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2009-04-01

MacTex

Finally, I found the solution for LaTeX on the Mac. I've been using MacTex for a month or so and it seems really solid. It has its own updater, the TeXLive utility, which allows you to keep your installation up to date. Your own local styles can be installed in ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex. BibTeX .bib files go in ~/Library/texmf/bibtex/bib or subfolders of this directory, and .bst files go in ~/Library/texmf/bibtex/bst or subfolders of this directory.

A system local texmf tree, which can be accessed by all users on a machine, can supposedly (untested by me) be placed in /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local.

This installation includes LaTeXiT, a utility I've mentioned before, that lets you easily produce PDF, EPS, TIFF, PNG, or JPEG files from LaTeX snippets. It can produce fully scalable PDFs with stroked fonts, for inclusin in presentations and posters. LaTeXiT also includes a LaTeX palette that allows you to select AMS symbols, operators, arrows, etc. from a graphical display.

LaTeXiT stores the LaTeX source within the PDF document it produces—if you want to edit your presentation later, just paste the PDF back into LaTeXiT and you can edit the source. Unfortunately, Keynote 5.0.1 doesn't seem able to access the LaTeXiT services, and LinkBack doesn't seem to work—but cut-and-paste isn't so hard.

The Grapher utility (in Applications/Utilities) also integrates with LaTex. Type a formula into Grapher, which provides a fairly intelligent wysiwyg interface (use ^ for exponents, / for fractions, "log" for log, "pi" for π, etc.). The arrow keys (all four of them) allow you to move around. Ctrl-(or right-)click on the selected equation will allow you to copy the LaTeX source for this equation (and it normally makes a better job of the latexography than I do).

1 comment:

gilberto said...

I don't know if this is the place to look for advice. I've come to love Tex/Latex. I've written my dissertation on my 13.3" MacBook (since may last year). Since then, most of my typing is done in Aquamacs Emacs to produce beautiful PDFs. Now I've migrated my setup to a 15.4" MacBookPro, but TeX doesn't seem to work. Should I uninstall and reinstall it? Any ideas?