I want to be able to modify a markdown document locally, while my collaborators can work on it in a rich text editor online via file sharing (e.g. powered by GitHub or Dropbox).

  • The rich text version could be limited to receiving feedback through track changes and comments, which could be rendered in markdown as CriticMarkup or similar.
  • Comments should ideally be displayed in a side bar like Google Docs.
  • A link to edit the file should be shareable without having to invite the other user to Google Docs / Dropbox.
  • The editor should preferably support the Pandoc markdown spec.
  • Focus should be on making the barrier as low as possible for the people I work with to adopt this workflow, I do not mind jumping through a few hoops to set it up.

What I have tried so far:

  • Authorea, this is the best so far. Syncs with github and allows comments online. Track changes via commit history, so not easily available for non-technical users. Seems like you have to choose whether to work in markdown, latex or html so not possible to work on markdown locally and then allow it to be edited online in rich text. Possible to share a link to edit without sharing any files.
  • Prose, edits markdown files in github repositories. No rich edit, track changes or commenting.
  • Overleaf, Latex and semi rich editing of github files. No track changes. Commenting in rich text shows up after the paragraph instead of in a side pane.
  • StackEdit, semi rich editing. No track changes feature, comments need to be expanded one by one instead of always displayed in a side panel. Must share a file via dropbox to collaborate instead of just a link.
  • Sharelatex, all editing in Latex.

Conventional Google Docs / Word track changes is lacking from all the solutions I tried. This is what many people associate the strongest with collaborative editing and one of the biggest hurdles in my experience to convince people to try something new.

Is there any tool that I have overlooked and that is more suitable for what I want to achieve?

  • The marginnote package for Latex should work. Comments are displayed in the sidebar.
    – JJJ
    Mar 15, 2018 at 9:01
  • Hi @joelostblom, have you ever find something like you wanted? I am also seeking the online editor with changes functionality
    – Suncatcher
    Sep 26, 2023 at 2:59
  • @Suncatcher Unfortunately I never found a great solution to this, but I also stopped looking a few years ago so it is possible there is something out now Sep 26, 2023 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Manubot may offer a good solution, as it is specifically designed for scientific collaborations:

Write your manuscript in markdown, track it with git, automatically convert it to .html, .pdf, or .docx, and deploy it to your destination of choice.

  • 1
    Thanks for the reply! It seems like manubot does not offer rich editing, track changes or a traditional commenting experience. It looks interesting and I might try it out for other purposes, but it seems further away from meeting the criteria in this question than Authorea. Feb 7, 2021 at 17:41

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