[OS X TeX] is terminal sufficient?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Jun 28 20:16:01 CEST 2005

On 28 Jun 2005, at 17:10, diana beatty wrote:

> Hi, I am just setting out trying to teach myself TeX.  I downloaded  
> gwTeX
> and figured out how to create TeX files using Unix from the  
> terminal on my
> Mac, and how to compile them there into pdf's or whatever.
> Can TeX programming be done from Unix alone or is something like  
> TeXShop
> really necessary?  What do those additional programs do that can't  
> be done
> through the terminal?

The beauty of TeX is that the source is just plain text, ascii even  
(though you may want to take advantage of other character encodings  
for accents and the like). So any editor will work (vim, emacs, pico,  
or more Mac-like editors, like TextWrangler, BBEdit, Xcode, Alpha).  
Or one of the specially designed tools (TeXShop, iTeXMac, ...).

The Mac-like editors and special tools will offer code navigation, so  
you can find your chapters more easily. For short texts, this is not  
an issue, once you have a thesis or a really long article, you'll  
appreciate those menus. To be fair: vim and emacs offer those items  
as well, should you prefer those editors.

In principle everything is done through the terminal - the tools  
provide easy access. The one thing that became considerably easier it  
the source-preview (and back) navigation: spot a mistake in the  
preview, click on it, and see the mistake in the source, fix it, re- 
run and jump back to the preview. emacs and xdvi have this, and  
TeXShop and iTeXMac offer the same on Mac OS X, TeXniscope and an  
external editor also offers the same feature.

Hope this is clear

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