[OS X TeX] Fonts and PSNFSS

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Jun 12 22:35:03 CEST 2004

Le 12 juin 04, à 19:44, Alain Schremmer a écrit :

> Thanks very much.
> Please don't bother with this any further. (I would hate to see how 
> much you would be able to write were you /not/ short of time.)
> The reason is that I do not really need pifont in my writing (or will 
> I?) and that I did this mostly as an exercise because I hate to be 
> helpless. Certainly not because I wanted to upgrade from 9.0a. What 
> must really have happened can only be due to my general incompetence 
> (can't, won't, use the term I used previously as it got me, privately, 
> berated). In fact, I had suspected that the package must have been 
> i-installed but I had no idea how to go about checking whether it had 
> and what had happened to it.
> When I wanted to typeset the file I had been given as a sample for my 
> instruction, I got
>    !Undefined control sequence <recently read> \c at lor@to at ps
>    1.41 \psset at bordercolor(white)
>    ?
> and when I did goto error the following was highlighted.
>    \usepackage{pifont} %%for the dingautolists and the proofsymbol

Well, that's not an easy one to debug, unless you've got some 
experience with LaTeX already! LaTeX's error message are often 
unhelpful, as they point to a line where the error becomes blatant, 
even if the error was actually created by another instruction several 
lines earlier.

I think the most likely cause for what you experienced is that you 
compiled in pdfTeX mode a document that included the line:




or has a [dvips] option somewhere (or an option corresponding to 
another driver than [pdftex], like [textures], [truetex] or [vtex]).

How to debug this: I used BBEdit to do a multifile search for 
"c at lor@to at ps" over the whole directory 
/Library/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/tex/latex/, it returned the name of 
several files inside 
/Library/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/tex/latex/graphics/, including in 
particular dvips.def, textures.def, etc.

It may also be that your document uses the changebar package, and that 
this package uses the option [dvips] by default. Or that it uses the 
pstricks package, since searching for "psset at bordercolor" returns only 
the file /Library/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/tex/latex/graphics/pstcol.sty 
which is said to provide "PSTricks color colompatibility".

How to solve the problem: replace the [dvips] option by [pdftex], or 
simply erases it (I think TeXShop has a way of figuring out by itself 
which option to use), or typeset in TeX + Ghostscript mode instead of 
pdfTeX. In case your document uses the pstricks package, then the TeX + 
GhostScript mode is the only solution.

Generally if the error message mentions a command with "ps" in its 
name, it's reasonable to try the TeX + Ghostscript mode and see whether 
it cures things.

> P. S. In looking up things, I found a folder that seems to have 
> remained from my ill-fated attempt to command Fink to install iTeXMac, 
> before I i-installed TeXshop.
> It is called sw, right next to the system, and contains  bin, etc, 
> fink, include, lib, sbin, share, src, var. Is it harmless or should I 
> do something about it?

Unless you use Fink for other purposes, you can simply throw away the 
/sw/ directory. But there's also something trickier to do, which goes 
beyond my competence: Fink modifies the default path used by the 
system, by placing, in this path, its directories for executables 
/sw/bin/ and /sw/sbin/ before those where the system executables live, 
i.e. /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin and /usr/sbin. You can see all these 
directories, for example, by opening Terminal and typing:

cd /
ls -l

which will show what's really on your disk.

So there is somewhere a file where Fink stores this path setting, I 
don't know which one it is as I don't use Fink myself. For TeX, 
specific settings are placed by i-Installer inside 
/private/etc/csh.login, maybe Fink uses this file too or some other 
file. *Beware*: if that's indeed this file, do not attempt to modify it 
unless you're absolutely positively sure of what's you're doing; making 
an error at this stage may render you Mac completely unusable and force 
you to reinstall everything (OS, TeX, really everything). As the path 
says, these are really "private" OS directories (which is probably why 
Apple hides them so carefully in the Finder).

So what's needed at this stage from somebody more knowledgeable than me 

- in which file Fink stores its path settings;

- what to do to change these settings back to their original OS X 

Bruno Voisin
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