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ShareLaTeX and Overleaf Integration Update

By John Hammersley

Following our exciting announcement in the second half of July, we wanted to give everyone a quick update on where things stand with Overleaf’s integration with ShareLaTeX.

Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you for all the positive and enthusiastic feedback we received following the initial announcement; it was great to hear from so many of you. We received 6,050 responses to our initial user survey, with 1442 from Overleaf users, 2565 from ShareLaTeX users, and 2043 from those who’d used both platforms. Here’s one snapshot from the survey — it’s a plot which shows how often certain words appeared in the responses, and whether those were more common in responses from users of one platform or the other:

Overleaf ShareLaTeX survey response plot

For example, top right shows responses common to both users — it’s not surprising that ‘LaTeX’ is up there, and reassuring to see ‘easy’ is up there too. We also looked at the bigrams and trigrams to see where the common patterns emerged in the free-form responses you provided, as well as reading a large number of the responses in full.

We were able to make use of this feedback almost immediately, as on the 26th July we found a clear day in the calendar to bring everyone from both development teams together in London to kick things off. Plus we had cake!

Lots of developers in London!

The two teams have already started working together both on the integration of the services and on feature improvements — for example, the recent autocomplete enhancements that build on work we’ve been doing at Overleaf have now been released and are live on the ShareLaTeX editor.

We’re now working towards getting a beta version of the integrated service up and running and available to an early testing group, and will be posting more about this in our September update.

We’re also continuing to seek feedback following the initial survey, through individual user interviews (perhaps you were recently invited to one!) and additional surveys which focus on particular areas of the platform. Close contact with our users will be a staple in the integration process: we know that a deep understanding of our users’ needs and workflows is the key to a great product. On that subject, would you be so kind to complete this survey? It’s a very short one, only four questions!

Thanks again for all your early feedback, and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

John Hammersley

Co-founder, CEO

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