[OS X TeX] Fwd: LaTeX support in BBEdit

Curtis Clifton curt.clifton at mac.com
Wed Jan 26 09:50:48 EST 2005

Apologies for cross-posting, but I thought this would be interesting to 
those on this list that aren't on the BBEdit-talk list:

On Jan 26, 2005, at 2:46 AM, Maarten Sneep wrote:

> Try my solution: it uses the front terminal window, and opens one if 
> the terminal has no windows open. Still not ideal, because if the 
> front window is connected to a remote server, it will try to run the 
> command there, and fail horribly. But, it's a start: 
> http://www.nat.vu.nl/~sneep/tex/
> I must add that my solution is a double scripted version: I can't 
> stand AppleScript, so I pull the information I need from AppleScript, 
> and then switch to a fairly large shell script that does the actual 
> compilation (in whichever form you requested). Since I started out in 
> TeXShop, its method of assigning master documents (%SourceDoc 
> filename) also works in my scripts.

I use BBEdit + TeXniscope as my editor-previewer combination for LaTeX. 
  Like Maarten, I also use a double scripted solution, with AppleScript 
getting the information from BBEdit.  But instead of having Terminal 
run the shell script, I use AppleScript's "do shell script" command.  
The trick is to make the "do shell script" command run in the 
background, dumping its terminal output to a file.  This way control 
returns immediately to BBEdit.  Now, if I want to view the terminal 
output, I use the following command in Terminal:

	tail -f paper.consolelog

where paper.consolelog is the file to which my background script dumps 
terminal output.  The tail command continuously shows the last lines of 
a file.  If the file is being generated, then you can watch the lines 
scroll by as they are written.  (I actually have a script that opens a 
Terminal window and runs tail from within BBEdit.)

With this technique, I can park my terminal window in the corner behind 
and below BBEdit.  I get enough feedback from the window to know that 
the typesetting is working or not, but the Terminal window can remain 
in the background.

My scripts are only written to run pdflatex and bibtex.  They are 
available from:


Some installation instructions and documentation are included.  There's 
no description of the scripts on my web page.  No time right now.

Another thing not to be missed is the pdfsync package by Jéròme 
Laurens.  With this package you can run a script in BBEdit and make 
your previewer show the paragraph that you are editing, and you can 
command-click in the previewer to jump to the corresponding point in 


Curtis Clifton, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University

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