[OS X TeX] migrating from Emacs to TexShop

marian mariansuriyama at gmail.com
Sat Feb 4 20:17:43 CET 2012

I have been an Emacs user for almost 20 years.  When I was young, I was a
sophisticated one, and I would write Emacs Lisp code to get the editor to do
exactly what I wanted.  Nowadays, I can't even be bothered to figure out how
to configure Emacs so that its TeX-specific features work.

For the last few days, I have been borrowing a friend's Mac.  I am impressed
with it and thinking of buying one myself, and if I do, I am thinking of
using TexShop, which I have been heavily using these past few days, instead
of Emacs.  I was happily surprised to find that many of the standard Emacs
keybindings using Control work in TexShop.  Unfortunately, none of the
keybindings using Meta work, but I found a post in the MacOS-TeX archives
explaining a way to make them work as well, and I plan to try it.

A number of things, however, don't seem so convenient.  First, the first
thing I noticed when I started editing a TeX file of mine using TeXShop is
that there didn't seem to be any equivalent to Emacs's fill-paragraph
command.  I concluded that the reason was probably that TeXShop expected you
to keep each paragraph as a single line, so I converted my file to put each
paragraph in a single line.  But I am not happy with this solution for two
reasons.  First, it will make it hard to share files between the Mac and
Unix.  Second, it makes the Emacs commands involving the beginning and end
of line (C-a, C-e, C-k, etc.) behave very differently: going to the
beginning of the line now takes you, in effect, to the beginning of the
paragraph.  Second, as noted in the thread on getting the Meta-based
commands to work, the PageUp and PageDown keys don't move the cursor as in
Emacs (or at least the version of it I was using), and at least until I set
up the hack to get the Meta-based bindings to work, C-v/M-v is not an
Finally, there are lots of Emacs features that I rarely use but that are
extremely useful once in a while, for instance the commands to manipulate
rectangles.  As far as I understand, there would is just no TeXShop
equivalent or workaround for any of them.  Do people resort to using another
editor?  Using a scripting language?

I am willing to learn new ways of working, and even to use the mouse on
occasion, but they should be more or less as efficient as the old ones.  So
far, I am impressed with the TeX-specific features of TeXShop and with the
fact that it worked out-of-the-box, without the endless fiddling that seems
necessary to get anything to work properly on Emacs.  But it also seems
really inflexible and to lack not just some of the more esoteric features of
Emacs, which I rarely use, but even some basic movement commands.  I want to
just buy a Mac and use TeXShop and forget about all that complicated Unix
stuff.  But these issues are holding me back, and I don't have a good sense
of whether TeXShop is just very limited or whether there are alternatives
and workarounds I don't know about yet.


View this message in context: http://macosx-tex.576846.n2.nabble.com/migrating-from-Emacs-to-TexShop-tp7254679p7254679.html
Sent from the MacOSX-TeX mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list