[OS X TeX] Re: praise --- and three humble fine-tuning suggestions

Joachim Kock kock at math.unice.fr
Fri Mar 15 03:07:57 EST 2002

>  > If you read my post again, notice that I am talking strictly about the
>  > situation where TeXShop is configured for external editor.  This means
>  > that the source is not going to be shown in TeXShop at all --- the
>  > source is typically already open in your favourite editor.  What we want
>  > is really to have it tex'ed...

>  I rather agree with Paulo, softwares which take initiatives may be
>  appealing at first look, or when you only use them once in a while, but
>  tend to be a pain for everyday use.
>  That's one of the reasons I can't stand Word: it's always willing to
>  take initiatives, like selecting a whole word and the space after it
>  while I just want to select a few letters, or transforming into a list a
>  paragraph that starts with an hyphen and format this list in some
>  predefined way, etc. Most of the time I spend using Word (I sometimes
>  have to) is spent finding which preference controls this or that
>  initiative, and disactivating it.
>  Generally when I use a software I expect it to do exactly what I
>  explicitly ask it to do, no more, no less. (Assuming that I ask well,
>  which is another story.)
>  Sorry if that sounds aggressive, the original suggestion just struck a
>  nerve in me.

Hello again,

Obviously we are not talking about the same thing.

TeXShop run in two different modes: 1) The original one, where it is
integrated editor/typersetter/previewer, 2) the new one: "Configured for
external editor" where it is only typesetter/previewer.

1: TeXShop as editor/typesetter/reviewer.  In this mode, everybody agrees
that if you say "Open" to a tex file, then it should be opened in an editor
window, period.  (If you say "Open" to a dvi or ps file, it is not opened
in the editor; rather TeXShop 'takes the initiative' to run the appropriate
programme, in order to produce a pdf which it can display in a previewing
window.  You may call that a hidden action if you want, but probably we all
agree that TeXShop is right on this point...)

2: When configured for external editor, TeXShop is only
typesetter/previewer.  (You set this option in "Preferences" --- try it out
to see how it works...)  There are now two "Open" commands in the menu: one
called "Open for editing" (which overrides the configuration and opens the
file in an editor window), and another one generic, just called "Open",
which currently does the following:

  on pdf files:   previews the pdf file
  on ps files     produces a pdf which is then shown in a previewing window
  on dvi files    produces a pdf which is then shown in a previewing window
  on tex files    if there is an old pdf file next to it, display that one;
                  if not, display a blank page.

This last thing is what I suggest is changed.  It is not logical that an
old file is opened --- if you really wanted to see the old version, why not
open that pdf file directly?  It would also not be logical to have the tex
file opened in the built-in editor --- then there would be no point at all
in having the "Configure for external editor".

The ony logical thing to do for a programme which is a typesetter/previewer
is to typeset and preview the file, in accordance also with the philosophy
for the other formats:

  on tex files    produce a pdf from the file and display that pdf.

(One could ponder the name "Preview" instead of "Open" for the menu item
--- I'm not sure if it would be better.  Maybe the ideal solution would be
to call it "Open" in the menu, but then in the ensuing dialogue box let the
default button change name according to the selected item (this is inspired
by OzTeX), i.e. "TeX" or "Typeset" for tex files, and "Preview" or maybe
"Distill" for dvi, ps, pdf...)

I'm sorry for being so long on this simple issue, and I'm also sorry that
my suggestion perhaps no longer appears as humble as it was originally


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