[OS X TeX] plain TeX Live hyphenation

Gianluca Gorni gianluca.gorni at fastwebnet.it
Sat Mar 8 11:36:35 EST 2008


I still use plain TeX for some kinds of documents.
The problem is that I need Italian hyphenation, and
I don't know how to activate it.

I had managed to do it with gw-teTeX a few years ago,
and didn't dare to touch that distribution as long as
I could.

Unfortunately, a failed attempt to install Leopard had
messed with /usr/ and I could't typeset anymore.

So I resigned myself to install TeXLive2007 from the DVD.

Trying to replicate the steps that had worked for
gw-teTeX, I looked everywhere for a file named language.def.
I finally located it in


The trick should be to add the line

\addlanguage {Italian}{ithyph}{}{2}{2}

to language.def. I have saved the modified file in what looks
like the only obvious location:


Is that OK? Would it work if I placed it somewhere inside
~/Library/texmf/tex/plain/ ? That would be much easier to

Now the main question:
provided that I made it right so far, how do I recomplile plain TeX
to load the hyphenation patterns? With gw-teTeX I did it with the option
"configure only" of i-Installer. I didn't see anything similar in
the TeXLive installer. Must I type something in the Terminal?

Whatever I type in the terminal, I don't want it to mess with the
old teTeX distribution, that in the meanwhile I managed to salvage  
and restore
to functionality. My long-term goal will be to migrate to TeXLive,
but I'll have to figure out why some crucial documents that compile
fine with the old teTeX do not run at all on TeXLive. The current  
are the latin modern fonts (are they included in TeXLive?) and
the hyperref package, that may have changed to break my code.

Thank you in advance!
Gianluca Gorni

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list