[OS X TeX] Re: Simple(?) MacTeX question

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Mon Sep 11 18:00:03 EDT 2006

On 11-sep-2006, at 6:55, Rowland McDonnell wrote:

>> Re: list of things installed by MacTeX: Go to the MacTeX site,
>>   www.tug.org/mactex
>> where there is a link which gives a list of everything MacTeX
>> installs.
> Well, yes, I can see that.  I don't want a list of what's installed: I
> want a list of what it's all *for*.
> Some of the software, I either know about or can work out for myself.
> The rest of it?  I dunno, and that's the problem.
>> Basically,
>> this list is
> Yes, I've seen the list, but it's not terribly informative.

Here is that list again. I've added some notes about what it is, and  
why it is included, at least as far as I know. Edit: after writing  
this, and reading the rest of my mail, I see that many have added  

TeX, installed with options Full, 2005 x86/ppc
- The core of TeX, the engines (tex, pdftex, pdfetex, …), the style  
and class files, documentation and configuration files. Also included  
tex4ht (http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~gurari/TeX4ht/mn.html) an  
excelent tool to convert tex into various xml/html based formats,  
including openoffice, which may be a practical step in a conversion  
to MS Word, should the need arise. It can convert maths into mathml.

FontForge and Fondu Mac Font Tools
- Needed to convert the Latin Modern fonts into Mac OS X compatible  
font packages. This is done during the i-Installer run, and (AFAIK)  
not during the MacTeX install run. I don't think the Mac OS X Gui  
Latin Modern fonts get installed with MacTeX. Can someone confirm?

- Outline versions of the Computer Modern fonts in T1 and some other  
encodings, including Cyrillic.

CB Greek
- Greek fonts

- Music typesetter

ConTeXt updater
- The latest version of Context, the teTeX version is rather old. I  
assume this is the stable release, not the beta.

LaTeX updater
- Same for the LaTeX Macro package

- Needed for reading png files by one of the next packages (?). No  
user callable tools are installed by this package.

Ghostscript 8
- GhostScript, needed to convert postscript to pdf. Needed by TeXShop  
when using latex + dvips + ghostscript for compatibility with  
pstricks or eps figures (i.e. when _not_ using pdf(la)tex). Under  
tiger you could (theoretically) live without it, but installation is  

ImageMagick, with Freetype2, and libwmf
- conversion tools for a long list of bitmapped formats. Useful when  
including formats that are not natively supported, like Tiff.

- Exciting new development in the TeX engine that can directly use  
fonts available to the OS, without configuration.

>> Actually ImageMagick is required for only one reason (!!). PdfTeX
>> cannot accept tif files directly. However, the default TeXShop
>> template has TeX code which says "if you find a tif file, call
>> ImageMagick to convert it to a png file, and then use that png file."
>> (You'll find this line near the top of the header.) Of course Preview
>> can also convert tif to png, but it is useful to do it automatically
>> during typesetting.
> Righto - I see.  That's the sort of thing I need to learn about.
> Is there documentation about this?  I'd rather not have conversions  
> done
> `behind my back' like that, and - well, I'm finding it quite tricky to
> find out what happens when you're using TeXShop.

There are two questions here, and I'll try my best at both:

Q: "How do I prevent automatic conversion of image files"
A: Make sure the image is available in a format that is directly  
supported. For pdfTeX these are: pdf, jpg, png and metapost output.  
The first three types serve different purposes: vector art (Graphs,  
Illustrator drawings), photographs, and computer generated bitmapped  
images (graphs if you have to turn them into bitmaps because of an  
overload of hidden lines). The last format is a TeX-equivalent  
programming language if you want to draw in a non-wysiwyg fashion,  
Google for it if you're interested.

For classic LaTeX (TeX+GhostScript) afaik it is eps only. Convert can  
be used to translate bitmapped formats into eps, but be sure to turn  
them into level 2 files (level 2 postscript supports a few common  
file formats, so all you get is a small wrapper around the original  
file, level 1 PS files of bitmap images tend to be a lot larger).

Q: "How do I figure out what TeXShop does when I press the 'LaTeX'  
A: That can be somewhat tricky. The core tool that gets called when  
pressing the 'pdflatex' button is 'pdflatex filename', from the  
directory where 'filename' lives.

The additional commandline options can be found in the preferences  
(Preferences -> Engine). If the shell-escape is not added to the  
command-line, then TeX operates in a fairly secure mode, and cannot  
call other command-line tools. If shell-escape is enabled, then TeX  
can call other tools (allowing for automagic conversion of graphics  
files when needed), but this may compromise security.

Some tools use shell scripts to get their job done. These live either  
in the application bundle or in ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines. Open them  
in a text editor to see what command-line tools they call.

> I haven't used i-installer and I won't use it if I can possibly avoid
> doing so (I can't find out what it does before it does it).

Paranoia can be a good thing. However, it is my opinion that you're  
missing out on a great deal of things, amongst which a nice interface  
where you can add, activate and deactivae map files (i.e. the updmap  
configuration you asked about on c.t.t.).


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