I'm new to this and I'm trying to write a document in TexShop. I keep needing to check my work as I go but to do this I have to save my code, close the window, reopen TexShop, then use the Open for preview option to view it as a PDF to see what I'm doing. I've seen the option under window called Source <=> Window but when I press it, nothing actually happens. I'm using TexShop on Mac, by the way. There must be a simpler way to preview what I'm writing?

  • 1
    Most people just put the source window on one side and the preview window right beside it. You can switch easily between one and the other by using command-1. Also command-click inside either the source or the preview will take you to approximately the same place in the preview/source.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:07
  • Thanks for the help. Though, if I try and Open for Preview while having the Tex document open, it won't actually open a preview at all. Sorry if I'm being dense
    – Charley
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:11
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    The document preview window will automatically appear every time you typeset your document (unless there are errors). In all my years of using TeXShop I've never even used the Open for Preview menu item... :) Now trying it out, I see that it tries to compile your document and then display it. So instead of using that, just use Command-T to compile your document, and the preview will show up. Then move it to where you want and set the preferences to remember last window position.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:13
  • I felt like I was being stupid, and I was! Thank you so much! :)
    – Charley
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:19
  • I've turned my comments into an answer. Since it solves your problem, it would be helpful if you could "accept" it by clicking on the check mark below the voting icons. Thanks.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


The preview window in TeXShop is created every time you compile your document. You should never really need to use the Open for Preview menu item (in fact, I had no idea it existed or what it did.)

So the typical window layout that most users use is to put their source on one side taking up half of the screen and move the preview window to take up the other half of the screen.

The following key commands are useful to know:

  • Command-T Compiles your document and displays the updated preview
  • Command-B Runs bibtex on your document (or biber if you set that to be the default bibliography program)
  • Command-1 Switches between the source and preview windows (in both directions)
  • Command-click in the source window, this will take you to the same approximate place in the typeset preview; in the preview window it will take you to the approximate place in the source (See What exactly is SyncTeX? for more details on how this works).


You can set the preferences to say how the windows are to be displayed when you re-open TeXShop. The two options are to remember the last position they were in, or to have them all open in fixed positions.



Let me just rephrase what you are looking for. So, you want to see both the tex window and pdf window appear together side by side, to preview what has been updated. You can choose the option one window in the windows bar of the Texshop on your mac. Windows-> Use one window

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! I'm not sure this answers the question.
    – egreg
    Feb 11, 2018 at 15:18
  • This could have been just a comment even though it suggests a nice window feature. May 29, 2021 at 11:30

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