New Year, New Name, New Free Features!

By John Hammersley

Happy New Year! We hope you've had a great 2014 and are looking forward to exciting times ahead in 2015.

To mark our recent relaunch as Overleaf, and building on the feedback we received throughout 2014, we've decided to make a whole host of extra features freely available to all our users. These include

Compare versions and see tracked changes

With Overleaf you can compare the differences between your saved versions, to make it easy to track changes as you work on your document. To compare the current version with a saved version, click on the 'Versions' button in the top bar, and click 'Compare' next to that saved version:

Overleaf compare versions modal menu selector

This will bring up the comparison mode; the saved version is displayed in read-only mode on the right hand side of the screen, and the current version is displayed in its normal position on the left hand side of the screen.

Overleaf see tracked changes in compared versions rich text

Additions since the saved version are highlighted with a solid green underline, deletions with a solid red strikethrough. You can view the changes in whilst in rich text mode or whilst viewing the LaTeX source code, and in either case you can continue to edit the document as usual - simply edit in the left hand pane and your changes will be highlighted as you type.

To select a different version to compare, use the selector at the top of the right hand pane, and to restore the project to one of these earlier versions use the adjacent 'restore file' option. To exit the comparison mode without restoring an older version, click the 'Compare' button on the top bar.

Integrated spell-check

Overleaf includes an integrated spell checker, available in a number of different languages. You can select the language from your account settings menu, and in the editor any incorrectly spelled words will be highlighted with a wavy red underline.

Overleaf spell check selection settings global

Please make sure to click the 'Update Settings' button after selecting a new language.

This setting will be used for all new projects, and if you need to change the spell check language for a particular document you can do so via the project settings menu in the editor - click the gear icon in the top right to bring up the menu:

Overleaf spell check selection settings in project editor

Finally, please note that you can also set the global spell check option in this menu, using the options on the right hand side.

For an up to date list of currently supported languages, please see this FAQ answer.

Editor themes

We realize that everyone has their own preferences for text and background color when editing, and so we offer a wide range of editor themes to choose from. As with the spell check settings, the editor themes are accessible both from your account settings menu and from the settings menu in the editor. You can see a preview of each editor theme as you click through the different options:

Overleaf editor themes selection settings

Once you've found one you like, simply click the 'Update Settings' button to save your choice. If you change your mind, you can select a different option or choose 'default' to return to the standard look.

LaTeX auto-complete

You can save time when editing by using the built-in LaTeX auto-complete feature. As soon as you start typing a LaTeX command (beginning with the backslash symbol), suggestions are presented which are refined as you continue to type:

Overleaf auto complete LaTeX editor screenshot

Use the up and down arrow keys to highlight the correct completion, and press enter to insert into the document.

This is particularly useful when inserting items from your bibliography. Once you've added your bibliography (either by uploading directly or through one of our links with Zotero, CiteULike and Mendeley), every time you use the \cite command you'll be presented with a list of your references to choose from.

Overleaf bibtex cite autocomplete selector

Finally, you can also choose whether the auto-complete feature will also automatically close brackets by using the settings menu in the editor. Click the 'gear' icon in the top right to open the menu, un-tick the box labelled 'Auto-Close Brackets', and click to save the new setting:

Overleaf auto-close brackets option

We hope you find these features useful, and look out for another exciting update very soon!

John Hammersley

Co-founder, CEO

Mathematician; physicist; dancer. Entrepreneur; founder; CEO. Co-founder of Overleaf. Did driverless taxis at Ultra PRT. Forever learning :)