[Textures] Beta 11 is out

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Tue Aug 18 17:28:19 EDT 2009

Le 18 août 09 à 18:36, jean-Yves Lainé a écrit :

> a force d'attendre en vain, je suis passé à TEXSHOP et m'en  
> accommode très bien.
> Certes, il me manque la façon "spécial" pour introduire des schémas  
> dans mon fichier.
> Avec Textshop, je dois créer un fichier pdf, qui doit se trouver  
> dans le même dossier que mon fichier.
> Mais je m'en accommode, surtout que TEXSHOP est gratuit.
> Croyez-vous qu'il serait intéressant de revenir à TEXTURES?


Answering in English I'll just paste an extract of an off-list message  
I sent today:

> As it happens, I just finished last night a long document on which  
> I'd been working for months. [...] For final production I used  
> TeXShop and TeXworks, as I needed PDF bookmarks and embedded  
> hyperlinks in the PDF output and also some characters from the TX  
> fonts. I also needed PNG support to produce an under-2MB alternative  
> PDF version using 72-dpi PNG bitmaps instead of the original  
> vectorial embedded graphic. But for working on the document I used  
> Textures a lot.
> There are GUI features from TeXshop and TeXworks which I miss in  
> Textures, of course (block comment and indent in the editor, syntax  
> coloring, split views in the editor and previewer, tags in the  
> editor and TOC in the previewer, in particular). But they don't  
> compete for productivity with Textures' Flash Mode (it's so nice to  
> see the result of what you're typing appear instantaneously, it  
> helps a lot to get the wording and expression and organization of  
> ideas right), and with Textures' source-preview synchronization to  
> the character (SyncTeX is much less precise).
> So, even though I'm significantly involved in the production of  
> MacTeX and beta-testing of TeXShop and TeXworks (if you've access to  
> the MacTeX and TeXworks lists you've already seen this), I keep  
> using Textures often and liking it a lot. I like especially the  
> polish of all that's implemented GUI-wise, very true to the Apple  
> excellence spirit, for example the "slider" for selecting a page in  
> the previewer (the fact that the page displayed underneath is  
> updated real-time), and the magnifying glass (this little touch of  
> having the non-magnified view still visible but grayed out and  
> dimmed).

One selling point too may be the ability to include TIFF images with  
the new b11. With pdfTeX dropping TIFF support a few years back,  
there's only XeTeX in xdv2pdf mode allowing inclusion of TIFF files on  
the Mac for now, but xdv2pdf is quietly put to retirement by Jonathan  
Kew (the XeTeX developer) in favour of xdvipdfmx. So Textures seems  
the only alternative, and I know publishers who insist on TIFF for  

There's another reason, but it's really a matter of personal taste.  
TeXShop has got a bit too complicated for my taste, with too many menu  
items and buttons and preference options, etc., generally as answers  
to users' requests. Stuff like auto-completion and the like, palettes,  
helpers, the enhanced Search/Replace panel, etc., stuff in which I'm  
personally not interested at all. TeXworks is also going the same  
route, again because these are the first features new users are  

In my experience these are things you think about when you are  
discovering a new tool, when you're just a casual user. But when you  
are working on something, really focused, really using the tool, all  
that you need is something reliable and fast and easy to use and for  
the most part working transparently in the background, and in this  
respect all the sophisticated UI features I just mentioned tend to get  
in the way instead of helping.

For example, in my view it's more important that a variety of  
graphical formats are recognized transparently (EPS, PDF, PICT, TIFF,  
JPEG, TIFF) without needing any preliminary conversion, than to have  
sophisticated input modes or auto-completion features.

So, at least for me, Textures is really a bonus with the bare-bones  
simplicity of its interface, comprising only a few elements but  
impeccably executed.

Bruno Voisin

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