CoCalc supports chatrooms for direct communication between collaborators to enhance real-time collaboration on files.

two-person chat showing typeset integral


  • Notifications: if there is any chat activity, the bell-icon at the top right will light up red and wiggle. Click on that bell to see where the activity is. You can click on the specific entry to open the file or chat, or click on the “Mark all read” button to clear the alert.
  • Markdown: Use Markdown Syntax to highlight **certain words**, insert URL links, etc.
  • Formulas: You can write LaTeX formulas between $ signs, e.g. $\frac{1}{x + \sin{x}^2}$ renders as typeset math formula.
  • @Mention: you can ping a certain collaborator via email in message, by starting a new word with the @ symbol. A list of names appears and you can select her or him. Be aware, that in order to actually send an email, we need to know a working email address of the recipient.
  • Search: use the search box at the top left to filter messages.
  • Emoticons: a small set of characters are translated to unicode emoticons. E.g. type in :-) to express that you’re happy!
  • Editing: you can edit any message by double-clicking on it; a message specific “history” appears.
  • Video chat: the button named “Video Chat” opens up a 3rd party service, which establishes an audio and video connection for more in-depth discussions.
  • Insert images: you can either upload and reference any files to be shown in a chat message, or drag’n’drop onto the input box to upload a picture. The file will be uploaded into a hidden directory with the name .chat-images and some appropriate HTML code will be inserted into the chat box.


To start a new chat:

  1. Open up the “Files” tab in a project;
  2. (Maybe) switch to a specific directory, but any directory works;
  3. Click the + Add button and select the “Chatroom” filetype.

Side Chat

At the top right in the Files toolbar for any open file, there is a chat icon: comment or chat icon. This opens up a chatroom which is specific to that file. This is commonly used to discuss the content of the given worksheet or notebook, e.g. students asking teachers/TAs.

button at upper right and panel at right for side chat with a file