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Overleaf for collaborative scientific writing and thesis templates

sign up for your overleaf professional account

What is Overleaf?

Overleaf is a popular  LaTeX/Rich Text based online collaborative scientific writing and publishing tool for students and researchers alike. It is designed to make the process of writing, editing, and producing scientific papers quicker and easier for authors. 

The University of Southampton is offering Overleaf Professional accounts free of charge to all students and staff who would like to use a collaborative, online LaTeX/Rich Text editor for their projects. This allows you to focus on the contents of the document and the Overleaf tool will take care of the formatting using the correct templates for research papers, documents and more. You also won’t have to worry about version controlling documents, as the tool will allow you to see all changes made and has the ability to revert back to any previous change.  

Researchers and students can now write, collaborate, teach, review and publish directly from their Overleaf accounts. To create or link an existing account go to the University of Southampton Resource portal where joining instructions are given.

The official University of Southampton LaTeX PhD Thesis Template can also be found in the templates section of the portal.

What does the Professional Account offer?

Overleaf Professional accounts provide: 

  • Online collaboration in LaTeX or RichText within one editing platform - easily switch between either mode. 

  • Real-time collaboration in your browser for sharing and editing projects with authorised users. You can remove collaborators at any time. 

  • Real-time track changes and visible collaborator cursor(s) 

  • Real-time preview of projects to view the PDF version of your document while editing and writing - type on the left and see your typeset document on the right. 

  • Full history view of your projects – see all changes made for the entire life of the project, with the ability to revert to any past change. 

  • Integrated, streamlined publishing - allows you to publish immediately and directly to the journal of your choice with an integrated submission system to dozens of publishing partners. 

  • Improved Teaching Tools available on Overleaf v2 -  

  • Unlimited number of invited collaborators per project (& link sharing) with advanced access control for protected projects 

  • Two-way sync with GitHub 

  • Reference manager sync and advanced reference search 

  • Priority support 

  • Instructional articles and resources: 

  • Free webinars with varying levels and topics (live options and pre-recorded on-demand sessions): 

  • University of Southampton resource portal available – including easy sign up, University of Southampton templates (coming shortly), FAQs, and resource links. 

Sign up for your Overleaf Professional account  or link your existing account via the University of Southampton resource portal

You should read and adhere to the Overleaf Privacy and Terms information.


  • You are advised not to use Overleaf to store non-anonymised/non-pseudonymised material or material which would be subject to export controls.
  • The use of Dropbox is not recommended by the University for documents that contain sensitive information (GDPR, IP and other related). While Overleaf will synch with Dropbox, it is your responsibility to ensure that use of this feature does not conflict with the University requirements on security of information.

This is a recording of the Beginners Training carried out for the University of Southampton on December 10 2020 by Overleaf (when playing, click the sound button to unmute)


Introduction to Overleaf

See the Help section for links to help those just starting with Overleaf!

This is a recording of the Advanced Training carried out for the University of Southampton on March 10 2021 by Overleaf (when playing, click the sound button to unmute).


Overleaf provide training webinars covering topics such as: effective collaboration with Overleaf; create a winning CV; working with bibliographies; and organising and managing overleaf projects. Below are links to the introductory videos. You will need to register to view the videos.

 Introduction to Overleaf Part 1


Introduction to Overleaf part 2



Teaching with Overleaf

Video of the beginner training delivered by Overleaf for the University of Southampton in December 2020

 Introduction to Overleaf

Contact Overleaf for help with technical issues related to your projects and account by

You may also find help in one of their guides, or webinars. If you are new to LaTeX, try their Learn LaTeX in 30 minutes course.

Useful joining instructions are given for both existing customers or if you are new to Overleaf.

Contact the Library for University related issues, for example University templates

Useful for those just starting with Overleaf!

Overleaf Community Resources Page:
Overleaf Keyboard Shortcuts
A Quick Guide to LaTeX

Learn Wiki:

Links given after the Advanced Training on Dec 18 2020

Southampton Overleaf portal templates area:
Beamer Basics:
Beamer Tutorial:
DeTeXify Symbol Lookup:
Supported Graphics Formats (Default):
One method to do automatic conversions: (this is for a different application but can be adapted to convert formats on the fly provided the tool is available on your TeX system)

If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to the support team at

LaTeX is a documentation preparation system. Unlike Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, you use plain text when creating the document, adding markup tagging conventions and packages to create the type and structure of the document. LaTeX is of particular value to those working with complex mathematical expressions or non-Latin scripts. It is widely used in mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, physics, economics, linguistics, quantitative psychology, philosophy, and political science.

For further information see - Wikipedia LaTeXLaTeX Project;