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Make LaTeX a first class citizen!

New member | Level 2

Related to 

https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-Paper/Latex-equation-line-breaks/m-p/271650#M2587

https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-Paper/Newline-within-Latex-Katex-editing-mode/m-p/276551#M27...

I've been using sharelatex/overleaf for a few years to collaboratively write LaTeX documents, and the workflow is really slow (make a change, "recompile" for a few seconds to render the document, manually scroll to the page you care about each time, repeat). I just started using Paper recently, and I'm amazed how much more productive I am when using it. When I saw that Paper supported LaTeX, I was ready to abandon sharelatex/overleaf immediately, but there is still a major impediment that gives me pause:

No support multiline LaTeX statements. The requirement that everything has to be on one line is practically a deal breaker. Equations need the ability to contain newlines for readability and supporting naturally multiline environments like \begin{align*}. Even worse, I cannot scroll to the left or right when editing a long line of LaTeX, making it totally unusable. There are other ideas that describe this problem and are marked "Solved", but this issue is NOT solved. They have found inelegant hacks to work around this fundamental flaw.

I understand that the automatic press-enter-to-render LaTeX is convenient, but if it procludes the use of actually supporting realistic LaTeX use, it needs to change.

In Jupyter and Mathematica notebooks, they address this problem by making Enter still insert a newline character within a cell, but Shift+Enter actually executes (in this case, renders) the contents of the cell.

 

Example:

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 8.38.06 AM.pngIf I want to input a small 4x4 matrix

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 8.38.19 AM.pngIt takes me to this, where I can't even see all the LaTeX. I'm not even allowed to scroll!

5 Comments
Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey there @spmish - apologies for the tardy response.

At first, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to provide your extensive feedback and usecase - I'll make sure to pass your comments on to our team for future consideration and log this as a feature request for changes in the way the enter key functions when working with LaTeX. I won't be able to comment on when or if they might implement this though. 

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have anything to add or ask; I'll be more than happy to follow up. 

zabulskyy New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hi

Is there a way to import documents from the file system to the Paper while keeping all the Latex (written if the form like $$x^Ty=0$$)? Or do it properly by copy-pasting?

It is painful to do a ctrl+C, ctrl+V to the Paper and then fixing all the Latex manually (have to retype every sequence inside the $$, because Paper does not perform Latex parsing after copy+paste)

Thanks in advance, Volodymyr

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey there @zabulskyy - welcome to our Community!

From what I understand, you'd like to import your LaTeX (.tex) files into a Paper doc and have them automatically render in LaTeX without having to use the copy & paste function (the CTRL+C/V you mentioned) as, in that case, you'd need to amend them so they get parsed normally - am I on the right track here?

While there's no such option at the moment, could you elaborate on how you'd be using this feature and how your workflow would improve?

Feel free to include any additional information such as the device(s) you're using, any software you might be using to import those files from, etc. 

Thanks in advance Volodymyr!

zabulskyy New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hi, thanks for the reply

Yes, you are correct

For instance, pasting $$ \frac{1}{2} $$ inside the Paper doc puts just this text plainly, without parsing the Latex. Would be much more intuitively if copy-pasting such pieces of text would automatically identify dollars and parse the Latex inside

Regarding importing from the file, I don't think it's relevant which app I use as I mean basic markdown+latex syntax or just plain text. There is no Import option present, or, at least, I didn't notice one

Thanks in advance, Volodymyr

Community Manager
Community Manager
Status changed to: Needs more votes