If you mean you downloaded the latest TeXShop 2.10beta8 and ``moved the Engine folder and (re)started TeXshop.' The three engine files ((xe/pdf)latexmk.engine) should be in your / Library/TeXShop/Engines/ folder. The four files, (xe/pdf)latexmkrc files and latexmk, should be placed in the /Library/TeXShop/bin/ folder. Defaults write TeXShop backgroundG 0.169 defaults write TeXShop backgroundB 0.212 # commands = solarized red = 220 50 47 defaults write TeXShop commandred 0.86 defaults write TeXShop commandgreen 0.196 defaults write TeXShop commandblue 0.184 # comments = solarized base01 = 88 110 117 defaults write TeXShop commentred 0.345. TeXShop Alternatives for Linux. TeXShop is not available for Linux but there are some alternatives that runs on Linux with similar functionality. The most popular Linux alternative is TeXstudio, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked nine alternatives to TeXShop and five of them are available for. Open Preferences and click the Engine tab. Click the (pdf)TeX field and enter the path to the folder which contains the pdftex executable. If you have a private MiKTeX installation, you must enter /bin (the tilde character is expanded by TeXShop). If you have installed MiKTeX system-wide, you must enter /usr/local/bin. TeXShop opens Chinese documents showing Gibberish. This is quite common, especially if your Mac or Windows system is not set with Chinese as primary language. A proposed solution (there may be a better solution) is to: Set the primary language of your Mac / Windows as Chinese. The entire system, including all your taskbars, icons should be in.

Since I spent some time figuring out how to make Emacs and TeXShopinteract the way I want, I figured I might as well post and recordwhat I've done.

What I'm using

  • TeXShop, version 2
  • teTeX, as imported by Gerben Wierda's i-installer. This includesthe standard tools like gs, imagemagik, etc.
  • Carbon Emacs with auctex


  1. Use emacs to edit, teTeX to process and TeXShop to view.
  2. Use a short keyboard command to typeset.
  3. Have the output automatically update.
  4. Be able to process with pdflatex or altpdflatex (the latter means latex source -> dvi -> PostScript -> pdf)

Crucial featurs

When TeXShop (version 2) is properly configured, it will watch a pdf file, and re-open the file if it changes. There does not appear to be any other way to automatically have TeXShop process/reprocess/update a file if it's been changed by an external program.

Thus, all the commands need to be issued by Emacs and need to result in a pdf file. Again, I want as much of this to be automated as possible.

TeXShop settings

In the preferences for TeXShop, under the 'Preview' pane, check the button for 'Automatic Preview Update'. (I don't think it matters if you also check the 'Configure for External Editor' button on the Document pane.)

Backend tools

I use teTeX as installed by Gerben Wierda's i-installer. For the altpdflatex process you need to have Ghostscript and dvips installed. I use 'altpdflatex' which is a shell script written by Wierda. Texshop bibtex

Thus, if I type 'altpdflatex foo.tex' at a command line, latex is run first, then dvips is run on the dvi file, then ps2pdf is run on the PostScript file; the dvi and the PostScript files are removed. The 'altpdflatex' script should run on any unix system (it is available at CTAN).


After all of the above, it is clear that the goalsare just to get keyboard commands for Emacs to run 'pdflatex' or'altpdflatex' on the main file. In plain emacs this is done bybinding an emacs command (I forget what it's called, something like'tex-master-document) to the command line command. In Emacs withauctex I found that the easiest way is to add a new command to the command menu, and then call this with the keyboard.

The .emacs file already contains the following line:

This creates a line in the 'Command' menu with an item called 'pdfLaTeX'. This menu item runs the command 'pdflatex' on the main tex file, represented by %t.

Thus, I want to add two lines like the above. One which runs 'altpdflatex' and one which opens the pdf file in TeXShop.

Here are the first lines I added in my .emacs file (withinthe command menu list):

Now, I want keyboard shortcuts which call the menu items 'altpdf','pdfview' and 'pdfLaTeX'. For some reason in auctex the way I figureout how to do this is to use an intermediate step of creating afunction, which is then bound to a keyboard command. For thekeyboard commands I used C-t (i.e. control-t) and M-t (i.e. meta-t,or Apple-t). This clobbers pre-existing emacs keyboard commands for'twiddle', i.e. for reversing two adjacent letters (for C-t) and forreversing two adjacent words (for M-t). I don't mind losing thesecommands; if you do then pick a different keyboard shortcut.

Here's what I added to create the keyboard shortcut M-t for'pdflatex' (these lines are not added to the command menu list, justadd them to the file after the list somewhere):

For 'altpdflatex' I created a very similar entry:

Finally, I created a (better for me) keyboard shortcut for saving afile:

Note that this keyboard shortcut only works (in my version of Emacsanyway) in major modes. Thus, for plain text files it does not work.The reasons why Emacs does this are beyond me; but things like this(so-called global settings not working in certain modes) are a featureof Emacs which I continue to find very frustrating.

Texshop tutorial

You might wonder why I bothered to do this since Emacs has C-x C-s.Well, (1) I don't think something I do as often as save my tex fileshould require two keyboard commands and (2) I use the dvorak keyboard(actually a dvorak keyboard with further modifications to maketex-ing easier) and 'x' and 's' are on different hands, so 'C-x C-s'is not at all convenient for me to enter.

How I use it

  • Open a tex document in emacs.
  • When ready save it with M-s; tex it with M-t or C-t.
  • If the pdf file is already open in TeXShop, then TeXShop will automatically update the display when the pdf file is written.
  • If the pdf file is not already open in TeXShop, then I choose 'pdfview' from the Command menu. Note that I only need to use the menu once.
educkworthLast modified: Thu Sep 15 09:10:58 EDT 2005

** The Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) **


faq.html gettinghelp.html-->

[ click on the Q# to jump to the question & answer ]

MacTeX Q&A : getting or installing MacTeX
QM.01:Trouble completing the installation process.
QM.02:No need to uninstall previous TeX distribution
QM.03:When trying to typeset, my front end puts up a dialog claimingthat it cannot find tex (or pdfLaTeX, or XeTeX)
QM.04:Fink and MacPort Questions
QM.05:Where to put personal additions in the texmf tree
QM.06:Why can't the latest MacTeX find my local BibTeX (.bst, .bib) files
QM.07:Fonts in my TeX documents are wrong --- the Font Cache Bug.
QM.08:Does MacTeX-2021 work on Big Sur?
QM.09:Where can I obtain and download older versions of MacTeX?
TeXShop Questions
QT.01:Typesetting in TeXShop gives an error message related to (/usr/texbin)
QT.02:TeXShop refuses to start, or behaves strangely
QT.03:Damaged Macros Folder

QM.01:I am having trouble completing the installation process. How can I get MacTeX installed?


One common problem is that users obtain a corrupted MacTeX.pkg after downloading the large file. There is an easy way tocheck that your download was successful. Run Apple's Terminal application in /Applications/Utilities. After the prompt, type the command
and a space, and then drag and drop the file MacTeX.pkg to theTerminal window to complete the command. Push Return.The Mac will compute an 'md5 checksum'. This sum should bethe sum shown at the top of the downloading page here.

Some users downloading with Google Chrome and possibly other browsersreport defective downloads. We recommend downloadingwith Safari. Users with problems also report success after downloading via the torrent network.

Defective downloads are essentially never due to a bad file on theserver because we test after uploading new versions. But users withdownload problems sometimes succeed after trying an alternateCTAN site. To do this, check on one of the links in the mirror page.

If you are at an institution with a large body of TeX users, a support person could put MacTeX-2021 on the DVD and loan you the DVD.

A final solution, if all else fails, is to go to http://www.tug.org/mactex/morepackages.htmland download BasicTeX; this distribution is quite complete and serviceable and the smaller download may cause fewer problems. You will also need a front end like TeXShop or those included in MacTeXtras.

QM.02:Do I need to uninstall my previous TeX distribution before installing MacTeX?

AM.02: No. The TeX Live in MacTeX installs in a new location, /usr/local/texlive/2021, and does not overwrite the old distribution. Consult the documentation for your older distribution to uninstall it, if you want to save space.

QM.03:When trying to typeset, my front end puts up a dialog claimingthat it cannot find tex (or pdfLaTeX, or XeTeX)

AM.03: Some users have installed software which incorrectly set thepermissions on /usr/local. To see if you have this problem, open Terminalin /Applications/Utilities. Type
ls -l /usr
and push RETURN (note that '-l' is a small el, not a number). Terminalwill print a list of folders. Look at the entry named 'local'. The permissionsat the start of this line should be
If instead they are 'drwx------' then carefully type the followingline in Terminal:
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local
You will be asked to supply your Login password.

QM.04: Fink (or MacPorts) is installed on my computer. After installing MacTeX,
(a) pdfTeX and TeX crash with error messages referring to broken libraries in /sw/...or/opt/...
(b) the versions of pdftex and tex in Fink or MacPorts run instead of the versions in TeX Live.
(c) pdftex runs erratically.
Texshop latex
AM.04abc:MacTeX installs a symbolic link to the TeX Live binaries named /Library/TeX/texbin. Calling /Library/TeX/texbin/pdftex will reach the pdftex in TeX Live. Once this version runs, it will not be confused by the presence of Fink or MacPorts and will use the correct libraries, style files, fonts, and utilities in TeX Live.

The GUI programs shipped with MacTeX understand this symbolic link and automatically call /Library/TeX/texbin//pdftex. But if you call pdftex from the Terminal or another application, you may encounter the problem. The solution is simple. Find your shell startup script. That script should contain a command modifying PATH so /sw (or /opt) comes first. After this command, add a line to the script prepending /Library/TeX/texbin to the beginning of your PATH.

QM.05:Where do I put my personal additions to the texmf tree?

AM.05: They go in
and various subdirectories structured according to the standard TeX conventions. Here ~/LibraryTeXShop is the Library folder in your home directory. You may have to create the texmf folder, and any subfolders of it mentioned below. For instance, TeX will find any file in
or a subfolder of this folder, and LaTeX will find any file in
or a subfolder of this folder. It is not necessary to run texhash when adding files to this local tree.

On Lion and above, the ~/Library folder is hidden. To open it, use the Finder's Go menu and hold down the Option key to revealan extra item in the menu.

QM.06:Why can't the latest MacTeX find my local BibTeX files? Earlier versions of MacTeX worked correctly.

AM.06: TeX Live is slightly pickier about placement of these files. '.bib' files go in
or subfolders of this directory, and '.bst' files go in
or subfolders of this directory.

QM.07:I installed MacTeX and now all of the fonts in my TeX documents are wrong. I checked this in Preview, TeXShop, LaTeXiT, TeXniscope, and other programs. They all display bad fonts, so I must have messed up the installation. Maybe it is because I used custom install and installed the Latin Modern and TeX Gyre fonts.

AM.07: The problem (known as the 'font cache bug' in Mac OS X) was fixed in MacTeX-2009 and all later distributions are fine.

QM.08:Does MacTeX-2021 work on Big Sur?


Yes, it has been extensively tested and used on Big Sur on both Intel and Arm machines. MacTeX-2021 contains native code for both processors. This question will come up again when Apple releases their next version ofmacOS, probably in fall of 2021. But the developers of MacTeX-2021 will have downloaded the beta of that system on the first day of WWDC,the developer conference, and worked on it extensively during the summer. If problems exist after the system release, they will be prominently mentioned on theseweb pages.

QM.09:Where can I obtain and download older versions of MacTeX?


To Obtain Older Versions of MacTeX If You Are Running Mac OS 10.3 through 10.11, click here

TeXShop Questions

QT.01:Typesetting in TeXShop gives an error message:
'Can't find required tool. /usr/local/texlive/bin/x86_64-darwin does not exist. Perhaps TeX Live was not installed or was removed ...'

AT.01: This error means that TeXShop could not find a TeX distribution. Usually users who see it downloaded TeXShop, but forgot to download TeX itself. The solution is to install TeXLive-2021. If you installed with MacTeX, you will not see this error.

QT.02:TeXShop refuses to start, or behaves strangely.Or, for example, you get the message:

AT.02: There may be a damaged TeXShop preferences file. Quit TeXShop, and reboot your machine. Then before starting TeXShop again, move the file
to your desktop. Then start TeXShop. If this fixes the problem, reset your preferences as desired. If not, put the old plist file back to restore your old preferences.

Make sure you are using the latest version of TeXShop

QT.03:TeXShop complains of a damaged Macros file when it starts.

AT.03: There may be a damaged Macros folder in TeXShop's configuration files. Quit TeXShop, move the Macros folder
to the desktop, and restart TeXShop. It will create a new Macros folder with a working Macros file.

Texshop Preview

Texshop Pdf

For more information about other frequently asked questions please

Texshop Install Package

  • search the Archives of the Mac OS X TeX mailing list

Texshop For Mac

If you still have problems with the MacTeX Installer, you may contact us via themactex-support webpage.

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