[OS X TeX] MacTex and teminal

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Tue Aug 21 09:05:13 EDT 2007

On Aug 21, 2007, at 7:57 AM, Jonathan Kew wrote:

> On 21 Aug 2007, at 1:15 pm, adam Fenn wrote:
>> I have just installed the MacTeX-2007 package but when I run
>> latex from the terminal I get the following message;
>> warning: Could not open char translation file `cp8bit.tcx'.
>> This is e-TeX, Version 3.141592-2.1 (Web2C 7.5.2)
>> kpathsea: Running mktexfmt latex.efmt
>> fmtutil: unknown format type: latex.efmt.
>> I can't find the format file `latex.efmt'!
>> Have I neglected to do something important during the installation?
>> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> You've got obsolete files from an old TeX installation somewhere,  
> perhaps within your home directory (or maybe a Fink installation?),  
> and those are being found and used. Two clues: the Web2C version  
> shown is old (it's 7.5.6 in the current TeX Live programs), which  
> indicates that you're not running the newly-installed MacTeX stuff  
> but older versions; and the extension ".efmt" was discarded a  
> couple of years ago, so that implies an old copy of fmtutil.cnf is  
> being used.
> Commands such as
>    which pdftex
>    kpsewhich fmtutil.cnf
> may help you locate and eradicate them, if you're not sure where to  
> look.
> Or it may be that you can modify your PATH so that the old stuff is  
> not found (e.g., if it's a Fink package under /sw/...)
> JK


As a first step... If you have the MacTeX distribution installed you  
should have a System Preference pane that allows you to select the  
active distribution. Make sure that is ``pointing'' to the new  

If you were using a Fink distribution you may have manually set paths  
that forces searches in the ``wrong'' locations. Also, do you have a  
~/.MacOSX/environment.plist file that sets paths? If so, remove any  
paths it sets. This has lead to problems for a long time.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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