I would like to add a new engine in TeXShop which is able to perform the xindy command in the following way:

texindy -g meindok.idx

I do not want to call the command every time from the command line, instead the dropdown menu integrated in TeXShop is quite comfortable. Unfortunately, I have no idea where the current engines shown in TeXShop are saved. There must have been a change since 2015 because all the posts which I found say that you have to create an engine in ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines but that path does not exist any more.

  • There has been no change in the location of the TeXShop engines. Are you sure you're looking in ~/Library/TeXShop? Use the Go menu from the Finder or the terminal to get there.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 21:42
  • Alternatively you could add a custom .latexmkrc file to allow the latexmk engines to run texindy instead of makeindex. See Why latexmk does ignore my (index) custom dependency and subroutine? for details. For how to make an engine in TeXShop see Do we need to manually invoke pythontex? TeXShop Engine: PythonTeX with XeLaTeX.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 21:48
  • One other alternative would be to use arara, in which case you would use the arara engine, but need to write your own texindy rule for arara. See Using arara with texcount for an example.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:05
  • Thanks so far. I found the folder with the engines but I still have no idea how to make such an engine... Especially I do not know how to set a path name so that the command works, no matter which file is opened in TeXShop.
    – Andy
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:06
  • One other useful tidbit: to get to ~/Library in MacOS in Finder, click the Go menu and then hold down the option key. "Library" will magically appear.
    – Teepeemm
    Feb 7, 2023 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


Making a texindy Engine

Here's what your texindy.engine should look like.

#! /bin/bash
texindy -g "$bfname".idx

Make sure you set the executable bit on the file. In the Terminal type:

chmod +x ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines/texindy.engine

Making a texindy rule for arara

An alternative way to do this (although the two approaches are not incompatible) is to make an arara rule to run texindy. We can do this modelled after the makeindex rule given in the arara manual.

First, move the arara.engine from the Inactive folder to the Engines folder in ~/Library/TeXShop if you haven't already.

Then, you need to make a local configuration file for arara to tell it where to find your custom rules. This should be saved as ~/araraconfig.yaml (i.e., in your home folder.)

Make a directory for your local rules somewhere in your home folder. For example if you make a folder arara in your home folder you would put the following, but the folder can be anywhere (for example, mine is in my Dropbox folder so that all my Macs can find it.) You just need to specify the place in this file.

- /Users/andy/arara

Now in the arara folder you've created, we can add the following rule called texindy.yaml

identifier: texindy
name: texindy
command: texindy @{style} "@{ getBasename(file) }.idx"
- identifier: german
flag: <arara> @{ isTrue( parameters.german, "-g" ) }

This is an arara rule that will allow you to call texindy with arara. I've set up the rule to be able to pass the -g option; if you need other options you will need to add them similarly to the rule.

Now in your source document you can put the following, which should do all the necessary runs for you automatically. (You may need to adjust the order.)

%!TEX TS-program = arara
% arara: pdflatex 
% arara: bibtex
% arara: pdflatex
% arara: texindy: { style: german }
% arara: pdflatex
  • Another and hopefully the last question so far: How to make an engine that executes the following other engines in that order: LaTeX, BibTeX, texindy, LaTeX, LaTeX
    – Andy
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:30
  • @Andy As I mentioned in the the other comment, it would probably be best to use latexmk for this. It is very smart and all you would need would be to create a latexmkrc file which tells it to use texindy instead of makeindex Or arara could do this too. The links I gave should give you an idea how to proceed.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:38
  • @Andy I've added an arara solution.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 23:06
  • Thanks again. It works perfect and does exactly what it has to do
    – Andy
    Jun 25, 2017 at 6:17

Unless you always want to use xindy -g you may not need to do much to use pdflatexmk by creating a platexmkrc file that contains the line

$makeindex = "texindy -g %O -o %D %S";

(add a blank line after this) and place it in the same directory as the project that needs it. PS: the file has a leading 'p' in its name because it's meant to be used for a project and will be used for all files in the same directory as the file. Then place the line

% !TEX TS-program = pdflatexmk

near the top of your root .tex file. From then on using Typeset->Typeset (Cmd-T) will completely compile your document.

  • Thanks, Herb. This is indeed simple. I didn't realize latexmk allowed project level configuration files.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 24, 2017 at 23:55
  • @AlanMunn : The TeXShop latexmk engines all allow for a project configuration file named platexmkrc with special configuration for all compilable files in a given folder. It turns out to be pretty useful for special cases. Jun 25, 2017 at 17:08

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