[OS X TeX] I'm done with TeXShop as my main editor

Robert Bruner rrb at math.wayne.edu
Thu Dec 7 14:05:39 EST 2006

For me, vi is quick and efficient, and I'm too old to learn new ways to
do things I already know how to do, unless there is real advantage to
them.  The rapidity of modern technical change is such that most of us
are now amateurs at most things, since nothing persists long enough for
expertise to develop.  TeX is a notable exception.

Anyway, vi is nice and efficient.  For example, to comment out a
paragraph in a TeX file I type

  ma}'a,.s/^/%% /

and it is done.    Very few keystrokes and my hand doesn't have to
leave the keyboard to move the cursor.  And if I want to do it often,

  :map q ma}'a,.s/^/%% /

will allow me to do it with a single keystroke, "q".

The "ma" marks the current position  as 'a', the "}" moves forward one
paragraph, the "'a,." defines the range to be afflicted as the lines
between the point just marked 'a' to the current line (.), "s" says to
substitute, "/^/" says do so at the beginning of the line, and "/%% /"
says to put "%% " there.  (A single % would work of course, but
somehow, the "%% " is more readable to me.)  Of course, this is subject
to the comment (once made about TECO editor commands) that they resemble
nothing so much as line noise.

I once had to relace all instances of T(a,b), where a and b were integers,
by T(b,a) in a long document.  One vi command did the job.

Still, I am no proselytizer.  Use vi if you like it as I do, emacs if
you like that ( I probably would had I learned it first, being an old
LISP fan), or your favorite WYSIWYG.  It's your life.

Bob Bruner

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