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

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Sat Sep 13 20:12:39 CEST 2008

Le 13 sept. 08 à 17:16, Herbert Schulz a écrit :

> I must admit that I hardly ever used Flash Mode in TeXtures because
> my system, a Quadra 650, seemed so slow.

Neither did I: in Mac OS Classic, on the various Macs I used (SE/30,
IIsi, Classic II, PowerBook 540, PowerMac 8100/110, PowerBook 5300cs,
PowerMac G4, PowerBook G4, possibly others I'm forgetting), Textures'
Flash Mode and Synchronicity were so resource-consuming (in terms of
RAM and CPU for Flash Mode, and disk space for Synchronicity), given
the modest performances of those machines, that I never used them
really.

Now on OS X Flash Mode is practically instantaneous (including on the
MacBook I'm writing this on), so that typing in TeX feels practically
the same as with WYSIWYG software. That may seem secondary, but it
really feels nicer to use.

The only problem is that, in LaTeX, every \section{, \label{ or
\ref{ command creates an error, unless you finish typing the argument
and add the closing brace }. Originally every such error caused
Textures' Preview to switch back to the previous page, so that after
finishing entering the argument you had to navigate manually to the
original page in Preview. Now they have fixed that.

> With TeXShop I just recompile (Cmd-T) whenever I want to save and
> inspect what I've done. Nice and quick on our modern systems.

Before OS X Textures I used to do this, saving input and typesetting
again every 30 seconds or so. That's nice and efficient, but Flash
Mode feels even nicer.

As for Synchronicity or SyncTeX, I must admit they don't correspond to
my use of TeX: being the single author of most of my TeX documents, I
know generally exactly which part of the source correspond to which
part of the preview, to the character, and I tend to navigate manually
between one and the other.

I started experimenting with SyncTeX for testing purposes, during the
preparation of MacTeX 2008. But I don't use it for my own documents.
And being the Mac purist I am, I don't like having one more ancillary
file (the .synctex.gz file) generated during TeX runs. I'm still
hoping for a TeX wrapper (or bundle) format to arise someday, such
that all the ancillary files (.aux, .log, ...) are hidden from the
Finder and only appear when explicitly requested by the user through a
GUI (such as the .log file in TeXShop's console window).

Bruno Voisin