[OS X TeX] Newbie install and font question

Tom Kiffe tom at kiffe.com
Thu Mar 21 01:54:41 EST 2002

>> I am thinking of installing teTeX and TeXShop.  Is this all I will need to
>> get a workable installation?  If I understand correctly, teTeX is an OSX
>> implementation of TeX and TeXShop is a viewer/creator of documents?
>teTeX is a unix implementation of web2c by Thomas Esser, not just Mac OS X. In case you use my installer, you get (up to date) TeX Live for the programs and teTeX for the foundation (macros, fonts, etc) plus some additions of my own.
>> I believe that teTeX is installed first including the GhostScript package.
>> GS will install fonts.
>Actually, you do not need GS to use TeX. You only need GS if you have older documents that require PostScript tricks or .eps image inclusion. Here Mac OS X differes from most other Unixes as well as older Mac OS 9 implementation, because most of those need/use some sort of PostScript (GS) system. The default on Mac OS X is pdfTeX, which produces PDF directly and not via DVI+PS. PDF is as you probably know the display format of Mac OS X. If you are new to TeX, keep to pdfTeX.
>Secondly, both TeX and GS come with their own type 1 fonts. The way TeX handles it, all fonts are included before GS is used (if it is used). TeX has far more fonts than what it has available in type1 format. These are included as bitmaps at the resolution of your choice. The GS fonts are not available to TeX. There is a way to get them available the other way around (and I'll add that later on) but GS in itself is not extremely useful on Mac OS X.

I think the advice given above to someone new to TeX on OS X is rather disingenuous. Who decided that pdfTeX is the default on OS X and that GS is not
extremely useful? Did I miss a vote taken sometime in the past? PDF may be
the display format on OS X but Apple has not given us a PDF viewer that is
worth anything. This also applies to PDF viewers created with Apple's APIs.
These viewers do not support such basic things as bookmarks and hyperlinks
and won't even display PDF generated by recent versions of ghostscript. 
The state of PDF on OS X is really no different than on other computer systems. 
Everyone uses Acrobat Reader in order to fully utilize the features of PDF 
but just try to debug TeX sources using Reader.

Trying to debug your TeX sources from PDF can be very tedious. Not only do
you have to convert eps graphics to PDF but you have to wait for pdfTeX to
load all the necessary fonts. It is much quicker to just produce a dvi file
when you are doing basic debugging. Methods exist for directly linking a 
dvi file to the tex source, making it easy to switch from TeX output to TeX
source. Try doing this with PDF output. The insistence that pdfTeX must be 
the default TeX program since PDF is the display format for OS X is a 
perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

My comments are not meant as a criticism of pdfTeX itself. I think pdfTeX is
a great program and I even ported it to the classic Mac OS several years ago.
If you are writing a presentation or plan to distribute a document via the
Internet pdfTeX is very useful for generating the final product. It may not 
be as useful in the preliminary stages of document preparation. If I am writing
a paper or a book which will be distributed in print format I use TeX and 
dvips to get the best possible Postscript output. There are still many things
one can do easily in Postscript with tex and dvips that are difficult or
impossible with pdfTeX.


% Thomas Kiffe                 %
% Department of Mathematics    %
% Texas A&M University         %
% College Station, TX 77843    %

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