Writing (latex) in Atom

— 2015-05-23 —

These days I am writing my master thesis, which I will deliver in June. It is not easy to produce content all days, so when you have one of those days where the words are hiding it is easy to do something else. Well, yesterday I customized Atom to get a better writing environment for writing latex. Besides, a few of the tweaks is appropriate for general writing in Atom.

First thing first, there are some great packages that should be installed. language-latex gives syntax highlighting. make-runner is great if you use make to build the document. linter-chktex checks the syntax of your latex document.

apm install language-latex make-runner linter-chktex

Secondly, lets make the writing environment more clean with some less styling. I put the snippet below in my ~/.atom/styles.less in order to hide the line-number gutter and to center the text in the editor.

atom-text-editor {
  &[data-grammar~=latex]::shadow {
    .gutter-container {
      display: none !important;

    .lines {
      min-width: 700px;
      max-width: 700px;
      margin-left: auto;
      margin-right: auto;

Furthermore, I did not want the file treeview to show while editing latex files. The coffescript below makes sure that the treeview is detached whenever I open a .tex-file. It should go in ~/.atom/init.coffee.

path = require 'path'

atom.workspaceView.eachEditorView (editorView) ->
  editor = editorView.getEditor()
  if path.extname(editor.getPath()) is '.tex'
      if atom.workspace.panelContainers.left.panels.length
    catch e
      console.log e

Then, it would be great to utilize the Atom's own spell-check. To enable it on latex files just add text.tex.latex to the grammars field in the settings of the spell-check packages.

At last, I have some editor settings for latex files. The snippet below should be in ~/.atom/config.cson.

    softWrap: true
    softWrapAtPreferredLineLength: true
    preferredLineLength: 80
    fontSize: 28