[OS X TeX] Installing TeX for 1st Time

Paul Hagstrom hagstrom at bu.edu
Sun Apr 20 23:33:26 EDT 2008

Hi -- I'm somewhat new to TeX, but from what I know so far, I do not  
see any advantage of starting anywhere but here:


 From this site, you can download a very complete distribution of TeX  
(TeXLive-2007) that is installable using the standard Mac installer.   
It is extremely painless.

Once you get more sophisticated in your dealings with TeX, you may  
want to use a package that is not included in that distribution -- if  
you do, just download it and put the package in the appropriate place  
in the folder texmf, found within the Library folder in your home  
directory, and it will become accessible.  (The "appropriate place"  
may vary, but is likely to be texmf/tex/latex if it is a package file  
ending in .sty).

I'm not sure what you mean by it looking like TeX is already on the  
machine -- it shouldn't be, if this is essentially a new MacBook Pro.   
But, installation of TeX can be relatively nightmarish if done  
incorrectly, which is why I am so impressed by the MacTeX package.  I  
would say your best bet is to ignore anything that makes you think TeX  
is somewhere on the machine and just run the MacTeX installer.  (It is  
huge, but worth it.)

You might want to also download the Beamer patch from here, after  
you've installed the main MacTeX package.


I think beyond that, you'll just need to play with it a bit.  But,  
look around at the TeXShop site -- this is almost certainly the front  
end to TeX that you'll want to start with, even if later you decide to  
head to one of the others.


The other place to look at is CTAN, which is the standard repository  
for TeX packages (things that can extend TeX to add functionality).  A  
great many of these packages will already be installed for you by the  
MacTeX installer, but for anything you're missing, this is a good  
place to search.



On Apr 20, 2008, at 8:43 PM, Ron Olson wrote:

> I got a new Mac and am trying to install TeX on my new MacBookPro.   
> I didn't know there were so many versions of TeX.  It looks like the  
> TeX software is already on this machine and am trying to figure how  
> to install it.
> So, my first question is which TeX do I install?
> I am a non-traditional math student at Wichita State University and  
> first heard about TeX in MA547 Adv. Calculus I with Dr. Phil Parker  
> last Fall.
> I enjoyed what I learned from MatLab and ForTran but I don't know if  
> knowledge of these will help me with TeX.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> Ron Olson
> Wichita, KS
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