[OS X TeX] biblatex / TeXShop questions

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Tue Jan 1 15:35:46 CET 2013

On Jan 1, 2013, at 7:01 AM, Scot Mcphee <scot.mcphee at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've just started using (finally) biblatex instead of manually inserting my citations (I have been doing it manually for the past year because I am a Classics scholar and I have to deal with several different citation formats, often all at once e.g. ancient texts references, artefact references, modern secondary sources -- and the ancient texts have a different citation format on a per text basis). 
> Anyway I've decided I better start using biblatex at least for the secondary sources in my PhD before I have accumulated too many chapters and have to spend weeks converting more manual citations. Luckily I can export my citation database into a bib file from the Mekentosj "Papers.app" academic papers database that I use (it is a seriously good tool and also I just found its citation insertion system works pretty OK with TeXShop so I recommend it).
> I just spent most of the day reading the doco for bibtex, and biblatex and other related packages and I spent the evening twiddling with biblatex on a test file I exported out of my thesis. I have a question in four parts (well, four questions):
> 1.
> In the TeXShop preferences, I have told it my "bibtex" command is "biber", as I am using the biber engine. Now to get a working biblio I have to Typeset -- Bibtex -- Typeset which is really tedious, even using the keyboard shortcuts. Is there a way just to have TexShop execute those steps in sequence? I see in the "Misc" tab of the preferences there is a section "Personal Script". Do I need to write a shell script and put it there? I've also seen people mention a thing called texmk, is that a makefile format for TeX, and do I use that instead? I use XeLaTeX. 


I'm sure others will chime in with information on your other questions but I'll answer this one.

Assuming you are using pdflatex to typeset your document I'd suggest using the pdflatexmk engine supplied with TeXShop. It uses the latexmk program to automatically take care of all the necessary runs of pdflatex, bibtex/biber and makeindex to fully typeset your document. Not only that, the latexmk program also automatically detects that the bibliography should be compiled with biber so there is no need to change TeXShop's preference; although that does no harm. 

To use the pdflatexmk engine first check to see that it's active; recent versions of TeXShop activate it by default but, if you have used older versions it had to be activated manually. To do that check simply check to see that you see pdflatexmk in the popup list of engines that appear in the Source or Preview window's toolbar. If it's there you're set, if it's not there you will have to manually move it from ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines/Inactive/Latexmk two folders up, to ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines (~/Library is the Library folder in your HOME folder---under Lion or Mountain Lion that folder is hidden by default but you can get to it by clicking on the Go menu in Finder and holding down the Option key when the Library menu item will appear).

Once you have the pdflatexmk engine active simply place the line

% !TeX TS-program = pdflatexmk

at the top of your source document. From then on simply using Typeset->Typeset (Cmd-T) will run that engine and your document will be completely typeset.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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