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I tried recently to use the program called "auto multiple choice", which seems to support only XeLaTeX. When I googled for it, I also heard about Luatex.

Personally, I always compile with latex/dvips/ps2pdf and made some useful pstricks macros for my own usage. When I read differences about TeX engines, latex seems outdated. But, that would need me to remake all my macros.

My question is more about community usage. Have you switched to these new latex engines ? So you think pstricks should be dropped ?

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers 2

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In my opinion everyone who can should switch to LuaLaTeX. It is much more extensible and therefore much more likely to stay relevant in the future.

To make the transition easier especially for PSTricks user, I released luapstricks last year: This is used automatically by PSTricks and allows you to use your PSTricks macros even when running with LuaLaTeX.

So you don't have to choose between a modern setup and PSTricks. Just run with LuaLaTeX and your PSTricks macros should still work.

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I'd say yes. Overall, I think that it's time leaving Postscript and non-UTF8 encodings behind, and that TikZ is, and has been for years, a good replacement for PStricks.

LaTeX evolves slowly, but it does, and the direction of its evolution doesn't favor old tools like PStricks. LaTeX's future is LuaLaTeX, which means PDF, UTF8, modern font formats... Yes, it has a workaround to be able to use PStricks, but this sort of workaround isn't something I'd be comfortable relying on in the long run.

The nice thing is, using magic macros in the source code, you can keep using the old packages and compiler in your old files, and right now start using newer tools in your new files. For instance:

% !TEX encoding = latin1
% !TEX TS-program = latex

or

% !TEX encoding = utf8
% !TEX TS-program = lualatex

Any civilized editor for the past 15 years or so should take the hint and handle each file properly. This way, you can start to develop new habits right now without risking losing previous work.

Edit: although "ts-program" should work as a magic macro, the official syntax is "TS-program", so I changed it above.

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  • 5
    are you sure many editors recognise that specific texshop format comment? May 15 at 11:17
  • 2
    I know that the following editors do: VS Code, TeXshop, TeXworks, TeXmaker, TeXstudio. And while I haven't tested, I think that TeXnic Center also does. While I won't claim that it's universal, those editors cover a lot of users.
    – Miyase
    May 15 at 12:50
  • Also, it should beTEX not TeX in the directive. May 15 at 13:50
  • As far as I know, it isn't case-sensitive. It might depend on the editor, however. Nevertheless, I edited my answer above, it can't hurt.
    – Miyase
    May 15 at 14:22

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