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I want to write my final thesis using LaTeX, what should I do in order to be able to do that through Eclipse on a Mac OS X? If any another good editor exists, feel free to write your opinion on why using this instead of something else.

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Since Lipis mentions Eclipse, presumably Mac OS X is what is meant? –  András Salamon Jul 28 '10 at 21:21

6 Answers 6

up vote 28 down vote accepted

MacTeX is your friend! This contains the latest TeXLive distribution.

Personally, I edit using Aquamacs with AUCTeX and friends enabled.

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TeXShop (uoregon.edu/~koch/texshop/texshop.html) is a very good free (La)TeX IDE as well, and I've heard very good things about LaTeXiT (pierre.chachatelier.fr/programmation/latexit_en.php) if you want to put TeX output directly into other applications on your Mac, for example Keynote. –  Michael Underwood Jul 27 '10 at 5:46
Yes, I too use LaTeXit for that purpose, but the OP seems interested in typesetting a long document, for which LaTeXit is not suitable. –  José Figueroa-O'Farrill Jul 27 '10 at 10:10
I used TexShop for quite a while; it works great and handles multifile documents reasonably well. But I've recently switched to Aquamacs and AUCTeX, for no particular reason except that I'm using Emacs more in general. I like the syntax highlighting, and in fact everything about it, except that the documentation regarding configuration (of Aquamacs in general, and AUCTeX as well) is not so hot. Or I'm not so smart. –  rogerl Jul 28 '10 at 16:00
TexShop is a great IDe with a good PDF previewer (I especially liked the loupe tool which magnifies by double or triple click the text which might be helpful if you usually display the whole page (or even double page)). The BibTeX integration with BibDesk might also be a big plus. - I switched to TexMakerX some months ago and I am quite happy, as I was missing in TexShop a tree view for easier navigation in the large document. That's a big advantage of TexMakerX and it has some more very useful features. (However, it is not as leightweight as TeXShop nor is it a native OS X application). –  MostlyHarmless May 1 '11 at 21:24

There are more integrated environments for editing Latex documents, but I'm happy with a good general-purpose text editor + a good PDF viewer + some scripts. One nice thing is that I don't need to learn that many different tools; I can use the same text editor for Latex files, programming, etc.

TextMate is fairly popular text editor for Mac OS X. It has a decent support for Latex, and it's easy to customise (e.g., you can define a keyboard shortcut that invokes a shell script that compiles your Latex document).

Preview (part of Mac OS X) is a good tool for previewing PDF files that you produce with pdflatex. My typical workflow:

  • First, open the source code in your text editor and open the PDF file in Preview (you can make this a bit more automatic by using some scripts). Leave both windows open.

  • Edit the document in your text editor and hit the keyboard shortcut that compiles the document. Then press cmd+tab to switch to Preview. It will notice that the file has changed and it'll reload the document automatically, without losing the current location.

In any case, download and install MacTex first to get started, as suggested in other answers. Among others, it'll provide all command-line tools such as "pdflatex" that you will need.

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I personally prefer Skim to Preview, as it plays nicely with remote controls (for some reason Apple has decided to cripple Preview in this respect), has good annotation features, and is generally more flexible. skim-app.sourceforge.net –  András Salamon Jul 28 '10 at 21:18

If you like Eclipse, you can get the TeXlipse package, which adds LaTeX handling features to the IDE including:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Document outline
  • Code folding
  • Templates
  • Build support, also partial building
  • Annotations for errors (while editing)
  • Content assist (completion of commands and references)
  • Easy navigation with F3
  • Outline of the current file and the full project
  • Spell checking
  • Menu with common LaTeX math symbols
  • BibTeX editor and BibTeX-support
  • Line wrapping
  • Table editor
  • Support for several platforms (Windows, Linux, OS X)

I'd vote for a more lightweight text editor like Vim or Emacs, (Or their Mac-ified GUI equivalents listed above), or TextMate (Although I've never found the charm it seems to hold for others). But, lightweight vs. sumo is a matter of personal preference (And the size of your RAM).

Once again, MacTeX is the package you want to install LaTeX. After that, the editor you use is a matter of personal preference.

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For those who use Mac OS X because it is Unix and integrates well with other unixes, fink provides a set of texlive packages. Just install fink, then use

$ fink install texlive

at the command line.

I believe MacPorts also provides a set of TeX packages.

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I use MacVim for all my editing purposes, and naturally also for LaTeX. Together with the Vim-LaTeX plugin, it’s very powerful.

But of course it’s Vim and that’s not to everybody’s liking, and furthermore setting the Vim-LaTeX plugin up correctly is a bit of a hassle, in particular since the plugin by default maps a lot of keys to custom commands. On the one hand this is helpful for writing said commands, on the other hand it’s very annying when you actually want to use those commands. For example, by default you cannot easily write a quote mark (") and some other characters.

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You might also want to check out Cassiopeia for MacOSX (http://www.advanced-science.com/ProductsCassiopeia.html). It allows you to write your thesis comfortably without having to tinker around with LaTeX tags and finally generates LaTeX automatically when it comes to printing. This gives you both, a very efficient scientific word processing solution and LaTeXed output! It internally uses MathML Content Markup o represent your equations and has a bunch of other features that might or might not be of interest for you, e.g. an integrated plotting engine.

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How does this answer the question for a (at that time LaTeX on MacOS X starter)? The question was about LaTeX on MacOS X, not on how to circumvent/bypass it –  Christian Hupfer May 11 at 13:16

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