[OS X TeX] Re: Wanted: editor with special skills

Joachim Kock jkock at start.no
Wed Oct 1 17:18:26 EDT 2008

Dominikus Heinzeller wrote

>However, I have one specific question concerning a reasonable editor 
>for LaTeX. Under Windows, there is an excellent software called 
>WinEdt, which has one special feature I really need and which I could 
>not find thus far for any editor available under MAC: read-and-write 
>translations. This means that when a file is read from the disk, a 
>certain combination is replaced and displayed with another one. For 
>example, in the ASCII file on the disk there is a text passage 
>"r{\'e}sum{\'e}e". The translation mechanism recognizes {\'e} and 
>converts it into é, producing a résumée in WinEdt. This has the big 
>advantage that the text is readable, spell checking is possible and at 
>the same time, the ASCII file is really platform independent (since it 
>contains only non-special characters). When typing with a French 
>keyboard in WinEdt, I can also use the special characters such as é, 
>which makes typing very fast. The internal translation mechanism 
>converts é back to {\'e} when saving the file on the disk. Along with 
>that, WinEdt provides perfect support of LaTeX features like an IDE 
>and has a very convenient spellchecker. If, by hazard, anyone knows an 
>editor capable of that, please tell me.

Alpha has the features needed to implement this, but does not have
a ready-made implementation of this particular feature.  It has
translation filters, including preinstalled filters for conversion
between latex accents and accented letters.  It also have open-
and save-hooks.  By combining these features you should be able to
achieve the effect you describe.  I once set up something similar,
namely a mechanism that automatically translated a binary plist
file into plaintext XML on open, and wrote back in binary on save.
(In this case the translation was handled by exec'ing plutil from
the script.)  I will be happy to try to help you setting up the
translation hooks, if you are interested.

(Alpha also has an extensive range of tex features.  The recent
AlphaX 8.2b2 has out-of-the-box support for synctex with Skim.
This beta can be downloaded from
(The AlphaTcl Wiki is down for the moment as a result of some
configuration changes at SourceForge...))


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