[OS X TeX] Installing the powerdot and xkeyval packages - Mac newbie

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Jan 16 18:25:33 EST 2007

On Jan 16, 2007, at 23:47, Hans Marius Eikseth wrote:

> What I need, what I want, is a working installation of the Powerdot  
> package
> in my MacTeX distribution. 'No problem' I hear the Mac savvy say,  
> but I'm
> drowning in documentation and uncertainty about when (if) I should  
> override
> read/write/permissions in my texmf.local tree - or if such packages  
> should
> go elsewhere altogether.

What is even better, you are starting with TeX on the Mac at the moment
when it is in a state of flux. We'll try to keep old instructions  
somewhat valid,
but that's not going to be easy.

> (I cannot use i-Installer, as this is based on teTeX, and as such last
> release is from 2005 - and with a development lag, I don't believe  
> powerdot
> made it in there. The TeX engine complained anyway ;) )

At this moment, if you use i-Installer, you'll get an up-to-date  
based on TeXLive. However, since you installed MacTeX, you may have
installed the i-Installer TeX anyway, since one of them is based on what
i-Installer does. So, If you can specify the exact name of the image you
used for installation, we will be able to be more specific.

PowerDot is a nice class for presentations, but has one drawback:
it needs latex + dvips + ghostscript. This is not the default in most  
frontends. Again, please be specific: which front-end did you use,  
and did you
set it to use TeX + Ghostscript, rather than pdfTeX. Include some  
stuff on how
the TeX engine complained (did not find file is different from cannot  

 From what you write below I can obtain some more information (I always
write first, ask questions later). The procedure is usefull in any  
case, but
skip some steps if you are \emph{sure} you can.

> Now, trying to put the powerdot.cls and associated files into the  
> right
> (TDS-compliant) places, I had to resort to issuing a 'sudo mkdir
> /usr/..<snip>../tex/latex/powerdot' command [not really knowing  
> what I was
> doing], and I think I also had to change some ownership to force  
> these files
> in place (only read permissions, no write)[previous comment apply].  
> Since
> this is a private laptop, I figured I might try, but I have this  
> nagging
> feeling that I should have done this in a more proper manner.

Ho there! Not so fast… Step one is to see if the thing is there already:

In the terminal:
$ kpsewhich powerdot.cls
For me this gives no response, and that indicates that TeX cannot  
find it:
we need to install.

Get the package from CTAN, and unpack it. For a first test: leave the  
next to your document and try again. The current directory is always in
your search path, and this will at least tell you that there are no  
problems. Do the same with xkeyval.

Now you have two options: install for yourself (easy, no need for sudo
or texhash) or install for all user on your machine ( a local install).
I'm going to explain the first here:

Now, here is the exact choice of installation important, but to avoid
confusion - I hope - I'll show the instructions to get at the paths:

In the terminal:
$ kpsewhich -show-path=tex -progname=latex
This will show the complete search path. After some minor cleanup,  
this gives me:

That is: the current directory is searched first, then the directory
Library/textmf/tex/latex in your home directory, etc.

* If a directory is prepended by !!, it means that the directory  
index should be
used instead, and the local disk should not be searched, that is:  
you'll need to
run 'sudo mktexlsr' after you install files here to get them to  
* If a directory ends in //, it means that all subdirecories are  
searched as well.
* Only the first two (after the current directory) are intended for  
stuff you install.

The directory in your home is not created by default, and you must  
create it
(can be done in the Finder). No special permissions need to be set  
there. The
other directories are created by the installation, IIRC. Your paths  
may/will be
different, please be careful when copying.

I assume here that you are somewhat familiar with the TDS structure,  
and can
move the various components in the right directories in your Library/ 
texmf directory.
I believe the powerdot installation instructions tell you all you  
need to know.

The package should now be installed, repeat as needed.

> Before I do more harm to my TeX installation (and get bogged down in
> further, unforeseen incompatibilities from 'installing' xkeyval),  
> can anyone
> out there secondguess if I've gone awry already, or if there is a  
> better way
> to accomplish my goal of getting an installation of the Powerdot  
> package?

Unless you need to support more than one user on your machine, I would
recommend to stick to you Library/texmf tree for private installs.


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