I was using TexShop for a while due to its simplicity. But recently discovered Texmaker which makes it so much easier to type common functions (auto completion) and double compile before exporting as PDF.

I realised that Texmaker scrolls in one-line intervals, as in it skips a whole line when scrolling. This provides a choppy experience while editing the code. And the buttons on the left tend to disappear when my mouse runs over them. However, TexShop provides a finer resolution when scrolling and hence a smoother experience when editing the code (plus the program is not as laggy as Texmaker due to less features).

Is there another editor that combines the simplicity + smoothness of TexShop and the efficiency + features of Texmaker in one program ? Maybe another editor that I may have missed ?

Note: I do know there are comparisons available online etc, but I want something specific here; an editor that combines features from both TexShop and Texmaker.

  • TeXShop has full autocompletion, and there are various tools to automate compilation runs should you want them, see Tools for automating document compilation so I'm not sure what the problem is here. The answer to your question is TeXShop. :)
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 11, 2013 at 12:54
  • @AlanMunn Thank you for replying :) Yeah it seems that TexShop had features I didn't know of. One feature missing is easier insertion of figures using a GUI in TexMaker for example.
    – Razor
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:40
  • Did you have a look at biglist tags to get LaTeX Editors/IDEs ? Apr 11, 2013 at 13:41
  • @texenthusiast Yes, alot of them require EMACS or VIM etc that I am not really willing to bother around installing. TexShop and TexMaker are standalone packages which is faster to start on typing.
    – Razor
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:43
  • 1
    TextMate. You can download it from GitHub. … another editor that combines the simplicity + smoothness of TexShop and the efficiency + features of Texmaker in one program? … Except the buttons of TexMaker, probably TextMate has all of the features plus some more which you will like. I recommend spend an afternoon looking all it's options in the LaTeX Bundle.
    – Manuel
    Apr 11, 2013 at 14:45

4 Answers 4


If the two features you list are the only thing you are missing in TeXShop, you might actually be able to achieved just that in TeXShop:

Regarding "double compilation": I use latexmk in TeXShop, which is even better because it compiles as often as necessary, and also runs bibtex etc. for you. To get that, go to the "Misc" tab in the TeXShop prefs, then set the "Latex Program" to "latexmk -pdf". Then select "Personal Script" in the "Typeset" menu. From now on, using Cmd-T resp. clicking the "Typeset" button will invoke latexmk.

Moreover, TeXShop also provides autocompletion and even arbitrary macros. For example, I have configured mine so that Cmd-Space triggers the "Insert begin/end" macro. So now if I want to start an enumeration, I do this:

  1. Type "enu"
  2. Press ESC to trigger completion mode (can be changed to TAB in the preferences)
  3. The first completion this suggests is "enumerate", so now type "Cmd-space" resp. select "Insert begin/end" from the "Macros" menu.

With 5 keystrokes, we now got



and the cursor is at the right place, i.e. inside the environment.

That is just one way to do, it, though. There is also e.g. the command completion feature. For example, type "\ben" followed by ESC, and you'll get


Here, the fat dots are command completion marks, between which you can quickly navigate using Cmd-Ctrl-F and Cmd-Ctrl-G. Oh, and personally, I prefer the completion variant "\b" followed by ESC (inserts "\begin{", followed by "en", followed by "ESC" (which produces the same result as when starting with "\ben").

For a list of all pre-defined completions (and to add your own or modify existing ones, see menu "Source -> Command Completion -> Edit Command Completion File...".

  • Rather than changing the default engine to pdflatexmk, I prefer to specify its use on a per document basis using % !TEX TS-program = pdflatexmk. See When and why should I use %!TS-program and %!TS-encoding for more on these commands.
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:03
  • Yeah, that is another possibility. In the end this is a matter of taste :-).
    – Max Horn
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:15
  • Wow I didn't know this about TexShop !! Thank you !! Btw, is there a way I can add a feature similar to what Bichoy showed possible using vim-latex-suite ? These are the features i'm missing from TexMaker too ! Rather than adding each single one manually..Is there a way to add all pre-defined completions from TexMaker or something ?
    – Razor
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:27

After years of trying lots of editors, I came to decide that vim equipped with vim-latex-suite is the ultimate way to edit LaTeX files. (It will be MacVim in this case of course)

This is not just about the idea that vim is an extremely powerful, if not the most powerful editor ever (no offense EMACS folks!). vim-latex-suite is a really brilliant macro set.

An example, you only have to write EFI and a complete figure environment will be created for you with placeholders to fill in.

  \caption{<+caption text+>}

You can jump between this place holders by using Ctrl-j. And guess what, it is smart enough that it notices whether you are using graphicx or not and thus makes for you \includegraphics or \epsfig.

This is a minor example about the power of vim-latex-suite. I strongly recommend that you use as the most efficient way for editing LaTeX.

  • Installing this is a bit hectic (compared to ready made packages). Is there a way I can recreate this feature in TexShop ?
    – Razor
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:26
  • 1
    I don't know about replicating such behavior in TexShop. But I don't think it is hard to install it. vim-latexsuite is just a tar file that you have to untar in your ~/.vim directory and add few lines in ~/.vimrc. You should give it a try when you have some time to do it. There are also thousands of other features like typesetting Math and lots of other stuff but I can't list them all here. Just the website and you will love it.
    – Bichoy
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:28

Main drawback of texshop in my opinion is lack of support for tabs. You cannot have multiple tabs for multiple files and switch easily between them. Also you cannot select portion of text and compile only the selected part.

I have heard some people running Winedt under parallels on Mac and been happy with it.


I have been using Texpad for a number of years now and find it convenient to use, while giving me enough control on how to compile my documents.

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