Overleaf Commons | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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Overleaf Commons

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Overleaf is an online LaTeX and Rich Text collaborative writing and publishing tool that makes the process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents much quicker and easier.  The University of Pittsburgh has recently subscribed to Overleaf Commons—a subscription service for institutions to provide Overleaf Professional accounts to students, faculty, and staff. 

Key Benefits of Overleaf Professional Accounts

  • Allows students, faculty and staff to create professional accounts to use the online, collaborative scientific writing and publishing platform with real-time preview and secure project access control.
  • Provides an easy-to-use platform to share and collaborate on assignments, research, and documents.
  • See LaTeX errors quickly as they occur, helping the learning process.
  • Ensure student authors follow the correct format and guidelines by using the University’s LaTeX thesis and dissertation templates.
  • Use link sharing to invite and collaborate with as many colleagues as you need.
  • View the entire project history, how it has changed, and revert to any point on its historical timeline.
  • Track your changes in real time
  • Search your projects using advanced reference criteria that make locating information easier
  • Receive priority support from Overleaf 

Getting Started with Overleaf

University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff are entitled to professional accounts at no charge.  Professional accounts can be created using your University Computing Account username and password. 

If you already have an account in Overleaf, you will need to link it to or change it to your University Computing Account. 

Follow the instructions below for the scenario that applies to you.

You do not already have an account in Overleaf and want to create a new professional account:

  1. Login to my.pitt.edu or askcathy.pitt.edu and authenticate to Pitt Passport using your University Computing Account username and password.
  2. Close and restart your browser, then visit https://overleaf.com/edu/pitt.
  3. Click Log in through your institution.
    Note: Your University Computing Account is new to Overleaf so a new account needs to be created.
  4. Click Create New Account.
  5. You can now create your first project using your new professional account in Overleaf.
  6. Remember to select Login through your institution when logging in to Overleaf at the Pitt Commons Page or at Overleaf.

You have a pre-existing account in Overleaf that uses a University Computing Account (UCA) username and password:

  1. Login to Overleaf using your pre-existing account username and password.
  2. In your project dashboard, locate the blue box with text instructing you to link your account, then click Link Account.
  3. If prompted, authenticate to Pitt Passport using your University Computing Account username and password.
  4. Your pre-existing account is now linked to the institutional account. You can view link information under the Account Settings menu.
  5. Remember to select Login through your institution when logging in to Overleaf at the Pitt Commons Page or at Overleaf.
    Note: The username and password from your pre-existing account will still work.

You have a pre-existing account in Overleaf that uses an email alias as the primary email on the account or a non-Pitt email such as gmail:

An example of an email alias is jane.doe@pitt.edu.   Jane’s University Computing Account (UCA) username and password is jad158@pitt.edu, but she has chosen to use an email alias as the username for the Overleaf account. This also includes emails with sub-domains such as user@cs.pitt.edu. To get the professional account features, you must link your pre-existing Overleaf account to the new institutional setup . 

  1. Make sure that you are logged out of your pre-existing account in Overleaf.
  2. Close and restart your browser, then visit https://overleaf.com/edu/pitt.
  3. Click Log in through your institution.
  4. Authenticate to Pitt Passport using your University Computing Account username and password.
    Note:Do not use your email alias. Overleaf recognizes that your University Computing Account email is new to Overleaf.
  5. At the Account Linking screen, click Login and link.
  6. At the Log in to Overleaf screen, enter the email and password for your pre-existing Overleaf account.
    Note: This is your old account that uses an email alias.
  7. Click Log in and link accounts.
  8. The pre-existing account has been linked to the institutional setup. To come back to Overleaf after closing your project dashboard, use https://overleaf.com/edu/pitt and your University Computing Account username and password when prompted to log in through your institution.
    Note: Your pre-existing account username and password will still work only if it remains designated as the primary email in Account>Account Settings>Emails and Affiliations. To Select which email is primary, click the green Make Primary button.

Additional Resources

I am new to LaTeX – where can I get help?

A good place to get started learning LaTeX is at Overleaf’s learning portal.

Getting support for Overleaf

If you’re having problems or need help email Overleaf at support@overleaf.com or go to the webform.

Learn more about Overleaf at overleaf.com.

More Ways to Get the Most from Overleaf

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started with Overleaf?
The Pitt Overleaf page provides you with pointers for how to get started with your first Overleaf project along with information on key features of the Overleaf platform.

I am new to LaTeX - where can I get help?
A good place to get started learning LaTeX is Overleaf's learning portal. You will also find some helpful links on the Pitt Overleaf page.

If you run into technical problems, or LaTeX errors that you can't figure out, please get in touch with Overleaf support at support@overleaf.com or https://www.overleaf.com/contact.

How can I direct questions that I have about Overleaf?
Please contact Overleaf support at support@overleaf.com or https://www.overleaf.com/contact. If this is a question about a particular project, please send along the project URL (no need to turn on link-sharing, just provide the url from the address-bar of your browser).

I already have an Overleaf account, how do I get the benefit of Pitt's Overleaf Commons subscription?
You will need to link your pre-existing account to the institutional setup using your University Computing Account username. Follow the directions provided above for your particular use case (Getting Started with Overleaf section) to link your account. Once linked, your account will have the premium features available to professional accounts. You may continue to use your old username and password or use your University Computing Account and Pitt Passport to login to Overleaf.

I already pay for an Overleaf subscription. Can I get a Professional Account through the University’s subscription and get a refund?

You may be eligible for a refund. For these inquiries, contact Overleaf directly at support@overleaf.com or https://www.overleaf.com/contact. Please note that Pitt IT doesn’t guarantee a refund, nor is it responsible for negotiating one on your behalf.

I am not currently an Overleaf user, but would like to start using it.
You can create an Overleaf Professional account using your University Computing Account. To get started, go to https://overleaf.com/edu/pitt.