[OS X TeX] More questions on MacTeX

Alan Munn amunn at msu.edu
Sun Mar 9 16:43:26 EDT 2008

At 9:18 PM +0100 3/9/08, Christoph Hoh wrote:
>Dear all,
>first of all thanks a lot for answering my questions regarding the 
>MacTeX installation additions and extras. It is very clear to me now.
>Since I do not have a lot of experience in using (La)TeX on a Mac so 
>far, I have some more rather fundamental questions on MacTeX:
>- In the MacTeX readme file it is mentioned that the real directory 
>structure of the MacTeX installation (e.g. usr/local or 
>/usr/local/texlive/2007) is not visible in the Finder. Instead only 
>Alias of these directories are accessible under Library/TeX/Root.
>	Why is it so?

I think it's in the tradition of lots of other Unix based stuff in OS 
X -- it's generally hidden from the Finder so that users don't screw 
things up.

>	Is there a way to see the real directory structure either in 
>the Finder or somewhere else?

You can view any part of the hierarchy from within the finder by 
using the "Go to Folder" item in the "Go" menu.  Type command-shift-G 
and then enter the path and it will get you there.)

Also, from within the Finder you can navigate to the distributions 
folder inside /Library/TeX to get to the hierarchy of your installed 
distributions.  (In your case, just TeXLive 2007).

>- Is it correct that "personal" files (e.g. bst-files) should be 
>saved under ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex so that MacTeX can access 
>these files when needed?

Yes. This is the correct location for the per user customizations. 
Note that TeXLive is quite picky about using the correct structures, 
so in your ~/Library/texmf you should have a bibtex folder and then 
within that  bst and bib folders for .bst and .bib files 
respectively.  My local texmf folder has the following hierarchy (not 
all used).

bibtex --> bib bst
fonts --> afm map pk source tfm type1
tex --> context latex plain

>-	Are all files in this folder (and subfolders) saved under 
>/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ and are they accessible by any Tex 

No, and yes. The ~/Library/texmf folder is accessible to any 
distribution, because it is separate from the texmf-local folder of 
any particular distribution.

If you are a single user, with one account from which you will use 
LaTeX, then putting all your extras into ~/Library/texmf is the 
easiest solution.

If you have multiple users on the same machine, things are a little 
trickier.  I make a separate additions folder inside my the 
texmf-local folder of each distribution for my system wide additions. 
This is a little more work, but it ensures that each user has the 
same basic TeX setup, but with the ability to add their own additions 
to their ~/Library/texmf folder.


Alan Munn 
amunn at msu.edu
Department of Linguistics                             
and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages   Fax.  +1-517-432-2736
Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824       Tel.  +1-517-355-7491

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