[texworks] Message from TeXworks user

Stefan Löffler st.loeffler at gmail.com
Mon Nov 14 08:18:25 CET 2011


On 2011-11-13 06:56, Paul A Norman wrote:
> There have been a few message over time on this sort of thing.
> Does it warrant a turn-off-able auto-detection of Preferences, and
> throwing up an advice or launching the appropriate part of TeXworks
> help if there is no typeset engine set or detected in likely paths?
> Or would it be it too complicated to determine whether there is an
> appropriate typesetting engine in path or settings?

I'll start by outlining what Tw actually does (or should do - if it
doesn't it's a bug ;)):

Upon first start-up, it checks several compile-time paths (including the
$PATH environment variable) for TeX distributions. Whatever it finds
gets added to the preferences.
Subsequently, said preferences and $PATH are checked.

If, during the first-time check, no TeX distro is found, a warning is
displayed informing the user that a TeX distro is required.

The initial list of typesetting programs is hard-coded. The reason for
this is the approach that even if a certain tool is not installed, it is
better to show the user that tool exists in principle and is supported
by TeXworks, rather than hiding from view and provoking comments like "I
don't see BibTeX".

Finally, upon running a tool (i.e., typesetting), if the program in
question is not found, a dialog should be shown telling the user that
the program in question was not found, and stating that a TeX
distribution is necessary (this time also giving pointers to popular
distros and some (initially hidden) details about search directories etc.).

So, to wrap this up, there should be messages about missing tools and/or
missing TeX distros. Compile-time paths are only checked during first
start-up, after that the user is responsible for maintaining the paths
in the preferences (e.g., when reinstalling or updating). $PATH is
always checked, though, so on typical installations there should be no
problem. Tools are hard-coded by design, but if a tool is missing the
user should be informed appropriately, also stating that a TeX distro is


PS: There are some ideas being tossed around how to improve and/or
regroup the tools. This will hopefully be tackled when we do the
overhaul of the editor component, but for now the focus is on the pdf

More information about the texworks mailing list