Working Offline in Overleaf v2
Overleaf v2 will offer new ways of working offline as well as online.
Overleaf v2 introduces an automatic two-way sync between Overleaf and Dropbox. Any changes to your project in Overleaf will automatically sync to your Dropbox folder on your computer, and any changes you make locally in Dropbox will appear in your project online.
From listening to user feedback, we understand how important it is to be able to seamlessly transition between working offline in your favourite editor to working online on Overleaf with your collaborators. Overleaf v1 only supported a one-way sync to Dropbox, where you could manually save your project to Dropbox with one click. This wasn't enough to take your work offline and then back online easily, and had a number of other limitations. With the much improved Dropbox sync in Overleaf v2 you should be able to work on your projects whenever you want, wherever you are, however you like.
The way you access your projects with git will change from v1 to v2. In Overleaf v2, we will no longer directly host git repositories like we did in v1. This means it will no longer be possible for the time being to git push and pull directly from your Overleaf v2 project --- instead, git pushes and pulls will go through GitHub, and then Overleaf v2 will sync with GitHub.
Overleaf v1's git integration has had a long beta period during which we have listened to user feedback, conducted user surveys and user interviews, as well as gaining operational experience with hosting many thousands of git repositories.
We found that most people used Overleaf v1's git support in conjunction with another git hosting service, most frequently GitHub. While it is possible to sync an Overleaf v1 project with GitHub, it requires setting up git remotes and manually keeping them in sync.
In response to this feedback, Overleaf v2 will sync directly with GitHub repositories. This change will allow us to focus on making a great integration with git rather than the challenges of scalable git hosting, and to address some of the other feedback we've received about needing better support for branching, git submodules, and force pushes to clean up git history.
In order to use the GitHub sync in v2, users will need to have a GitHub account. Students and academics can benefit from free accounts on GitHub, which will allow you to use private git repositories:
- Students can take advantage of the GitHub Education Pack,
- Academics can apply for discounted or free accounts.
Finally, the git integration in Overleaf v1 was a free feature during its beta, and we will continue to offer it for free to all users with Overleaf v1 accounts. For users who sign up after Overleaf v2 is released, GitHub sync will be available on our paid plans, as it is currently on ShareLaTeX. Like with many other v2 features, this means that the owner of the project will need a paid subscription in order to connect their project with GitHub, but their collaborators can use the integration with free accounts.
Overleaf v1 and its git integration will remain active until the fourth quarter of 2018. During this time, we will be actively investigating further improvements to the GitHub sync and other features in Overleaf v2 that will better support workflows that people had set up in Overleaf v1. We appreciate that this change will be disruptive to some users, but we believe that it is the best course of action for us in the long run. We will be listening to feedback and doing everything we can to address it.
To let us know what you think and to provide feedback, please fill out our survey.