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  • How to use Overleaf with IEEE Collabratec™ – your quick guide to getting started

    Posted by John on December 15, 2015

    Note: As of April 2, 2024 free access to Overleaf Professional for Collabratec users or IEEE accounts is no longer provided. Please contact with any questions. Need to upgrade? View our plans.

    Note: This article shows screenshots of the integration of IEEE Collabratec™ with the Overleaf v1 platform, but the process is largely the same in the new Overleaf v2 platform. You will not see Collabratec icons on your Overleaf v2 dashboard, but you can still manage the Overleaf projects in your Collabratec library from the Collabratec side.

    Earlier this year we announced a new collaboration with the IEEE to integrate Overleaf into the IEEE Collabratec™ platform.

    Here's our short guide to help you get started, where we cover how to:

    Click the links above to jump straight to that section, or just continue reading below!

    How to link your accounts

    Firstly, if you don't already have one you'll need to sign up for Collabratec account at:

    Once you're logged into Collabratec, to link your account with Overleaf simply head to the attached services settings page in Collabratec and scroll down to the option to connect with Overleaf.

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing connected Overleaf account

    I've now connected my Overleaf account to Collabratec!

    You can either connect to an existing Overleaf account if you have one, or if not, we'll create one for you automatically – and that's it, you're now ready to go!

    Adding your Overleaf projects to your Collabratec library

    Once your accounts are connected, you'll see some new options appears on your Projects dashboard in Overleaf:

    Overleaf screenshot showing two articles linked with IEEE Collabratec

    My Overleaf dashboard shows the projects I've added to Collabratec.

    You now have the option to add any Overleaf project to Collabratec simply by clicking the 'CT' icon on that project's listing – it'll turn green when the project has been added. You can also see which projects you've already added by clicking the 'IEEE Collabratec' option from the menu bar on the left. To remove a project at any time, simply click the 'CT' icon again and it'll turn gray.

    You can also search your Overleaf projects directly from Collabratec by clicking the 'Add' button on the right hand side of your Collabratec library, selecting 'Browse Files' and then choosing the Overleaf option in the menu:

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing how to browse and add Overleaf projects

    I can view and search all of my Overleaf projects from within Collabratec, to add them to my library.

    Once added, these projects will be available immediately in your Collabratec library, and are highlighted with the Overleaf logo so you can easily spot them!

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing two articles linked with Overleaf

    My Collabratec library shows the two articles I've just added from Overleaf.

    You can now use these in the same way as any of your other documents on Collabratec, such as sharing them within your networks or finding new collaborators.

    Editing your Overleaf projects and syncing your metadata in Collabratec

    If you need to edit a project you've already added to your Collabratec library, it's as easy as editing your normal projects on Overleaf! Simply open the project, either from Overleaf or from within Collabratec (there's a prominent "Open in Overleaf" button as shown in the screenshot below), and you can edit in Overleaf as usual.

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing Overleaf metadata integration

    Articles can be opened for editing in Overleaf with just the click of a button, and document metadata is synced between the platforms without a need to type it out separately.

    When you've finished editing in Overleaf, simply hit the "Sync document metadata" button in Collabratec to refresh the entry in your library with the latest changes.

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing Overleaf metadata integration research paper

    Here's a paper written by my co-founder John Lees-Miller; the metadata has been imported automatically into Collabratec from Overleaf.

    How to create new LaTeX documents in Collabratec

    It's really easy to create a new LaTeX document in Collabratec for editing in Overleaf. To get started, click the green 'Add' button on the right hand side of your Collabratec library, select 'Create New' and choose the LaTeX option from the menu that pops up:

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing how to create a new LaTeX document

    Today I think I'll start writing a new research paper in LaTeX...

    You can choose to pre-fill out some metadata if you wish, or you can just pick a title and a template and get started straight away by clicking 'Create':

    IEEE Collabratec screenshot showing how to add meta data and choose template for a new LaTeX document

    This is the imaginatively titled 'Example Paper' I'm about to start writing in Overleaf.

    This will automatically open the Overleaf editor with that template for you to start writing online - nothing to download or install. Any metadata you filled out in Collabratec will be passed across to Overleaf so it'll be there in your paper when you start writing:

    Overleaf editor screenshot showing IEEE branded editor and template with metadata

    The start of my new research paper, with the title metadata passed across automatically from Collabratec.

    You can then write and collaborate on your paper in Overleaf as normal, where you and your co-authors can either edit directly in LaTeX or using our Rich Text mode if you prefer to see less code when you write.

    When you've finished writing, there's a link to submit your paper to the IEEE for publication at the top of the editor.

    Overleaf editor screenshot showing IEEE journal submission link

    You can submit your papers from Overleaf directly to many different journals and publishers, including the IEEE.

    And you're done! Congratulations, you made it all the way through our getting started guide! You should now be ready to sign up to Collabratec to get started.

    You can also check out our blog for more updates and how-to guides from Overleaf, or if you missed any of the sections above, head back to the top!

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