[OS X TeX] Newbie is confused by Getting Started document

Bob Harris me13013 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 19:21:40 EST 2007


I'm new to TeX on Mac OSX.  I have used tex and latex a good while ago
(circa 1990), but not since, and now I am required to use latex for a

I am confused by the getting started document at
Section 2, which is titled "TEXShop or iTEXMac-- Unified
environments", seems to be telling me I should choose either TEXShop
or iTEXMac, but then in the middle of that discussion it says I need
to choose one of i-Installer (TEX Live) or teTEX installed from Fink,
then it has another short paragraph about TEXShop and iTEXMac, then
back to i-Installer.  Then on to a spellchecker.

The overview lists i-Installer and teTEX as "actual TEX
distributions".  Having now read section 2 three times, I am baffled
as to whether I need one of those (i-Installer and teTEX) if I go with
one of the unified environments.  I guess the lingering question I
have is whether or not the unified environments come with an "actual
TEX distribution".

Section 3 then only deepens my confusion because it now lists
i-Installer, teTEX, OzTEX, CMacTEX, and TEXShell, in a section whose
title suggests it is talking about GUI-based text editors.  It goes on
to list a couple of them again, along with Adobe reader, Acrobat, and
MacDIVX.  Then it lists the spell checkers again.

LIke I said, I'm completely lost about what I need.  So maybe someone
can just tell me, based on the following:

I already have a text editor that I like (TextWrangler).

I have adobe reader to read PDF files.

I use the bash shell on a daily basis, so issuing commands to convert
my "latex source code" (for lack of knowing what else to call it) to a
typeset document is no problem.

I would prefer the absolute easiest installation.  I have had multiple
bad experiences installing open source packages in the past.  I have
used both darwinports and fink successfully but I have had packes in
both that have failed to install (more failures with fink, I think).
The biggest problem has always been failing to already have some
dependent package, which inevitably turns into a cascade of similar
problems.  I would like to avoid that.

I have no clue as to why a spell checker would be required.  Is it
somehow going to be used to check the latex syntax?  Or are you just
including it because it's functionality that someone who had been
typsetting in usoft Word would be used to having?

So it seems to me like all I need is something that converts latex to
pdf and is easy to install.

Thanks for any help,
Bob H

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