[OS X TeX] Re: [OS X TeX]

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Mar 27 04:22:07 EDT 2007

Le 27 mars 07 à 06:32, Chetan Nayak a écrit :

> Obviously, I'm still living in the 20th (if not the 19th) century,
> but it's time for me to enter the modern world. MacTeX sounds like
> a good place to start. However, I'm still using TeXShop. Is there a  
> newer/better
> front end with which I should replace this?

There are two different things really:

- On one hand the TeX distribution itself (i.e. the tex and friend  
binaries -- pdftex, dvips, dvipdfm, etc. --, the TeX and LaTeX  
formats, a collection of LaTeX packages, fonts and all their support  
files, etc.), together with related utilities such as GhostScript,  
FontForge, FreeType, etc.

- On the other hand GUI front-ends such as TeXShop, BibDesk (BibTeX- 
based bibliography manager), LaTeXiT (equation editor), Excalibur  
(LaTeX-friendly spell checkers).

And then there are different ways to install all these things:

- MacTeX.dmg, the simplest, to be got from <http://www.tug.org/mactex/ 
 >. The disk image contains a package for Apple's Installer, meaning  
it's really a one-click install in which predefined choices have  
already been made, such as the selection of all available hyphenation  
patterns when building formats, or the selection of a specific set of  
map files when running updmap. This installer installs *both* the  
above selection of GUI front-ends, and the TeXLive-2007 TeX  
distribution (also available on the just released TeXLive DVDs).  
GhostScript, FontForge etc. are also included, with an interface to  
select exactly what is installed (in case you have already  
GhostScript installed through Fink, for example).

- In case you like more control, you can have the two components of  
MacTeX.dmg available as separate packages from <http://www.tug.org/ 
mactex/morepackages.html>: the TeX distribution texlive-2007-dev.dmg  
(actually a version a bit more recent than the TeXLive in  
MacTeX.dmg), and the GUI front-ends mactex-additions.dmg. Which gives  
you the opportunity to replace TeXLive-2007 by alternative TeX  
distributions: gwTeX, Gerben Wierda's subset of TeXLive strongly  
inspired by teTeX, available as gwtex.dmg; and the now deprecated  
teTeX, available as tetex.dmg.

- In case you ever used i-Installer, you can also use it to install  
the TeX distribution. Advantage: a GUI will be provided during  
installation for customizing your installation, namely for choosing  
the hyphenation patterns to include, the formats to build, the map  
files to include, the default paper size to use, and whether or not  
to include the LaserWriter 35 fonts (Times, Helvetica, Courier, etc.)  
in PDF files, among other things. In that case, you install gwTeX via  
i-Installer, and the GUI front-ends via mactex-additions.dmg.

In short, that gives three alternative ways to install a complete TeX  
for the Mac:

(1) Install MacTeX.dmg from <http://www.tug.org/mactex/>. You're done.

(2) Install mactex-additions.dmg from <http://www.tug.org/mactex/ 
morepackages.html>, and either of


from the same URL.

(3) Install mactex-additions.dmg from <http://www.tug.org/mactex/ 
morepackages.html>, and then use the i-Installer that is included to  
install the gwTeX i-Package (to which you may add CM-Super, TeX-Gyre,  
and a number of other extras).

Two more things:

- Should you want to install MacTeX to get the most recent TeX  
available, and at the same time keep teTeX around for compatibility  
with your existing documents, you can: with MacTeX comes a handy  
system preference panel called TeX Distribution, allowing you to  
switch instantaneously between several installed TeX distributions.  
Thus you can install MacTeX.dmg and tetex.dmg on your Mac say, and  
then use this pref panel to switch between the two at will. The  
switch will take care of adjusting transparently the settings of  
TeXShop, such that TeXShop will make use of the chosen TeX distribution.

- Additional front ends (such as iTeXMac, or TeXniscope a DVI  
viewer), spell checkers (CocoAspell) and documentation files are  
available as yet another disk image MacTeXtras.dmg from <http:// 

Finally, in case you also used XeTeX, it's no longer necessary to  
install it separately. XeTeX has been fully included in TeXLive, and  
is already there after TeXLive (either TeXLive-2007, or the gwTeX  
subset) has been installed.

Hope this clarifies a bit this somewhat intricate situation.

Bruno Voisin
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