What is CoCalc?


Hello, and welcome to CoCalc. CoCalc is a virtual online workspace for calculations, research, collaboration and authoring documents. Your web browser is all you need to escape the confined space of your desktop and move to the cloud. This guide explains the features of CoCalc in depth and shows how you can use them productively.

The main building blocks for working on CoCalc are Projects. Create one or more projects in order to partition your work into separate workspaces. Each project consists of files, accessible only to you and your collaborators.

You and your collaborators can edit these files at the same time, which means your changes are synchronized among all of you in real-time! Depending on the type of the file, it allows you to accomplish a specific task. They open up in their associated online editor and you start to work interactively in CoCalc’s environment. For example, files ending in *.sagews are for working with [SageMath] in Sage Worksheets, an *.ipynb file starts CoCalc’s implementations of the Jupyter Notebook, and a *.tex file opens an editor for LaTeX documents.

jupyter notebook

A SageMath Jupyter Notebook in a CoCalc project

Getting Started

To try out CoCalc, you might do the following steps.

First Steps Guide

As an alternative to the “Getting Started” steps above, you can use the First Steps Guide. Whenever a new project is created, a banner appears offering to create a set of files constituting Guide:

first steps banner

Clicking on the banner puts copies of the Guide files into the project in a folder called “first-steps” and opens the file “first-steps.task”

If you don’t want the guide copied at the moment, you can dismiss the banner. And you can always bring the banner back later if you change your mind:

dismiss first steps banner