[OS X TeX] SyncTeX and Beamer

Peter Vamos P.Vamos at exeter.ac.uk
Mon Sep 8 06:05:19 EDT 2008

Thanks to all who offered/pointed explanations and and background on 
why SyncTeX fails on a Beamer document. In particular

At 17:02 +0200 6/9/08, Bruno Voisin wrote:

>TeXShop uses actually a combination of SyncTeX and PDF search, even 
>in SyncTeX mode. In I understood correctly off-list explanations 
>from Dick Koch, SyncTeX returns a line in source or preview, and 
>TeXShop adds PDF search on top of this to find a more precise spot 
>within this line.


>- TeXShop adds the Mac-only PDF search to SyncTeX and highlights 
>bits of text or maths in the lines of source or preview.

At 09:30 -0500 6/9/08, Herbert Schulz wrote:

>By default the SyncTeX option falls back to the Search when synctex 
>fails. You can force TeXShop to only use synctex. Looking under 
>Help, searching for ``hidden preference items'' and going to the 
>bottom of the page I get
>``TeXShop now supports SyncTeX. See the synchronization section in 
>Advanced Help for details. If synctex fails, TeXShop falls back on 
>the Search synchronization method. For users who would like to 
>experiment with synctex by itself, there is a hidden preference to 
>turn off this fallback behavior:
>defaults write TeXShop SyncTeXOnly YES
>By default, this preference has the value NO.''

I cannot see in what sense this can be true: for a Beamer file 
typeset with SynTex, Preview -> source synchronization essentially 
fails but if done with  PDF search it works as expected so  with 
SyncTeX PDF search adds nothing, i.e.SyncTeX mode is _not_ an amalgam 
of these two.

I did not set any hidden preferences. Herb, you yourself saw how 
SyncTeX performs with Beamer, now try with PDF search to see that if 
Synctex fails, TeXShop _does not fall back_ on the Search 
synchronization method.

At 14:40 +0100 6/9/08, Jonathan Kew wrote:

>See "SyncTeX and Beamer" at <http://itexmac.sourceforge.net/SyncTeX.html>.

Thank you, went to see. Cannot claim to understand fully but if I get 
the sense of the explanation right, then the problem may not be 
restricted to Beamer only. For example, just the other day I was 
looking at the fancyvrb package and it seems to me that if one uses 
the \SaveVerb \UseVerb pair (see TLC 2nd ed pages 165-167) then 
SyncTeX will run into the same problem. While this may be  a rare and 
esoteric example nevertheless it shows that there might well be quite 
a number of environments, apart from Beamer's frame, which SyncTeX 
cannot penetrate.

>Note that iTeXMac2 and TeXShop can use text search *in addition to* 
>the synctex data, and this may enable them to do better,

see above to Bruno & Herb.

>  but the results could depend on the particular document (how 
>searchable the content is, what fonts are used, etc).

OK, this may be the operative word here, this "*in addition to*" may 
depend on document class and environment. What we can say, based on 
the Beamer example, is that this "*in addition to*", if it works at 
all, may fail in certain circumstances. We need here more experiences 
and/or further elucidation from the developers and/or info on the new 
version of SyncTeX.

For me as a user, the situation is that I use a lot of Beamer files 
for my lectures. To me, the claimed advantages of SyncTeX over search 
is not worth the additional hassle of changing TS preferences every 
time I change between a Beamer and an `ordinary' LaTeX file (+ the 
added clutter of an extra auxiliary file); although I must admit that 
I have not experimented enough with with SyncTeX on `ordinary' 
files. Perhaps someone could do a comparative evaluation of SyncTeX v 


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