[OS X TeX] More questions on MacTeX

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Sun Mar 9 16:37:42 EDT 2008

On Mar 9, 2008, at 13:18 , 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?

It is so because that is the way the Macintosh behaves.  Keep in mind  
that for the majority of Mac users, the fact that there is a Unix  
system underneath, with directories like "/usr/local/bin" floating in  
the background, is not important or interesting.  They won't, in their  
normal use, need to deal with this.  The Finder supports this view by  
treating most "unixy" directories as invisible (hidden).

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

With a Finder window "up front", either type "/" or CMD-G.  Either  
will get you a dialog where you can enter a directory path (including  
such things as ".foo").  The Finder window will open that directory  
and you can proceed as usual.

The same works, generally, for File Open/Save dialogs (unless, I  
think, overridden by the app).

> - 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?


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

No.  They are in your home directory tree, not in /usr/local (unless  
you have configured a very funky setup).  Remember that "/usr/local/ 
texlive/texlive/texmf-local" is for local but "system-wide" files,  
while "~/Library/..." is for your own stuff.



They said it couldn't be done, but sometimes,
it doesn't work out that way.
   - Casey Stengel

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