Online LaTeX Editors

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The simple online LaTeX editor TeXeR offers a window with two panels. The editor sits in one of the panels and the preview in the other. This editor cannot open locally saved files. You will need to type or copy the LaTeX code into the editor panel. The finished LaTeX document is downloaded in PDF format. If an error occurs when LaTeX runs, you should take a closer look at the logfile for the LaTeX output and the error message.

Figure 1 shows TeXeR with the minimal example from Listing 1. Lines 5 and 17 to 19 have been commented out since TeXeR cannot incorporate images that have been stored locally. It takes two LaTeX runs to generate a table of contents for LaTeX documents. This does not work with TeXeR. In light of these restrictions, TeXeR is primarily suitable for the occasional user who does not want to install a LaTeX system locally but nonetheless wants the option of generating simple LaTeX documents.

Listing 1

Sample LaTeX file

01 \documentclass{scrartcl}
02 \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
03 \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
04 \usepackage[english]{babel}
05 \usepackage{graphicx}
06 \title{Hello World}
07 \author{Paul Penguin}
08 \date{}
09 \begin{document}
10 \maketitle
11 \tableofcontents
12 \section{Hello Text World!}
13 This is a new sample text.
14 \section{Hello Math World!}
15 This is a new sample formula:\\
16 $ F(n) = \frac{(\varphi)^n - (-\frac{1}{\varphi})^n}{\sqrt{5}} $
17 \section{Hello Picture World!}
18 This is a new sample picture:\\
19 \includegraphics{pic.png}
20 \end{document}
Figure 1: The simple online LaTeX editor TeXeR does not incorporate data that is stored locally, nor does it generate a table of contents.


The Czech website TeXonWeb is also available in English. Although according to the developers, they are still fine tuning the corresponding localization. If you do not establish a user account, you will only have access to a simple LaTeX editor for entering LaTeX code by typing or copying.

You have the choice of generating the output file with either TeX or LaTeX. You can also select either one, two, or three program runs so that the program outputs documents like a table of contents correctly. The generated document can be downloaded as a Postscript or PDF file. There is a logfile for help with finding errors in the LaTeX code. It is not possible to incorporate locally stored images unless you have a user account.

Additional functions are made available to users with a user account. Providing a username and a password suffices to set up the account. TeXonWeb does not ask for an email address or personal data. Once logged into your account, you can open and edit locally saved files. In addition, the LaTeX files plus the images they incorporate can be stored on the TeXonWeb server. However,the website lacks a data privacy statement. Consequently, you should think carefully about what you want to upload to the server.

A menu and a function bar will appear in the editor. Both offer the possibility of adding LaTeX commands, a feature that is similar to locally installed versions of a LaTeX editor. There is also a spellchecker. Next to this is a very small selection of templates available for your use. These include a CD cover, a DVD cover, and a resume along with the curriculumvitae package. TeXonWeb does not offer the option of sharing data with other users. Figure 2 shows TeXonWeb with a minimal example from Listing 1.

Figure 2: TeXonWeb's editor window with expanded functions for users who are logged in. After registering, it is also possible to upload and incorporate images.

All in all, TeXonWeb has a rudimentary feel, but it is entirely suitable for individual users who don't want to install a local LaTeX system. This service is free to use and does not require personal data for setting up an account. On the other hand, it does not permit collaborative work, nor does it provide a data privacy statement for data that is stored on its server.

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