[OS X TeX] Focus (was: Various TeX programs on Mac)

Curtis Clifton curt.clifton at mac.com
Sat May 8 12:05:12 EDT 2004

On May 8, 2004, at 10:01 AM, Leah Berman wrote:

> On May 8, 2004, at 10:20 AM, Joachim Kock wrote:
>> Why do so many new tex users press 'Typeset' or 'ViewPDF' all the
>> time?
> I don't know about the rest of you, but it's a lot better for me if I 
> typeset frequently rather than trying to find a missing $ in 15 pages 
> of uncompiled complicated math formatting!
> On the other hand, I am lucky that I have enough screen real estate 
> that I can have the source and the compiled versions side-by-side, so 
> I don't have to shift my cursor away from the source; I can just see 
> that it compiled fine and continue with what I am typing.

What I would love to have is a TeX-aware text editor that puts 
unobtrusive markings under syntax errors in the source, similar to the 
various integrated development environments for programming like 
Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA.  These environments also offer suggested 
"quick fixes" for errors.  I find that such programming environments 
really help me focus on my content, the algorithm or data structure to 
be implemented.

These environments also integrate documentation for the various 
libraries and packages that one might need to use, plus autocompletion 
of class names.  In a LaTeX context, this might mean that I could type 
"\begin{tab" and have a pop-up list appear with tabbing, tabular, 
tabular*, tabularc, tabularx, tabulary, tabwindow, etc.  Mousing over 
the suggestion (or some keyboard equivalent) would pop-up brief 
documentation on the particular environment.   Selecting a suggestion 
would (optionally) insert the appropriate template and, if necessary, 
add the appropriate package inclusion to the preamble.

I'm a relative newbie to LaTeX, having TeXed on the Mac only after the 
advent of Mac OS X 10.2, so perhaps such an editor already exists.  It 
seems like the TeX backend and the editor would have to be tightly 
integrated for this to work.  Was this sort of thing available in the 
much discussed TeXtures?


Curtis Clifton, Graduate Student
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University

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