Writelatex is an awesome cloud solution to write LaTeX documents online. Through one of their dialogs one can "upload" files to the cloud. However, when looking at the options offered, all but one - i.e. "My Computer" - are actually not an "upload", but more a transfer of files between clouds.

screendump of write latex

A related answer, states

Downloading/uploading is generally used when you connect the computer to a distant source, for example a server on internet. If you use it for small devices, it's not as obvious which direction is up or down.

In the case of writelatex there isn't a direction up or down, either, except of course the first option where files are effectively uploaded.

Is there a synonym for both "upload" and "download" that would reflect what actually happens, that is files are transferred from one cloud to the other?

  • 1
    This isn't really an English usage question in my mind, more of a technical terminology question. My understanding has always been that if the file is moved from the computer on which the command is executed by the user to another computer, it is "uploaded"; if the file is moved to the computer on which the command is executed by the user from another computer, it is "downloaded." The upload/download terminology assumes a very hierarchical server / client architecture, and isn't really adapted to peer-to-peer transfers where the command is executed by the user on a third system. Jul 9, 2014 at 14:18
  • Terminology question not an English usage question? You got to be kidding. Technical terminology is one of the major reasons English is the default global language. Most English loan words in foreign languages are technology related.
    – Andra
    Jul 15, 2014 at 8:41

2 Answers 2


One can use the terms migrate and replicate (as mentioned in a previous answer) but note that the simpler terms move (“...to change place...”) and copy (“To produce an object identical to a given object”) will serve quite as well or better.

However, for cloud-to-cloud moves and copies, one might consider the term waft [pronounced /wɒft/ (wŏft)] apropos:

To (cause to) float easily or gently through the air.
To be moved, or to pass, on a buoyant medium; to float.

Link sources: Wiktionary

  • Oh I do like that word! "Waff As..." seems like an awesome menu item.
    – Andra
    Jul 9, 2014 at 15:02

If the file disappears from the first location and reappears in the new location, the word would be migrate.

If it's duplicated instead of moving, the word would be replicate.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.