A colleague gave me a .tex file and said it needed to be compiled with sepdflatexmk, which she had on her Mac. She didn't know anything more about this compiler. I did some Googling and it seems specific to TeXShop on Macs, relating to makefiles (about which I know essentially nothing). My questions:

  1. What exactly is sepdflatexmk?
  2. I have a Windows machine running TeXLive- is there something comparable to this compiler for Windows pc's? I looked in the bin folder and didn't see anything promising.

3 Answers 3


Let me expand on that answer. TeXShop ships with several engines based on the use of the base latexmk program. The pdflatexmk engine uses pdflatex as the typesetting engine without enabling shell-escape. The sepdflatexmk engine adds the shell-escape flag to pdflatex.

  • 1
    So it should be seen as a setting (engine call) in Texshop not something a user should expect to be able to call on the command line. That different is quite important. Not much of this discussion made it clear what an engine is in this context and it might confuse visitors. An I right in assuming that an "engine" in this context may be seen as a build rule, such that pdflatexmk might be the same as latexmk -pdf on the command line
    – daleif
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 5:23
  • @dalif: It is a shell script with additional configuration files used by TeXShop, not an external program. Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 13:56
  • I have a Windows machine and use TeXnicCenter as my editor. I accomplished the same thing, I presume, using an output profile calling latexmk.exe (after installing the latexmk package) and passing the arguments -pdf -pdflatex="pdflatex -shell-escape" "%wm" to the compiler. The -shell-escape part is important, equivalent to the se portion of the sepdflatexmk name.
    – GregH
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 19:58
  • @GregH: that's pretty much it but the engines for TeXShop contain additional configuration files for processing files for some popular packages as well as more parameters passed to pdflatex to enable synctex, help latexmk, etc. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 22:31

From http://macosx-tex.576846.n2.nabble.com/eps-to-pdf-conversion-td7580188.html

I would create an engine, sepdflatexmk, that is essentially identical to the pdflatexmk engine but includes the --shell-escape flag. That way you can use pdflatex with the --shell-escape flag set when you need it and other engines if you don't need it. I.e., only use the flag with ``trusted'' documents.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz


Recent versions of TeXShop contain updated latexmk engines that allow you to set up shell-escape using TeXShop's parameter directive. See the documentation and installation instructions in ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines/Inactive/Latexmk. (Note: you can open ~/Library/TeXShop by using the TeXShop->Open ~/Library/TeXShop Menu Item and go from there.)

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