[OS X TeX] typesetting engines in TeXShop

Tom Koornwinder thk at science.uva.nl
Tue Nov 9 03:32:05 EST 2004

In TeXShop Help -> Advanced Help -> Additional Typesetting Engines
it is written:

> These XeTeX features form a special case of a new general method for
> adding typesetting engines to TeXShop. There is now a folder in
> ~/Library/TeXShop named Engines; the files in this folder are shell
> scripts which call typesetting programs. When TeXShop first starts, it
> examines this folder and adds the script names of files it contains to
> the pull-down typesetting menu. Choosing one of these items and
> pushing the Typeset button calls the script. Users can write their own
> scripts and add them to the Engines folder. Each such script must have
> a name without spaces, and extension ".engine", and have the
> executable bit set.

This is nice, but writing such a script requires advanced knowledge of
Unix programming. For instance, I added a file pdfetex.engine
with the lines

test -f "`kpsewhich pdfetex.fmt`" || fmtutil --byfmt pdfetex
exec pdfetex -fmt=pdfetex -progname=pdfetex "$@"

which I copied from a posting by Ros Moore.

Here are a few suggestions to the makers of TeXShop (who have done such
a great job):

1. Add in Advanced Help some demos of engine files.

2. Arrange TeXShop in such a way that whenever some program is called in
then it is automatically checked if
contains a format (.fmt) file for that program, and if so, then this format
is used.

3. If 2. is too radical, then make it possible in Preferences that
the user can choose for 2.

                       Tom Koornwinder
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