[OS X TeX] Re: a question about TeXShop

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Mon May 12 21:00:51 EDT 2008

Le 13 mai 08 à 00:50, perego a écrit :

> I'm writing to you since, from what I've seen on the net, I guess  
> you are an expert in configuring and using opensource TeX on Mac OS X.
> I'm taking the freedom of bothering you since I'm in a really tight  
> situation involving a student of mine, but, please, feel completely  
> free about
> answering or not my question.
> My problem arises from the fact that I'm working with a student who  
> must write and typeset his thesis work: I've been using Textures on  
> Mac
> since many years, but I cannot force the student to buy it (let  
> alone the fact that there isn't a definitive version of Textures yet  
> for Mac OS X).
> For this purpose I'd like to use a set of macros I've been  
> developing during the last years, that make the thesis typesetting  
> much easier
> (at least for me!), but work with plain TeX only. Therefore, I  
> directed the student to download the last version of TeXShop and we  
> are going
> fairly well, but for the fact that I've not been able to access  
> italian hyphenation with plain TeX in this environment.
> Using \language=0 yields english hyphenation (which is quite  
> different from the italian one) and any other value no hyphenation  
> at all.
> I've browsed online and  found many pages where some advice is  
> given, but I wasn't able to achieve my goal, since a great part of
> this material seems to be outdated: the directory structures do not  
> generally correspond with those in my computer; furthermore,
> there seem to exist two separate sets of similar folders/files in / 
> usr/local .... and in /Library/TeX.
> If you are aware of the situation and, without wasting your time,  
> can guide me on this issue, or refer me to some updated  
> documentation, I'd be
> very grateful.
> Best regards
> Andrea Perego
> University of Florence - Department of Physics

Very very rapidly (I really haven't much time):

What you see is normal, plain TeX and AMSTeX in TeXLive only include  
English hyphenation, as opposed to the other formats which include all  
the hyphenation files specified in language.dat.

To know where all the files I'm mentioning reside, you can use  
kpsewhich (in Terminal), as in "kpsewhich language.dat".

To know which hyphenation files are included in a format, you can  
inspect the associated log file in /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-var/ 
web2c. For example, /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-var/web2c/tex/ 
tex.log tells that the TeX format includes English hyphenation only,  
while /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-var/web2c/pdftex/pdflatex.log  
tells pdfLaTeX includes Italian hyphenation as \language32.

I did last December look at such hyphenation issues in order to dump  
Textures formats including more hyphenation files, but I must admit  
I've now mostly forgotten how I did.

What I would advise (beware: it's untested by me):

- Read the comments in /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-var/web2c/ 

- Edit this file to replace

tex	tex	-	tex.ini


tex	tex	language.dat	bplain.ini

(you'll need to edit this file using for example "sudo nano /usr/local/ 
texlive/2007/texmf-var/web2c/fmtutil.cnf" in Terminal, given this file  
is in a write-protected directory).

- Then, again in Terminal, "sudo -H fmtutil-sys --byfmt tex". Maybe  
you need to run "sudo texlinks" afterwards, as mentioned in  
fmtutil.cnf, I don't really understand what this is supposed to do.

Afterwards, you'll get a new TeX format, including the same  
hyphenation files as LaTeX and also preset for using the babel package  
(works with plain TeX as well as LaTeX). Hence, you should be able to  
get Italian hyphenation by using the babel interface for hyphenation  
selection (see /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-dist/doc/generic/babel/ 
babel.pdf), or by using \language32 (checking this is the correct  
number first in tex.log).

Beware: in the above I'm really only guessing, so I'm cc'ing the OS X  
TeX list where you would get more competent help (and people with more  
time). These days I'm much less interested in TeX issues than I used  
to be, and with much much less time available, so you really shouldn't  
consider me an expert -- if I ever was one -- on these matters.

Two more things:

- /Library/TeX is essentially a collection of symbolic links to  
subdirectories of /usr/local/texlive.

- The above applies to TeX (Don Knuth's original program) and not its  
extension pdfTeX which is used by TeXShop by default. To perform the  
same customization for pdfTeX, you'll have to edit pdftex.ini (that  
is, /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-dist/tex/plain/config/pdftex.ini) to  
call bplain.tex instead of plain.tex.

Hope this helps, and good luck,

Bruno Voisin

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