[OS X TeX] migrating from Emacs to TexShop

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Sat Feb 4 20:55:59 CET 2012

On Feb 4, 2012, at 1:17 PM, marian wrote:

> 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.


In many ways its sounds like my history with emacs.

> 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.

I assume you're talking about creating the DefaultKeyBinding.dict file. You can get more information about and links to the web in the KeyBindings.zip file which you can get at <http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10932738/KeyBindings.zip>.

> 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
> alternative.
> 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?

It is possible to put in hard-wrapped lines by selecting the paragraph, or even the whole document (Cmd-A) and then executing Source->Wrap Lines->Hard Wrap. Give that menu command a shortcut (Ctl-Cmd-H?) in System Preferences->Keyboard->Keyboard Shortcuts; take a look at the TeXshop Tips & Tricks document (Help->TeXShop Tips and Tricks) for an example of how to do this.

Not quite sure what you mean by ``manipulate rectangles.'' If you mean rectangular selection it can easily be done by holding the Opt key and click+drag the mouse pointer. I've found it very handy to extend and move items in tables.

The move to end/beginning of displayed line are done using Cmd-RightArrow/LeftArrow while selecting to end/beginning of displayed line just add the Shift key to the command. This is all standard Apple Text Framework behavior. Of course, once things are selected just Cmd-X to delete them and copy them to the paste board or Delete to just remove the selection.

> 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.
> Marian

Can't say Apple's Text Framework allows for many ways to extend things; as with the DefaultKeyBinding.dict file above.

What other things do you feel you need? Can't guarantee they can all be easily accomplished.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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