Clemens Lode
December 22, 2023
Woman writing on a piece of paper.

Collaborative Editing in Overleaf: A Comprehensive Guide

In the digital age, collaboration tools have become indispensable for writers, researchers, and professionals. Overleaf, a cloud-based LaTeX editor, stands out as a powerful platform for those who want to collaborate on documents, especially in the academic and scientific communities. But how does one effectively work with an editor on Overleaf? Let's delve into the intricacies of this platform.

Can Two People Edit Overleaf at the Same Time?

Absolutely! Overleaf is designed for real-time collaboration. This means that multiple users, be it two or more, can edit a document simultaneously. One of the standout features is the ability to see the cursor of your collaborator. This real-time visibility ensures that you're aware of the sections your collaborator is working on, reducing the chances of overlapping edits or conflicts.

How Do You Work Collaboratively on Overleaf?

Working collaboratively on Overleaf is a seamless experience. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Adding Collaborators: To begin, click on the Share button located at the top right corner of your project. Here, you can invite collaborators by entering their email addresses. Once they accept the invitation, they'll have access to the document.
  2. Tracking Changes: Overleaf's Review feature is a game-changer. It allows you to track changes made by different collaborators. This is especially useful when working with an editor, as it provides a clear view of the modifications made.
  3. Commenting and Feedback: You can add comments to specific parts of the document. These comments serve as markers or notes for your collaborators' review or replies. It's an effective way to communicate suggestions, ask questions, or provide feedback without altering the original content.
  4. Real-time Chat: The side window in Overleaf houses a chat feature. It's a great place to schedule regular meetings with your editor to review changes. This chat window can be used to discuss edits, refer to line numbers for clarity, or simply brainstorm ideas.
  5. Reviewing Changes: Before any scheduled meeting with your editor, it's beneficial to review the changes he or she has made. This ensures that the meeting is productive, as you can discuss any edits you're unsure about or don't agree with.

How to Collaborate in LaTeX?

LaTeX, a high-quality typesetting system, is widely used for complex documents. Overleaf, being a LaTeX editor, makes collaboration in LaTeX straightforward. Beyond the features mentioned above, here are some additional tips for LaTeX collaboration:

  • Version Control: Overleaf integrates with Git, allowing you to maintain different versions of your document. This is particularly useful when working on large projects or when you need to revert to previous versions.
  • Referencing and Citations: Overleaf's rich library ensures that you and your collaborators can easily add references and citations, providing consistency throughout the document.
  • Templates: Overleaf offers a plethora of templates. Whether you're drafting a research paper, thesis, or any other document, using a shared template ensures that all collaborators are on the same page, literally and figuratively.

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of LaTeX collaboration, the book "Even Better Books with LaTeX the Agile Way in 2023: Streamline Your Writing Process and Connect with Readers from Day One" offers invaluable insights. It's a comprehensive guide that can help both beginners and seasoned LaTeX users enhance their writing process.


Collaborating on Overleaf is a rewarding experience. With features like real-time editing, change tracking, and integrated chat, it bridges the gap between writers and editors, ensuring a smooth workflow. As with any tool, the key to a successful project lies in understanding its features and using them to your advantage. So, the next time you're gearing up for a collaborative project, remember these tips and make the most of Overleaf.

Collaborating on Overleaf

Real-time Editing Capabilities

  • Overleaf allows multiple users to edit a document simultaneously.
  • Users can see the cursors of their collaborators, making it easy to see where in the document each team member is working.

Steps for Collaborative Work

  1. Adding Collaborators: Use the Share button at the top right to invite collaborators via email.
  2. Tracking Changes: Utilize the Review feature to monitor modifications made by collaborators.
  3. Commenting for Feedback: Insert comments in the document to communicate suggestions, questions, or feedback.
  4. Real-time Chat: Use the chat feature in the side window for discussions, referencing line numbers, or brainstorming.
  5. Review Before Meetings: Always review the editor's changes before any scheduled discussions to ensure productive meetings.

Enhancing LaTeX Collaboration

  • Overleaf integrates with Git for version control, allowing maintenance of different document versions.
  • The platform provides a rich library for easy addition of references and citations.
  • Utilize Overleaf's diverse templates to ensure consistency in collaborative projects.
  • For a deeper understanding of LaTeX collaboration, consider reading "Even Better Books with LaTeX the Agile Way in 2023."

Related Books and Services

Recommended Further Reading

December 22, 2023

About the Author

Clemens Lode

Hello! My name is Clemens and I am based in Düsseldorf, Germany. I’m an author of books on philosophy, science, and project management, and coach people to publish their books and improve their approach to leadership.

I like visiting the gym, learning to sing, observing animals, and creating videos on science and philosophy. I enjoy learning from nature and love the idea of optimizing systems.

In my youth, I was an active chess player reaching the national championship in Germany, and an active pen&paper player leading groups of adventurers on mental journeys. These activities align with my calm approach to moderating meetings, leading meetups, and focusing on details. My personality type in socionics is IEE/ENFp.

Clemens Lode

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Editing is the art of adding consistency and linearity to the written word.



LaTeX, a document processing system, creates a typeset finished product. The system works more like a compiler than a word processor. While initially complicated to learn, LaTeX allows better management of larger projects like theses or books by splitting the document into text, style, and references. Leslie Lamport created laTeX in the 1980s; his goal was to separate content from styling.


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