[OS X TeX] Structure inside ~/Library/texmf

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Fri Jun 8 10:37:15 EDT 2007

On Jun 8, 2007, at 6:53 AM, Holger Frauenrath wrote:

> Hi,
> could somebody briefly explain to me the internal structure of ~/ 
> Library/texmf (or point me to documentation)? Do the subfolders in  
> there mirror the directory structure somewhere else? Does the  
> internal structure have to be preserved (and to which point)?  
> Should there be any files in there by default? What exactly happens  
> if there is a file (e.g., a style file) in there that also exists  
> elsewhere (e.g., somwhere buried in \usr)?


The short answer is... yes! The structure should be the same as in  
other parts of the TeX Directory Structure (TDS). Exactly where that  
structure resides depends upon the TeX distribution you are using but  
typically in /usr/local/gwTeX/ (for Gerben Wierda's TeX Live  
distribution) or, I think, /usr/local/texlive/ (TeXLive? for the TeX  
Live or MacTeX distribution)

The simple things are as follows: the starting point is ~/Library/ 
texmf/ which will be denoted by ... and typically that directory and  
sub-directories of that directory are searched

latex packages: .../tex/latex/
font parts: obvious sub-directories (e.g., /tfm/ for .tfm files or, a  
bit more subtle, type1 for .pfb files) of .../fonts/
bibliography files: .../bibtex/bib/ for .bib files and .../bibtex/ 
bst/ for .bst files.

> The reason why I am asking is that I want to tidy up the contents  
> of my ~/Library/texmf folder because I would like to provide its  
> contents (e.g., some template files) to other members in my group  
> (including some TeX newbies) as a starting point. I have not taken  
> a look at it in years, and I do not know which files I put there at  
> some point in the past - with a few exceptions of template and  
> shortcut files that I use all the time. There are currently a  
> number of different style an bibtex style files (e.g., Bookman.sty  
> etc., but also pdfsync.sty). My guess is that whatever is in there  
> will at least be horribly out of date ...
> Sorry for that probably profane qustion and thank you all for your  
> help.
> Holger

I assume you mean putting the files on different computers. If you  
are sharing a system with multiple users the easiest thing is to put  
the files in the local branch of the TSD (you'll have to run `sudo  
texhash` for TeX to find them) which will be in a texmf.pkgs (gwTeX)  
or texmf-local (TeX Live/MacTeX) branch in the /usr/... directory.

In general TeX starts its search for files starting in your personal  
branch of the TDS and then other branches. Except for a very small  
set of files, which you don't have to worry about, it stops after  
finding the first match; so items in your personal branch take  

Hope that helps.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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