[OS X TeX] TeX on iPad

Scot Mcphee scot.mcphee at gmail.com
Mon Dec 9 00:00:14 CET 2013

On 09 December 2013 at 01:00:05 , Herbert Schulz (herbs at wideopenwest.com) wrote:

On Dec 8, 2013, at 7:54 AM, George Gratzer <gratzer at me.com> wrote: 

> Did u guys read these articles? Have fun. 
> <NoticesV.pdf> 
> <NoticesVI.pdf> 


I remember the earlier articles but not these. Of course I didn't have an iPad at the time so I may have simply ignored them. Very nicely put together. 

Steve Jobs made a big mistake by assuming that documents should be owned by a single app and therefore there is no need for a `file system'. Anyone who is more than a simple user will often use more than one app to work on the same file; e.g., many photo enthusiasts (not necessarily professionals) use multiple applications when dealing with raw photo files or even jpg file. Luckily, under OS X, even though there is a default application that opens when you double click the file, you can right click a file and use Open With… to open a file with another application. No such luck with iOS. 

Applications can register a URL schema that they will handle and other applications can send a link (if the user chooses). So you could register e.g. tex:// and another application (say an editor) can format a URL and send it to the other application.

So it would be certainly possible to have an editor editing a file on drop box and a tex engine processing the file when a button is pressed in the editor. With a bit of foresight and co-operation between software developers you could have interchangeable editors and tex processors.

Personally I use TeXpad on my iPad and don’t bother about processing the TeX - I wait until I’m at my computer. Normally when I’m writing on my iPad - which I’ve done for quite a while now, I’m on my second iPad having bought an iPad Air recently - I’m mostly interested in just getting out the words and ideas rather than typesetting the result. I use an external keyboard so I’ve got the whole surface for the editor; it’s a wonderful distraction-free writing environment. I don’t really love TeXpad as an editor though - most recently I’ve fallen back onto using the Elements editor to writing in Markdown via Dropbox, which easily converts to primitive TeX when I’m back in computer-land (also I use Scrivener as my main tool on the computer and it supports Markdown in a plain-tex mode but not TeX directly). 

Although unlike most of you I don’t give a damn about equations! ;-)


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