They started looking for La Te X options – they wanted an ‘off the shelf’ solution that would allow students to start using their La Te X template right away – without having to install and learn the La Te X programming language.
Andy Hughes, a thesis format reviewer in the Electrical Engineering Department came across Overleaf and was impressed. Andy Hughes, Manager of Web and Multimedia Services, Electrical Engineering Department says: “I looked at several different La Te X authoring tools and Overleaf was by far the best.
Think of it like Google Docs™, but for researchers, scientists and engineers.
It’s incredibly intuitive and simple to use – users go to the website, open a template (over 3000 available), and start to write. And users can choose to write in La Te X or a Rich Text mode, which provides a ‘word processor’ type environment for users who are new to or aren’t familiar with La Te X.
It’s a programming language – so students need to know how to use it.
And even though La Te X is free to download and use, it’s not easy to install and there are versioning issues.Access to quick start guides, help, and FAQs were available via the web portal as well and Overleaf were available to answer questions about the service, the template, or even La Te X itself.Overleaf provided marketing and training support – so campus-wide promotion and roll-out was much easier.He started the ball rolling by bringing his findings to Mark Jaeger, Manager of the Thesis/Dissertation Office and Dr. It was easy to use, very intuitive, with nothing to install - just open and write.And the ability to have our template loaded onto their site and ready for students to use made it a perfect fit.” Overleaf is a cloud-based, collaborative La Te X and Rich Text authoring platform.Word documents may be more familiar and easier for students to use initially; however, there are specific formatting requirements and rules that must be followed for a thesis to be accepted which are not easily accomplished using Word.Word requires students to format and compose their documents prior to submission. A huge amount of time is then required by the Graduate School to reformat, clean up and work with students on finalizing their documents.Prior to partnering with Overleaf, the Purdue Graduate School provided theses templates to students as traditional La Te X templates and Word documents.Both options had, and continue to present, challenges.This allowed the Graduate School to easily provide a URL to students and faculty from which they could quickly enroll for the service with no administration from Purdue.Students and faculty simply used their Purdue email address to enroll – nice and easy.