Collaborative latex editing with Dropbox and inotifywait

I’ve settled on this workflow for writing lab reports in a group:

  • We share a folder with Dropbox that holds the measurements and report files (graphs, latex source files).
  • To prevent collisions we use separate .tex files for different sections, and split the sections between group members.
  • To make sure the output is consistent, only one person compiles the PDF. Inspired by this blog post I wrote a short script to build the PDF whenever a file changes:

while true
    echo Compiling
    pdflatex -interaction nonstopmode -file-line-error informe.tex &>salida.log
    inotifywait -e modify -r .

Previously I’d tried running


in a loop (it only compiles if one of the input files changed). However, this script automatically checks all files for changes, without having to add them to a Makefile.


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