Skip to main content

Overleaf: Online LaTeX Editor

Overleaf.com, created from the merger of WriteLaTeX and ShareLaTeX, is a cloud-based LaTeX editor tailored for collaborative creation and publication of academic documents.

With more than 10 million users worldwide, it is a top editor for academics. It features a wide range of pre-installed tools that can be easily activated. Overleaf offers a wide range of templates that meet the design guidelines of most academic journals. This is complemented by a range of templates for university journals, compiled from the user-maintained collection in the Overleaf Gallery.

Getting started

The following explains how to create a new project in Overleaf, either by starting from scratch, uploading your own files or using one of the many templates available.

Bibliography management in Overleaf/LaTeX

CiteDrive

CiteDrive is a robust citation and reference management tool that works in tandem with Overleaf. It is compatible with all popular reference management systems, such as BibTeX, Natbib, and BibLaTeX. Read more:

Overleaf.com | Blog -- Better bibliography management with Overleaf, CiteDrive, and BibTeX/BibLaTeX — about 3.0 and an updated guide

BibTeX

BibTeX is a popular reference management system used in LaTeX. It allows you to create a separate bibliography file with all your references and then cite them in your LaTeX document. Here are the steps to using BibTeX in Overleaf:

  1. Create a new file in your Overleaf project and name it "references.bib."
  2. Open the "references.bib" file and add your references in the following format:
`@article{AuthorYear,   
author = {Author, First and Author, Second},
title = {Title of the Article},
journal = {Journal Name},
volume = {Volume Number},
number = {Issue Number},
pages = {Page Numbers},
year = {Year Published},
publisher = {Publisher Name}
}
  1. In your LaTeX document, add the following commands where you want your citations to appear:
\bibliography{references} 
\bibliographystyle{plain}

The bibliography command tells LaTeX where to find your bibliography file, while the bibliographystyle command specifies the citation style you want to use.

  1. To cite a reference, use the \cite{AuthorYear} command in your LaTeX document. This command will generate a citation in the format specified by the bibliographystyle command.

Natbib

Natbib is another popular citation management system used in LaTeX. It provides more flexibility in formatting citations and references than BibTeX. Here are the steps to using Natbib in Overleaf:

  1. Add the following commands to your LaTeX document's preamble:
\usepackage{natbib} 
\bibliographystyle{plainnat}
  1. In your LaTeX document, use the \citep{AuthorYear} command to create a parenthetical citation or the \citet{AuthorYear} command to create a citation in the text.
  2. To create a bibliography, add the following command to the end of your document:
\bibliography{references}
  1. In your "references.bib" file, add your references in the following format:
@article{AuthorYear,   
author = {Author, First and Author, Second},
title = {Title of the Article},
journal = {Journal Name},
volume = {Volume Number},
number = {Issue Number},
pages = {Page Numbers},
year = {Year Published},
publisher = {Publisher Name}
}

BibLaTeX

BibLaTeX is a newer reference management system that provides even more flexibility than Natbib. It allows you to use different citation styles within the same document and provides more control over the formatting of references. Here are the steps to using BibLaTeX in Overleaf:

  1. Add the following commands to your LaTeX document's preamble:
\usepackage[style=authoryear,backend=bibtex]{biblatex} 
\bibliography{references}

The style option specifies the citation style you want to use, and the backend option specifies the reference management system you want to use (BibTeX in this case).

  1. In your LaTeX document, use the \parencite{AuthorYear} command to create a parenthetical citation or the `\textcite{Author

LaTeX basics

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{caption}
\usepackage{biblatex}

\addbibresource{references.bib} % Replace "references.bib" with your bibliography file

\title{My First LaTeX Document}
\author{Your Name}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\section{Introduction}
This is a sample document demonstrating the basics of LaTeX.

\section{Formatting}
You can format text in \textbf{bold}, \textit{italic}, \underline{underline}, or \texttt{typewriter} font.

\section{Lists}
Here's an example of a bulleted list:
\begin{itemize}
\item First item
\item Second item
\item Third item
\end{itemize}

\section{Mathematics}
LaTeX is great for typesetting mathematical formulas. Here's an example of an equation:
\begin{equation}
E = mc^2
\end{equation}

\section{Figures and Tables}
You can include figures and tables in your document. Here's an example of a figure:
\begin{figure}[ht]
\centering
\includegraphics[width=0.5\textwidth]{example-image}
\caption{An example figure}
\label{fig:example}
\end{figure}

And here's an example of a table:
\begin{table}[ht]
\centering
\begin{tabular}{|c|c|}
\hline
\textbf{Item} & \textbf{Quantity} \\
\hline
Apple & 3 \\
Orange & 5 \\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\caption{An example table}
\label{tab:example}
\end{table}

\section{References}
You can refer to labeled sections, equations, figures, and tables. For example, see Figure~\ref{fig:example} and Table~\ref{tab:example}.

\section{Citations and Bibliography}
Cite references using \cite{author2022}. Here's an example citation.

\printbibliography

\end{document}
  1. Document class: Begin your LaTeX document by selecting a document class, such as article, report, or book. This determines the overall layout and formatting.
  2. Preamble: The preamble is the area between \documentclass and \begin{document}. It's where you load packages, define commands, and set document-wide settings.
  3. Sections: Use \section, \subsection, and \subsubsection to organize your document into sections. LaTeX automatically numbers them.
  4. Text formatting: You can format text using commands like \textbf for bold, \textit for italics, \underline for underline, and \texttt for typewriter font.
  5. Lists: Create bulleted lists with the itemize environment, numbered lists with the enumerate environment, and description lists with the description environment.
  6. Mathematics: LaTeX excels at typesetting mathematical formulas. Use $...$ for inline math and \[...\] or equation environment for displayed math. You can use symbols, equations, matrices, fractions, and more.
  7. Figures and tables: Use the graphicx package to include figures (\includegraphics). For tables, use the tabular environment, and you can add captions using the caption package.
  8. References: Label important sections, equations, figures, or tables with \label and refer to them later using \ref or \eqref.
  9. Citations and bibliography: Manage references using BibTeX or BibLaTeX. Cite references in your document with \cite or \parencite and create a bibliography using \bibliography or \printbibliography.
  10. Compilation: Save your LaTeX file with a .tex extension. Compile it using a LaTeX distribution like TeX Live or MiKTeX, either through a command-line tool or a LaTeX editor like TeXstudio, Overleaf, or ShareLaTeX.

Are you in search of a simple and cost-free online BibTeX manager?

CiteDrive is a bibtex-based collaborative reference manager that integrates seamlessly with Overleaf and RStudio.

Online BibTeX Manager →