Support for real-time collaborative writing of Latex documents in Atom?

Real-time collaborative writing of Latex documents is heavily used in scientific writing. Today, this niche is dominated by Overleaf.

To what extent is Atom+Teletype a valid option to do real-time collaborative writing of Latex documents?


I have not considered the “collaborative” requirement but there are Atom packages for writing Latex documents in markdown and previewing/printing the output.

Look at markdown-preview-enhanced package and also Rmarkdown.

Those are Markdown, not LaTeX, packages. The mightiest LaTeX package for Atom is, in my opinion, It comes with a built-in PDF viewer that supports forward and reverse sync. I haven’t used Teletype to write collaboratively (most people are already familiar with Overleaf and don’t see the point of changing), but I imagine it should be just like writing code collaboratively, only each participant has his/her own PDF viewer.

1 Like

Thanks for your inputs.

  So the question boils down to whether teletype+atom-latex work

correctly together?

Do you have a specific need? Teletype should already allow collaboration, and presumably everyone will have their own LaTeX installation to locally compile the shared document.

I need a reasonably well featured Latex editor
(automatic compilation, automatic PDF update, sync between
PDF and source) with real-time collaborative edition.

Going from editors, neither TexWorks nor TexStudio support real-time

collaborative edition.

Going from real-time collaborative edition (Atom/Teletype), the

question is whether Atom with plugins can be considered as a proper
Latex editor.

question is whether Atom with plugins can be considered as a proper
Latex editor.

Well sure. There’s atom-latex, which I’ve never used. Instead, I use latex for compiling, pdf-view for the viewer & PDF-source sync, and wrote my own packages for everything else. I believe my guide here should work, but it could do with some refining.

I’m of the opinion that editors like Atom and VS Code are fully capable of feature parity with dedicated editors like TexStudio, and prefer using a single editor over one for each language I use. Atom and VS Code tend to be a lot more configurable in my experience, both with themes and functionality.

That looks promising. We will try teletype+atom-latex. Thanks a lot for your inputs.

I managed to get a proof of concept Overleaf clone working recently with Teletype and

There isn’t really any magic you need, basically Teletype does all the collaboration heavy lifting and the Latex packages take care of local compilation. One thing to note however is that it isn’t really “latex-aware” in the sense that Teletype just syncs any raw text and the latex compilation is usually triggered by a file save.

I’ll try to leave an example document open if you want to see what it looks like from a user perspective: atom://teletype/portal/e626742b-068e-45bd-9146-dc2c2de66a8e

You also additionally might need:

But really the only elements needed are a Latex compiler, Teletype sync, and a PDF viewer

Thanks @hyphaebeast This is super cool:

  • installed packages latex 0.50.2 and teletype 0.13.4
  • added my teletype token (
  • “join portal” atom://teletype/portal/e626742b-068e-45bd-9146-dc2c2de66a8e

And I see your document!

Where is the generated PDF when the document is compiled?

1 Like

You can change the settings of the latex package to configure the output however you want. I have it setup to compile it on save and to output it into the same location as the .tex file.

Usually I have a split editor screen with the .tex document on one side and the PDF on the other.

Thanks for the explanation.

This would mean that in Teletype, the compilation happens on all machines of the connected people? (as opposed to on the machine of the host only)