[OS X TeX] FlashMode, Up Close and Personal, TeX plug-in

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Sat Sep 13 02:26:27 EDT 2008

Le 13 sept. 08 à 02:06, Arthur Ogawa a écrit :

> I must applaud the development of FlashMode (I simply loved Textures  
> when I could still use it.)

Before going back to the topic of this thread, I must just point out  
that Textures is still working, I do use it (2.2.0b9 currently), in  
particular because of its Flashmode. The user interface is rather  
limited, there are a few minor bugs in the built-in editor, there's no  
hyperlinking support (so that the hyperref package doesn't work), but  
apart from that it's working and very fast.

I use it for example for writing stuff, when I need to focus on  
creating content, organizing ideas and typesetting equations, and to  
forget about layout, fonts and the like, all unnecessary and  
distracting at that stage. For all this FlashMode is really a bonus.  
Then when that is done I switch back to TeXShop to take care of  
cosmetic details, add hyperlinks and navigation, etc.

That said, the erratic schedule and apparent slow pace of Textures'  
development makes me wonder whether it's really actively developed  
full-time, and whether it will ever reach release status.

> Is anyone thinking about how texd might fit into this picture? The  
> TeX Daemon is a really powerful concept.
> One of the great things about Tom Rokicki's TeX previewer for  
> NeXTStep was its ability to give you the preview of a page before  
> TeX had finished typesetting the entire file. Is anyone thinking  
> about how this might be done today?
> Is anyone thinking about the Other Great Thing that Textures did?  
> (Blue Sky called it "Up Close and Personal".) When you would click  
> in the preview window, you were immediately taken to the  
> corresponding place in your source (which was a different window,  
> you understand), and vice versa. I know how it was done, and I  
> wonder if it can be reproduced under Mac OS X.

As Herb Schulz pointed out, that's Textures' Synchronicity, of which a  
workalike is now provided for all TeXs in TeXLive 2008 as SyncTeX.

TeXShop (as of MacTeX 2008) is preset to use it in pdfTeX mode. There  
are tips for making TeXShop use it too in TeX + dvips + distiller  
mode, and in XeTeX mode, at <http://mactex-wiki.tug.org/wiki/index.php?title=TeXShop_Synchronization 

TeXworks is also preset to use SyncTeX with the processing tools that  
it knows (namely pdfTeX and XeTeX). There are tips on how to define an  
additional TeX + dvips + distiller tool, and make it use SyncTeX, in  
two former messages:


The experimental luaTeX in TeXlive 2008, by contrast, doesn't support  
SyncTeX for now.

> The only remaining thing would be the ability to have TeX manage a  
> portion of a window for another application. This is the basis of  
> Blue Sky's Quark XPress plug-in and its InDesign plug-in. This  
> embedding technique harkens back to SmallTalk and was implemented by  
> Microsoft as DDE (?), later renamed ActiveX, I think. Apple had its  
> own stab at the concept, calling it OpenDoc.
> Embedding would require a document architecture that would  
> accommodate message passing between the application managing the  
> document and the application managing the document portion. Perhaps  
> this architecture already exists (based on Mach, I would guess),  
> perhaps it does not. But Microsoft Windows has embedding working  
> (since more than 10 years ago) in applications like Word, using  
> Design Science MathType to handle math. Very slick.

I remember a MS OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) technology in  
versions of Office more than 10 years from now, at the time Office was  
delivered on about 32 floppies. Don't know whether that has anything  
to see with DDE.

Bruno Voisin

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list