[OS X TeX] Re: Some beginner questions

Ramón Figueroa-Centeno ramonf at hawaii.edu
Fri May 7 01:42:33 EDT 2010


Wow that's a lot of questions!

Some of the trouble is that you are using amsbook (or any other format). In
LaTeX the format chooses the appearance of the document. This appearance can
be modified with some effort, see

So let me try to answer some of the other easier ones.

There is a plethora of drawing apps in the Mac. The most complete free one
is Inkscape, but it has a steep learning curve in my opinion (with a lot of
setup effort it can be made to work beautifully with LaTeX).

Now, if you are willing to spend money then LineForm
<http://www.freeverse.com/mac/product/?id=6020> in combination wit the free
LaTeXit <http://chachatelier.fr/programmation/latexit_en.php>, give you a
graphic editor and equation editor that are linked, so that you can
effortlessly place equations in your drawings.

Instead of \bar you want \overline (see
<http://amath.colorado.edu/documentation/LaTeX/Symbols.pdf>, a great cheat
sheet for beginners).

Go to the Typeset menu to pick which method you would like to use to
typeset. If you want to force the use of an "engine" (aka "program") use 
use a line at the beginning of the document that that specifies it, for

% !TEX TS-program = pdflatex

will force all typesetting to go through pdflatex.

To delete .aux, you can use "Trash Aux Files" from the File menu (or from
the corresponding Console).

As to "[s]hould I have started off with a PDF or PostScript version of
«Mechanics.pgs»? " YES! apdf or eps file will be great. Then use the
graphicx package (the command is \usepackage{graphicx}) and then use
\includegraphics to load your file (see

BTW NEVER USE SPACES on the names TeX files or other files you create or
load with LaTeX.

If all of this intimidates you, don't worry it is worth the initial pain :)
You could also try LyX, which hides a lot of the inner workings from you.

All of George Gratzer's Books are great. I would also, recommend Kopka and
Daly's A Guide to LaTeX (I have a copy at home and one at work, and although
with the Internet I do not find myself reading the book every day, as I used
to, it still can get me out of some sticky problems).

Finally, look at the help menu for TeXShop it is full of useful stuff! It
includes the full manual, an intro to LaTeX, videos, etc.

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