• Overleaf v2—Launch Announcement

    Posted by The Overleaf Team on August 16, 2018

    We’re delighted to announce that we will be launching Overleaf v2 on 4th September—marking the release of an updated editor and dashboard for the Overleaf platform. It has been just over a year since our announcement that Overleaf and ShareLaTeX had joined forces, and we’ve been using that time to bring the best features of Overleaf and ShareLaTeX together in one platform, to continue to build the best tools for collaborative writing.

    Overleaf v2 has been in beta since April 2018, and many of you may have already been enjoying it. For ShareLaTeX users, Overleaf v2 should feel familiar because it is built on the same underlying ShareLaTeX technology. For Overleaf users, Overleaf v2 is a bolder change that makes working with your collaborators smoother and easier, with better editing tools, more ways to communicate, and additional offline-working options.

    Here's what you need to know about the launch of Overleaf v2 on the 4th September:

    • ShareLaTeX users: The first time you log-in to ShareLaTeX on or after the 4th September, your account will be transferred to Overleaf v2. Everything you’re used to in ShareLaTeX is available in Overleaf v2, along with some other great features like rich-text editing and submitting to journals.
    • Overleaf users: You should continue to use and log-in at www.overleaf.com. Your default project dashboard and editor will become Overleaf v2.
    • Overleaf and ShareLaTeX users: Make sure that the primary email address (the one you sign in with) on your Overleaf and ShareLaTeX accounts match, and then we will be able to merge your accounts together automatically when you first use Overleaf v2.
    • Users with a subscription: From September 4th, all new paid plans will be purchased via Overleaf v2, or by invoice for larger group accounts or site licenses. If you are an existing subscriber, no action is required.
    • Git users in Overleaf: If you use the Git-bridge in Overleaf, you will need to continue to use Overleaf v1 until the end of the year, when we will bring the Git-bridge into Overleaf v2.
    • Website content: We’re continuing to migrate our content pages, so during September some of the content on Overleaf v1 and ShareLaTeX will still refer to those services for the time being; further updates to the content pages will follow later in the month.

    We’re excited to now be launching Overleaf v2 for wider use, and would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. We've prepared this short Google Form to capture your feedback, and you can also find a list of questions and answers at the end of this article which you might find helpful.

    Flowchart for ShareLaTeX Users

    If you'd like to know more about how you can move your ShareLaTeX account to Overleaf v2 after 4 Sep, we've prepared a handy flowchart that covers the possible steps, starting from when you first log in to ShareLaTeX after the launch on 4 Sep.

    Flowchart for merging Overleaf and ShareLaTeX accounts
    Click to expand the flow chart.

    Reaction to Overleaf v2 so far

    The reaction to Overleaf v2—right from our early private testers through to its public beta launch in May—has been fantastic, both for your encouraging comments and for your helpful feedback. We certainly wouldn’t be in this position without your continued support.

    Collage of Tweets mentioning Overleaf V2
    A collage of some Tweets which made reference to Overleaf v2. We are extremely grateful to all members of the community who took the time to share their experience of Overleaf v2. For reference, the Tweets incorporated into this graphic are listed at the end of this document.

    The initial feedback was helpful not only for highlighting what was important to our users, but also gave everyone working on the project a connection to the user community, right from the start.

    Building on that early feedback, we conducted numerous surveys, user interviews, feature tests and data analysis to help shape the development of Overleaf v2. We officially launched the public beta at the start of May, and were delighted (and a little nervous) to see usage quickly ramp-up to 10,000 users per day, a figure which has remained consistent throughout the summer. Whilst this is only a small proportion of the overall daily use of Overleaf v1 and ShareLaTeX, it has ensured we've received regular feedback on improvements.

    Image showing growth in use of Overleaf v2
    The Overleaf v2 beta has been in constant use since launch at the start of May, with usage growing to over 10,000 users per day over the summer.

    Most of this feedback helped us iron out UI issues, make sure we didn’t inadvertently break common workflows, and generally allow for a continuous, user-informed, development of the new platform. There was one integration whose absence from the v2 beta was quickly noticed, and which generated a pattern of feedback that made us reverse an early decision on Git support.

    A Git-resurrection

    Overleaf and ShareLaTeX had two entirely different approaches to Git-support; Overleaf’s was provided by a Git-bridge, developed by a team of students from Imperial College London and living in beta since its initial release. ShareLaTeX, on the other hand, had an integration with Github, which seemed in many ways to be more powerful, and easier to build upon, along with a similar integration with Dropbox to provide a further way of working offline.

    So when we first launched the (private) beta of Overleaf v2 in early 2018, we decided to see if the combination of the Github and Dropbox integrations would provide a suitable solution for v2.

    We received a huge amount of support for the simplicity of the git-bridge that’s present on Overleaf v1, and many users wrote in to describe how it fitted into their workflows. We underestimated the extent to which direct git access is an important part of Overleaf, and we are working hard to bring direct git access back in Overleaf v2. It’s a hard challenge, but one we’re confident of solving by the end of the year, and users who need direct git access will still be able to use it in Overleaf v1 until then (see this help article for updates).

    What if I have questions?

    We’ve prepared a short set of Q&As below, and if you have any questions or comments, please tell us using this short Google Form, we’d love to hear from you.

    Overleaf v2 FAQ

    Note that the latest Q&A is available at: https://www.overleaf.com/help/342-overleaf-v2-faq

    What is Overleaf v2?

    In July 2017, Overleaf and ShareLaTeX joined forces. We're going to bring the best features and technologies from Overleaf and ShareLaTeX together into a new platform and editor which we've called Overleaf v2. You can try out the beta version of Overleaf v2 at v2.overleaf.com, and it will launch to everyone on Sept 4th.

    Will Overleaf v2 support feature X?

    Our top priority with these improvements is making sure that Overleaf has all the features you need to make sure your workflow is not interrupted, and that any transition is smooth for you. If there’s a specific concern that you have about a feature in ShareLaTeX or Overleaf, or a concern about how this will affect your workflow, please please let us know.

    At the moment, direct git access to your project (push and pull to git.overleaf.com), Zotero bibliography imports, and some publisher submissions are still only available in Overleaf v1. We’re working hard to bring these into Overleaf v2, but for now, you will need to continue to use Overleaf v1 to work on projects where you would like to use these features.

    Certain features (such as the custom integration with Plot.ly) have been superseded by more standard integrations (e.g. the ability to pull in files from external URLs).

    We are also making some changes and improvements to the ways you can use Overleaf for teaching, which are discussed further in this help article.

    Will I still have access to all of my data?

    Yes. Your data will never be deleted, locked behind a paywall, or hidden from you. Both Overleaf and ShareLaTeX have always put users and their data first, and will continue to do so as part of Overleaf v2.

    What happens if I have accounts on both Overleaf and ShareLaTeX?

    Overleaf v2 is built on the same system as ShareLaTeX, so your ShareLaTeX projects will be available directly in Overleaf v2. When you first sign in to Overleaf v2 with your Overleaf account, if we detect that you have a ShareLaTeX account with the same email address, you will be asked to link these accounts in Overleaf v2. Doing this will not affect your existing Overleaf or ShareLaTeX accounts, but it will allow you to view both your Overleaf and ShareLaTeX projects in Overleaf v2.

    Note: please make sure your primary email addresses on both Overleaf v1 and ShareLaTeX are the same if possible, to make this merging of accounts as seamless as possible.

    What happens to my premium ShareLaTeX / Overleaf Pro account?

    Overleaf v2 will support either Overleaf or ShareLaTeX pro accounts, so you will not lose access to any paid features from either platform. We assure you that your premium account in Overleaf v2 will have the equivalent or better features than what you have today. You will not need to make any changes to your account — we will provide you with information if any premium account changes occur.

    Will my institutional/publisher/enterprise account continue to work as normal?

    Yes. Your account will continue to run exactly as it does now whilst we work on the combined service, unless we’ve been in touch to discuss any changes. Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions, or to ask for an update.

    Will ShareLaTeX remain open source?

    Yes. Both Overleaf and ShareLaTeX are committed to ensuring that all of the open ShareLaTeX code base will remain open source and will continue to be actively developed. Overleaf v2 is built on the same open source code as ShareLaTeX and will also be open source.

    Will the ShareLaTeX Server Pro continue to be supported?

    Yes. Server Pro will continue to be a core product, with all of the best features of both platforms going forwards.

    I have some additional questions. Who should I contact?

    Please get in touch with the founders at john@overleaf.com.

    List of the Tweets used in the collage