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LaTeX: It's Not Just for Academia, Part 1
Pages: 1, 2, 3

iTeXMac
iTeXMac is another LaTeX writing environment and previewer in the same sprit as TeXShop. Like TeXShop, it's a front end for TeX, and includes an editor, previewer, and many other features to support composing LaTeX. It also uses the teTeX distribution, but can be configured to use other LaTeX distributions, such as the Fink TeX package. iTeXMac is available in a compiled version (.dmg file), or as source code. In addition to the application, you can also download an assistant-SDK for writing iTeXMac extensions, and an excellent online Apple Help Books for TeX and LaTeX.

iTeXMac provides many of the same features as TeXShop, such as spelling support using either Apple's built-in spell checker or the cocoAspell program. It also contains menus that hold LaTeX macros, an excellent PDF previewer, and can be configured to support external editors. This feature enables you to compose LaTeX documents in your favorite editor and use iTeXMac for rendering your document. Unlike TeXShop, iTeXMac supports projects, which aggregate information (files to be processed, typesetting commands, BibTeX settings, and so on), so iTeXMac can render PDF documents. It also supports AppleScript.

iTeXMac is a very complete environment for composing LaTeX. It's a native Mac OS X application so it feels like the Mac OS X program you are used to. It contains lots of features, excellent online help, and is a very well-designed program. Overall, iTeXMac's has more features thanTeXShop, and will require a bit more time to learn.


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LyX
LyX is an open source document processor. LyX comes in two flavors: a Mac OS X program, which you can install from its .dmg file, and a version that runs under X11, which you can install using Fink (discussed in the next section). LyX's Mac OS X version is written using the Qt GUI toolkit so it feels different than the Mac OS X applications you are used to.

The LyX writing environment is somewhat different from the other tools discussed here, or even from word processors. According to its documentation, "Think of LyX as the first WYSIWYM word processor: What You See Is What You Mean." To really get the feel for LyX, give it a try and check out is documentation page.

BibDesk
When writing articles, reports, and books, it's important to keep track of bibliographic information . You can use commercial programs like EndNote, but they cost money and do not integrate well with LaTeX environments. If you are using LaTeX, the typical way to manage your citations is using BibTeX.

BibTeX is an extension package to TeX that you use to manage your bibliographic citations, and merge selected citation information onto your LaTeX documents. The details of this process will be discussed in the second article in this series.

BibDesk is a Mac OS X BibTeX bibliography manager. Basically, it provides a GUI for managing your BibTeX files. If you are more comfortable using a GUI for managing citations, this program is a good choice.


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Aggregated LaTeX Environments

OzTeX
OzTeX is a popular implementation of TeX for the Macintosh and has been around since the early Mac OS days. OzTeX comes with its own version of TeX so you will not need to install another TeX distribution. Like the other packages, OzTeX contains a previewer, in this case a DVI previewer. Unlike the other packages, OzTeX is distributed as shareware so there's a $30 fee for individuals and $300 for groups.

The OzTeX distribution includes the OzTeX program, which includes TeX, a DVI previewer, a DVI-to-PostScript translator, dvidvi, dvicopy, and PostScript utilities psbook, psnup, and psselect, to name a few. OzMF is a Mac implementation of Knuth's Metafont program. OzMP is a Mac implementation of John Hobby's MetaPost program for producing PostScript pictures. OzTtH is a TeX-to-HTML translator.

Unlike the other programs, OzTeX does not have an integrated editor, and as such, does not have a set of menu-driven macros that support your writing. OzTeX is configured through a local configuration file. An example file is enclosed, which you can edit to suit your needs. This file enables you to choose your default editor, web browser, default paper size, and printer settings.

To use OzTeX, you compose the source document in your favorite text editor. Next, you activate OzTeX, making sure that LaTeX is selected from the TeX menu. To process the document, choose the TeX command from the TeX menu. OzTeX processes the document and writes runtime information to the OzTeX window (you can repeat the run by pressing Command-T). To view the DVI output, select View [DVI-file], or press Command-O. To continue editing, press Command-E. The Tools menu contains many commands for rendering your document in different formats.

OzTeX is not an integrated environment like TeXShop or iTeXMac, but rather a front end that knits together several tools. This design has some advantages and is great for users who like this approach. Experienced Macintosh LaTeX users like OzTeX because they are use to the environment. Also, some Mac OS X editors, like AlphaX, contain very good OzTeX integration.


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CMacTeX
CMacTeX is an integrated suite of programs for implementing TeX on the Macintosh. It includes TEX, e-TEX, pdfTEX, a DVI and Postscript previewer, and a Postscript converter, to name a few. It also supports AppleScript. CMacTeX comes in versions for Mac Classic as well as Mac OS X (Carbon and Classic versions). It's compatible with Unix TeX versions and understands Unix directory paths embedded in your LaTeX document. This feature is useful if you plan on sharing LaTeX documents with Unix users.

CMacTeX is similar in spirit to OzTeX. It's mainly a front end to TeX that enables you to conveniently access TeX tools. Also like OzTeX, it comes with its own version of TeX. CMacTeX integrates well with BBEdit and even comes with a set of plugins that simplify using it from BBEdit. For example, you can compose your document in BBEdit and use the plugins to process your document, go to errors, and view the DVI output.

Like OzTeX, CMacTeX is distributed as shareware so there's a $35 U.S. registration fee for a single user.


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