[Mac OS X TeX] what is/was "Instant TeX" ?

Troy Goodson Troy.D.Goodson at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon May 7 16:40:22 EDT 2001

<x-flowed>At 4:07 PM -0400 5/7/01, William Adams wrote:
>Troy Goodson said:
>>  That sounds kinda like TeXShop
>>  <http://www.uoregon.edu/~koch/texshop/texshop.html>.  I've been using
>>  TeXShop to learn LaTeX and I like it, but I'd also like to have the
>>  other stuff you've described.
>There were other niceties (such as selecting TeX source in a layout
>application, and choosing Services | TeX --> .eps and getting a .eps in
>its place), but, yes, TeXShop is modeled on InstantTeX.
>One big difference is one wasn't forced to use PDFTeX in NeXTstep...

I guess that was the cool thing about DisplayPostscript.  Now, if 
PDFTeX was just 100% compatible with TeX, this wouldn't be an issue; 
somehow I doubt that compatibility will ever happen.

Finally, I was able to get a web search with more info on InstantTeX.  I found
and I've copied a portion of the readme, below.  Given the NeXT 
heritage of OS X, I think it's worth pointing out to the list what 
NeXT had for TeX.  I think these ideas should migrate nicely to Mac 
OS X (it's a great wish list).

Main features of InstantTeX

With InstantTeX you can TeX your file in any format you wish, 
directly from Edit, just by pressing a key. The format of your TeX 
files can be determined automatically.

If TeX notices an error in your file, you can press a key and 
InstantTeX will go to the line which contains the error. This 
considerably simplifies editing your text.

The main advantage of InstantTeX is that it has an Instant mode, 
which allows you to TeX your file automatically as you are writing it 
and preview the results in TeXview almost instantaneously. A few 
seconds after you type a key, the new output appears in TeXview . 
This is very useful for writing equations, macros, adjusting the 
spaces and sizes in your file, and almost everything else that you 
can do with TeX. In this respect InstantTeX is very similar to 
Lightning Textures for Macintosh computer. Our program works well 
even on multiple-page documents, due to the speed of the NeXT 
computers. Moreover, Instant mode now can be used even with 
multiple-file documents. One can also select only a portion of text 
to be TeXed in InstantTeX mode.

Another advantage of InstantTeX is the existence of TeXPalette, which 
contains buttons corresponding to Greek letters, operators, 
relations, and other TeX symbols. Now you should not memorize how to 
write an integral or a matrix, just click the button, and you will 
see the result. This means that there is no need to write your 
equations separately and insert them later into your document; you do 
everything on the fly. In addition to PlainTeX symbols and commands, 
TeXPalette contains separate palettes with buttons corresponding to 
commonly used commands from LaTeX, Phystex, Harvmac and AmsTeX. Do 
you like typing \begin{equation} \label{...} ... \end{equation} each 
time when you write a new equation in LaTeX? Do you like typing 
(\ref{...}) each time you refer to any equation in the text? No such 
suffering anymore for those who use NeXT! (We are unaware of any 
similar product for other computers.)

InstantTeX has a panel containing buttons `Edit File', `Go On', 
`Ignore All Errors', `Help With Error', `Quit TeX', `Use Another 
File', `TeX Again', `Preview'. It is very convenient for TeXing and 
editing files.

You can insert pictures into your TeX files, just by dragging them 
into the TeX file window. You can easily import pictures from many 
other applications, such as Adobe Illustrator, Draw and Mathematica. 
You can also send the files with pictures to people who do not have 

You may send TeX files to people who do not have NeXTs. The files you 
are going to send will be automatically truncated to 80 or 70 
characters a line, and will not contain errors that Mail makes when 
it truncates TeX files.

There are more than 20 various options to suit your preferences.

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