- 8,200+ custom journal templates, increased rendering speed, dictionary support for new languages, improved article metadata, better import and export functionality, and many more improvements (see our product roadmap). Fall is going to be even more eventful! We are launching a modern design and an improved rich-text editor! Our editor "rewrite" marks the culmination of months of work and it is the biggest project we've undertaken since founding Authorea. We hope you'll like it.

We'll be rolling out the new Editor to all our users over the next few weeks after our private beta test. You'll get a message very soon with a link to opt-in.

There is a chance that the Beta Editor is already active for your account. Want to turn it on? Go to your User Settings, then click Editor Preferences and if available, select your Default Editor to be Beta. Every new article you will create from the top navbar (Create New) will be in Authorea Beta.

Here are some of the updates we think you’ll find exciting:

A modern new look


It took a long time but we finally have a dashing new look: familiar and easy to use like most modern word processors, and at the same time perfectly tailored for the writing needs of researchers. And this is just the beginning. We will continue improving your reading and writing experience.



Autosave


There is very little to add here: saving, saving, saving, ✅ saved! Never lose any work as Authorea now saves in the background for you and your collaborators.

One-click editing 


We felt that the writing paradigm of Authorea "Double click to start writing" was getting a little stale. Why 2 clicks if we can just click once? You can now click anywhere on the text and the cursor will position itself where you clicked, so that you can start writing right away.

An all-in-one toolbar


We condensed all the functions and buttons of the old editor into one single toolbar: it has everything you need and it is always visible at the top of the page.  No more having to scroll up to access the toolbar! The toolbar works across formats and allows users to insert snippets of LaTeX and Markdown, images, citations, tables, and math with the push of a button.



Simultaneous collaboration with track changes and smart merges


The new editor is still based on the most powerful version control system out there: git. With the old editor, simultaneous collaboration was possible but conflicts were avoided by locking paragraphs when they were being edited. We decided that it was time to improve this and make the experience smoother. We've introduced a smart way to manage simultaneous editing in the rewrite -- a first for us and research writing in general: smart merges. When two authors are editing the same part of text, e.g. the same word, Authorea will merge smartly whatever it can, and when a conflict cannot be solved, it asks the user to accept or reject changes, similar to the way that changes are tracked and accepted in Word.




A user-friendly, scholar-centric system


We redesigned the user flows. All articles will be deep-linked creating a network of relevant topics and articles. All user pages will be soon upgraded to a new look too.


An entirely new typographic system


Whether you're writing a scholarly article, an essay or a blog post with data, your figures, captions, citations, references and text will now look like they should: professional and beautiful. We did a lot of research to understand the reading and writing patterns of our users. We picked fonts to perfectly accommodate screen viewing, and we built a type hierarchy to make sure that your article is easy to read.

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