Are you up to creating some mathematical or scientific documents? Then you must be looking for some best LaTeX editors for your Linux, MacOS, or Windows operating system. Thus, here we are with a crisp and compact list of both offline and online LaTeX editors under a free or open-source category.
What is a LaTeX editor?
LaTeX project is a programming language with which scientific and mathematical texts can be created. The full form of LaTeX here is Lamport TeX. In simple words, it is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting but for special purposes where you need scientific and mathematical texts like scientific formulas for some academic books or PDFs… Using packages or libraries, you can extend the scope of functions to create graphics and formulas.
Now, what exactly is the LaTex editor? In simple words, the editor that supports LaTeX programming to create documents is called the LaTeX editor. Thus, it is not like our normal word editor where we get formatted text in WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) such as OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Microsoft Office. LaTeX is totally the opposite and uses a command line interface to format text for books or documents that need an extensive text system that is intended for books, scientific papers, and articles. Particularly in the mathematical-technical area, the system offers itself because of the formulas contained.
You can simply install LaTeX on your system and then text can be entered in a simple editor and saved in a source text file, similar to a script. This text is supplemented by LaTeX commands, which, for example, identify chapters, sections, headings, and quotes. In addition, a LaTeX document can be spread over several files, so each chapter is a separate file. However, there are a good number of best LaTeX-backed editors available online to download with both open sources as well as a free license for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Thus, here we are with some best open-source or free LaTeX editors but before installing them remember they are not simple text editors and to operate them, first, you must get familiar with the LaTeX commands…
Best LaTeX editors for Windows, Linux, or MacOS?
Remember, the top LaTeX editors list given below is not a comparison and is arranged randomly… Note: You ought to install LaTeX before using LaTeX editors for proper functioning.
License Type: OpenSource / Free. Available for Windows 10/8/7, Linux (Ubuntu & Debian) and MacOS
Texmaker is a popular best LaTeX editor which is cross-platform with a graphical user interface developed using the Qt toolkit. It has a wide range of features to easily handle all LaTex commands while getting a PDF view of what would have been written on the command line. As you can see in the above image one side is for command and the other for the formatted view that will be going to see by the world.
You can save all open files and settings in one session. Such a session can then be resumed at a later date. In addition, you can specify a master document for a (sub) document. One-click or one-button compilation automatically compiles the master document instead of the open sub-document.
The editor provides syntax highlighting and autocompletion. Both help with the overview of the document source code and troubleshooting.
Other features it includes are a Unicode editor, fast navigation, rotation of PDF viewer, bibliographic database management, jump view structure view, full asymptote support, spell checking, code folding, symbol selection, built-in LaTeX manual, column selection (useful when creating tables), and an unlimited number of snippets. Because UTF-8 can be used with XeLaTeX and luaLaTeX.
License Type: Open Source / Freeware, available for Windows 10/8/7, Linux (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux), and MacOS X. To provide it with an interface the Qt toolkit has been used.
TeXworks LaTex editor is a simple TeX front-end program that comes with an integrated PDF viewer that removes the hassle of first writing a document in a LaTeX language and then converting it to PDF or any other rich viewable format. Side-by-side screens of Command-Line and PDF output made users easily see how its text would look.
Furthermore, it also supports forward search means jumping from the source to the viewer and vice versa. TeXworks is super easy even for novices quite unchallenging to operate. This also applies to the rather simple interface and the manageable range of functions.
Another thing that is worth mentioning is its support for UTF-8 encoding which makes it ideally suited for working with XeLaTeX and luaLaTeX.
License Type- OpenSource cross-platform and one of the best LateX editors available for Windows, Linux (CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Scientific Linux, openSUSE), MacOS, and FreeBSD. It is also available as Appimage for all major Linux Distros.
The TeXstudio editor has been forked by Texmaker. It is therefore often referred to as the fork of Texmaker. Just like it, the Text studio also offered quite a wide range of features in a considerably expanded way as compared to Texmaker.
In TextStudio, the structure view of the program is updated during typing plus while coding, the syntax checker checks it for errors in real time. In addition, it can be extended via scripts and offers wizards for various tasks, such as table creation. Besides cross-platform, the portable version of TeX studio is also available.
It features multi-cursor, Auto-completion, More than 1000 mathematical symbols, Bookmarks, and Link overlay, Assistants for images, tables, and formulas; Drag & drop support for images and tooltip preview for included images, Table-formatting, Interactive grammar checker; automatic detection of MikTeX, TeX Live, Ghostscript and Standardlatex; built-in support for various LaTeX compilers, index, bibliography and glossary tools, Latexmk, and more.
As the other best open-source LaTex editors mentioned above, it also gets its interface from the Qt toolkit.
License Type: OpenSource. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (Source code needs to be compiled for Linux and MacOS).
In a true sense, it is a LaTeX editor for Linux, however, since the KDE framework is now also available for Windows, Kile can also be installed and used under Windows too.
Kile has everything a LaTeX editor needs. Special features are the live update of the PDF view, which causes a recompilation when changes in the code, Auto-completion of (La)TeX command, and the integrated QuickPreview, with which you can limit the PDF view, Inverse and forward search, and more.
Kile provides built-in access to Konsole Terminal, an interactive shell.
LyX LaTeX editor
License Type: Open Source or Free. It is available for Windows, Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat, Debian), and MacOS.
Another popular editor in this best LaTex editors list is LyX. However, it is a WYSIWYG document processor that has the power of TeX/LaTeX as its backend. Thus, being a WYSIWYG, it is less difficult to understand and operate than any other editors mentioned in this list.
The advantage of this is that the user is initially freed from learning LaTeX. The disadvantage is that after basic mathematical or Scientific problems which you want to show in a document, that is not easy to solve through the menus of LyX, the user not only has to learn LaTeX programming. The position of a word in the printed document is not the same as on the screen. LyX to MS Word exchange is horrible. This means that the user has a huge hurdle to overcome in case of problems.
LyX is an application of the Qt toolkit.
Papeeria LaTeX editor online
License Type: Free. It can be used on any platform (Windows, Linux, MacOS, FreeBSD, Android…) the only thing requires is a browser.
Papeeria is an online LaTeX editor which offers both Free and Paid online versions, needless to say, the free online LaTeX editor version has fewer features than the one which costs you. Here are the features of the free one: It offers unlimited public projects, public templates, and collaborators per project.
The free plan, only offers one active private project which is 10 in Paid version however both plans support archiving for unused projects. Furthermore, Full-text search (restricted to the current project files), Git sync (Full read-write access to public repositories), the File edit history of 24 hours, and simple plot builder are also there.
It is not like other full-fledged LaTeX editors but enough for new students or LaTeX learners on any system from anywhere using a browser and an internet connection.
License Type: Freemium, only need a browser to run.
Overleaf which another latex editor online that has merged ShareLaTeX by joining it. Now all the ShareLaTex users can access the LaTex editor for overlead. The free version is good to work alone while if you have a team then Collaboration and Professional paid versions of Overleaf are available.
It features sharing of the project by private invitation or link sharing; real-time preview, real-time commenting, and integrated chat; WYSIWYG and LateX support, free online template gallery, and more…
License Type: Free and open source LaTeX and TeX editor and previewer for only MacOS users.
Although there are many editors in this best list that support the MacOS platform, if, you are looking for a dedicated one then TeXShop should be at your disposal. It was developed by the American mathematician Richard Koch. TeXShop uses “pdftex” and “pdflatex” rather than “tex” and “latex” to typeset in its default configuration.
TeXShop is a TeX previewer for Mac OS X, written in Cocoa.
Apart from these best LaTex editors you can also look at:
Eclipse with TeXclipse:
TeXclipse itself is not an editor but a LaTeX mode for the universal editor Eclipse, which is widely used by Java developers
emacs with AUCTeX : OpenSource for Linux, Windows, MacOS, Free BSD, Solaris, and more
Emacs is a cross-platform universal editor. Together with AUCTeX, an advanced (La) TeX mode for Emacs, it becomes a powerful LaTeX development environment. AUCTeX also includes preview-latex. This makes a WYSIWYG preview of individual elements such as headings, mathematical environments, images, etc. directly possible in the editor.
Upon entering the preview, Emacs will automatically return to input/source mode. When leaving, a rebuild of the preview element may take place. AUCTeX does not use classic project management. Instead, files can have a master file (used at compile time and evaluated for packages, etc.) and various settings set via so-called local variables.
Authorea online Latex editor (website): An online editor with multiple plans and one of them is free for Basic usage that offers 3 free private documents, unlimited collaborators, 100MB data hosting, One-click DOI publishing, and Priority support.
TeXpen is a LaTeX editor that is also developed and based on Qt/C++. It offers Themes/Background colors; English grammar improvement, spell-check, article outline to navigate quickly; document templates for beginners, one key inserting Figure/Table, One key build pdf, built-in Preview, and Auto-complete.
Gummi: Another open-source LaTeX editor that uses GTK+ and is able to run on Linux and Windows systems. It has a straightforward approach to document preparation and features Live preview, LaTeX snippets, Graphical insertion of tables and images, Templates and wizards, Project management, Bibliography management, and SyncTeX integration. However, it lacks graphical mathematical symbols insertion and document structure summary.
For many more universal editors like Vim , Nedit , jEdit , notepad ++ etc. there are LaTeX adjustments. So if you are already familiar with an editor, look for such editorial customization for your editor. This saves you from having to work in the editing of an editor and in LaTeX at the same time.
For beginners, if you talk about which LaTeX editor is the best then TeXworks, TeXmaker, and TeXstudio would always make their place because of their easy to use plus the inbuilt PDF viewer along with many other features. Moreover, they are cross-platform and support all major operating systems.
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