[OS X TeX] newcomer: TexTures info

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Jan 23 16:05:58 EST 2007

Le 23 janv. 07 à 19:29, paolo caravani a écrit :

> Your msg prompted me  questions that might be of gen. interest:
> - are TeXShop and iTeXMac freely available and where?

Both are free. The simplest way to get TeXShop is through MacTeX  
<http://www.tug.org/~koch/NewPackages.html>: get MacTeX_Additions.dmg  
and TeXLive-2007.dmg (beware -- huge download), install the first and  
then the second.

With TeXLive-2007, you'll have practically all the plain TeX macro  
files and LaTeX package files that ever saw the light of day. And  
generally all the macros and package files mentioned in the TeX  

You can get iTeXMac from <http://itexmac.sourceforge.net/>.

> - do they compare with (classic) Textures performances, in particular:

TeXShop has a user interface very similar to that of Textures.  
iTeXMac is more powerful but also more complicated; I'm not using it,  
but from I saw I got the impression it's oriented towards project- 
based typesetting, a bit like DirectTeX from the Mac Classic days.

> a) synchronicity&ff

Available in both, through the pdfsync package. Not as precise as  
synchronicity, but quite efficient apparently (I'm not using it  
myself, but I wasn't using it with Textures either).

> b) flash mode

Not built-in, but Claus Gerhardt has created a Flashmode extension  
(shareware) implementing the functionality through AppleScripts  
Again, I'm not using it myself, but wasn't either with Textures.

> c) editor (comment/uncomment/go-to-line, etc)

Very similar to Textures.

> d) pdf, postscript exporters & printing

Same as above. Both create PDF documents by default.

The big difference with Textures lies in font management: use of the  
fonts known to OS X (all the fonts seen by Font Book) is nowhere near  
as nice as with Textures:

- With standard TeX, you have to convert the OS font files to PFB  
format first, create a set of support files (metrics, map files, .fd  
files for LaTeX, and more), place them at appropriate places, and so  

- With XeTeX <http://scripts.sil.org/xetex> (included in TeX Live)  
you can use the OS X fonts without pre-processing, but the interface  
is less straightforward than with Textures. The fontspec LaTeX  
package makes things quite easy, though.

More generally: in all cases, you'll find information more difficult  
to get than with Textures. Documentation files often have odd names,  
are stored in inaccessible places on your Mac, and have not been  
written with a novice in mind. Be prepared to spend some time in this  
or a similar list, before being able to use TeX efficiently.

However, this applies mostly to LaTeX. If your practice of TeX is  
oriented towards plain TeX, and you're the kind of person writing you  
own macros, and including graphics and colors via \special, then  
you'll find TeXShop very similar to Textures.

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