[OS X TeX] viewer, configuration

Frans Goddijn frans at goddijn.com
Tue Jun 29 13:03:24 CEST 2004

Hi all,

Finally after much tweaking I have Texshop running. First of all, I 
want to say that the systeem thrills me since it's so nice and seeing 
the swift compilation of a file and then viewing the results is a 

But there are so many glitches! It amazes and daunts me that the 
super-gifted people developing TeX on a superior platform like the Mac 
can make things so difficult for a simple user such as me.

Some questions and remarks...

1) Can I tell TeXshop to use the Acrobat Reader instead of its own 
primitive viewer and if so, where? In the beginning I was often 
startled to see how bad a document looked (bitmap fonts looking 
terrible!) or how interactivity suddenly failed to work (works fine in 
the real reader). I want to show what I do with TeXshop to other Mac 
users that I know and I like to impress them. I succeed so far but only 
when I hide such 'features' as the partially blind viewer.

2) In TeX manuals one can read about files like texmf.cnf and 
texexec.ini.  On my system I can load them in the text editor but I 
can't save them! Overwrite is forbidden. Why? It is MY computer! I 
would expect that such configuration files are also placed in my own 
/Library map structure so I can edit them there but they often don't 
exist there. And there is no map matching /usr/local/tetex in my own 
map structure because that one starts later/deeper, at /texmf/...
Not being able to play with such config files makes it harder also to 
add my own font and font mappings.
I needed to uncomment "enable \write18" in the texmf.cnf and instead of 
just being able to do that (file not writable by the owner) and get 
back to work, I spent a long time trying to find workarounds. I then 
copied texexec.ini to my own map structure in texmf\context\config 
(this path didn't exist yet) and added "-shell-escape" to the line that 
reads "texpassstring -progname=context" -- it works but it is of a 
complexity that discourages me to suggest an other mac user to try TeX. 
And it could be so simple! And the output (if I manage to hide the 
internal texshop viewer) looks so fantastic!

3) If I use the i-installer to make sure I have Metafun, and I first 
select TeX, then Formats, then Metafun, then when the installer runs I 
see that it is first disabling all other formats. So every time I just 
want to add one, I must also select every one I already had. That's 
puzzling for me. Why would that be so? And if Metafun is installed 
properly in this way, why is it so hard to actually *use* it because 
\write18 remains as disabled as it was?

Otherwise I am one very happy user of Texshop, proudly amazed of all 
TeX can do.




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