WriteLaTeX is a free service that lets you create, edit and share your scientific ideas easily online using LaTeX, a comprehensive and powerful tool for scientific writing.
WriteLaTeX has grown rapidly since its launch in 2011, and today there are tens of thousands of active users who've created hundreds of thousands of projects.
WriteLaTeX was founded by John Hammersley and John Lees-Miller, two mathematicians who worked together on the pioneering Ultra PRT Project and who were inspired by their own experiences in academia to create a better solution for collaborative scientific writing.
Why did we create writeLaTeX? To address problems that we experienced ourselves when writing papers collaboratively, and by doing so, make the power of LaTeX accessible to all scientists and technical writers, at all stages of their career.
Most of the world's technological and medical innovations began with a scientific paper. There are two million scientific papers published every year, and many more technical reports and presentations. Scientists in academia and industry spend a lot of their time writing, reviewing and publishing these papers; that's a lot of admin & paperwork tasks. We saw a way we could help save time on these tasks, making the whole process of academic collaboration easier and more effective.
As described in the review of writeLaTeX on MakeUseOf.com:
“LaTeX is a document markup language that is popularly used in academia. Researchers who are writing papers or books of their own on technical topics mostly choose LaTeX to prepare their documents...To share these documents, you must first save them and then send the file to your peers online. You must also make sure that they have a text editor installed that is capable of viewing and, if necessary, editing LaTeX files … An effective [alternative] solution is offered by a site called writeLaTeX — it lets you write and share LaTeX from an online interface.”