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I've used LaTeX many times on Unix and MS Windows, but am sitting at a Mac (OS X 10.6.8) at the moment and need to latex something. So I tried installing MacTeX 2012. After the installation program runs, it tells me the installation was successful: but I don't see the program in the Applications folder (or elsewhere, not that I know where else to look). Does anyone know where the program might be or what I can do about this, please? (Possibly relevant is that I customized the installation to not install the GUI editors.)

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@egreg, thanks. – msh210 Dec 6 '12 at 17:03
Assuming the installation was indeed successful, what you should be seeing in Applications/TeX are programs such as TeXworks, TeXShop, and TeX Live Utility. The MacTeX2012 distribution itself should be located in the directory /usr/local/texlive/2012, but you should rarely have a reason to go poking around in that directory tree. – Mico Dec 6 '12 at 17:03
@Mico, there's no Applications/TeX: that's the problem. /usr/local/texlive/2012 does exist (and is nonempty) but I'm not what-all is in it. – msh210 Dec 6 '12 at 17:05
@msh210 As you say, you do need a TeX system (MacTeX) to actually compile LaTeX documents. You can of course use a standard text editor with TeX, and run LaTeX from the Terminal. However, most people find it convenient to use an editor which in some way will run LaTeX for them on request, either one dedicated to (La)TeX (for example TeXworks), or a programmable one (Emacs, Vim, BBEdit, ...). – Joseph Wright Dec 6 '12 at 17:38
@msh210 The following question What TeX software to write technical papers with might clear up some of the conceptual issues about the relationships between the various bits of the software. – Alan Munn Dec 6 '12 at 18:16
up vote 6 down vote accepted

MacTeX is not an application in the usual Mac OS X sense, but a collection of command line tools. Most people uses a front-end (a GUI application) such as TeXShop or TeXworks (there are others). You chose not to install them and so they aren't installed; they would be in /Applications/TeX.

The tools are available from the command line (Terminal.app), with, say

pdflatex myfile

However, while you can use TextEdit for editing LaTeX files, applications such as TeXShop make life easier: you don't even need to ever launch the Terminal. If you are used to the command line and, maybe, Emacs from it, then you're OK without GUI TeX applications.

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