Saturday, 9 June



Susannah Goss & Ailish Maher Editing documents produced in LaTeX (laptops required; session continues after tea break)


There is an increasing trend for authors of technical and scientific documents, especially those containing mathematical equations, to use LaTeX rather than MS Word. LaTeX is free, open-source software that separates form and content. It is essentially a markup language rather like HTML. Here’s an example of some LaTeX source text and output:

Major disadvantages for editors, apart from having to deal with source code, are that LaTeX softwares often lack the comfortable – and oh so familiar! – comment/annotation and edit-tracking features offered by Word. You can, of course, edit LaTeX documents in Word, or even annotate the PDF if the English is good and the text is reasonably short. However, for longer and more complex texts, other approaches are required.

In this presentation, we will give you a beginners’ introduction to editing texts in LaTeX. We will present the online editing environments Overleaf and ShareLaTeX (which are now in the process of joining forces) and also briefly describe an offline option (in case of confidentiality requirements). We will summarize the advantages and drawbacks of each approach, including complexity and cost, explain how we have used them with clients, and demonstrate some workarounds to overcome certain challenges of LaTeX that editors used to working in Word find especially tricky.

Our aim is to remove the fear factor from editing in LaTeX by equipping attendees with the confidence to work in this kind of environment – likely to be a source of new work opportunities. We will provide attendees interested in exploring LaTeX further with access to a set of learning resources.


About the presenters

Susannah GossSusannah Goss is a Scientific Editor at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. She has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a European Master’s Degree in Linguistics. Having been thrown into the LaTeX deep end a few years ago (and almost sinking), she is motivated to offer other language professionals a gentler introduction to LaTeX.



Ailish MaherAilish Maher is a freelance translator and editor who has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a Master’s Degree in Translation from Dublin City University. Like Susannah Goss, she had to figure out editing in LaTeX for herself and is pleased to report that things have become much easier since the advent of online applications.