In TeXShop, if I enter \begin{enume and press Esc, then it autocomplete as follows:


Why does it put •? Is there any reason for that?

  • Why-type questions regarding features of a piece of software are best sent to the author/maintainer of that piece of software. FWIW, the second (after \end{enumerate}) would not seem to be necessary. In contrast, the first instance of would appear to be quite useful, as a reminder that that is where the author may want to continue inputting stuff. For sure, though, I would not claim to have any insights into the thought process of the person (or persons) who came up with this feature. Incidentally, the behavior you've noticed is not limited to just the enumerate environment.
    – Mico
    Dec 7, 2022 at 5:36
  • 2
    @Mico The idea is (in my understanding) that you can jump to the . So you auto-complete, the editor puts you at the first , then you can quickly jump to the second, third, etc., from the keyboard.
    – Joseph Wright
    Dec 7, 2022 at 8:53
  • 2
    For comparison, in TeXworks, the completion files have things like newco:=\newcommand{#INS#}[•]{•}#RET# in them, so that when you type newc and press Tab, you cycle through the choices, with the cursor being positioned where the #INS# is, so that you can start typing. Pressing Ctrl-Tab takes you to the , the next insertion point (if there is one). And so on.
    – Cicada
    Dec 7, 2022 at 11:16
  • Oh wow. It was Ctrl+Command+F. Never thought about it! Thanks!
    – Chang
    Dec 8, 2022 at 13:42

3 Answers 3


That’s traditional.

In the late 80’s the best editor for TeX (plain, AMS-TeX, LaTeX) on the Mac was, at least in my opinion, AlphaTcl, that offered interactive compilation via Command-T, switching to the OzTeX previewer with Command-V and customizable command completion.

Hitting some key combination produced skeletons for input with bullets denoting the places where the user was supposed to type in text. Hitting the TAB key moved the cursor to the next bullet (removing it).

As far as I remember, the editor bundled in Textures didn’t provide customizable command completion. The overall feeling of TeXShop is modelled on Textures; editor window, preview window and console. Likely, Richard Koch tried to take the best from the two worlds.

AlphaTcl’s development stalled when Mac OS X was released and, for some time, a parallel version AlphaTk replaced it (just a few differences), but also this application could not keep up with the development of macOS; in particular, support for Unicode was rather poor. There is now AlphaX (previously AlphaCocoa), that has a small group of aficionados. I still think it’s a contender to TeXShop, because it’s easier to customize. Give it a try: https://bdesgraupes.pagesperso-orange.fr/alpha.html

  • The shortcut turns out to be Ctrl+Command+F for TeXShop. Thanks!
    – Chang
    Dec 8, 2022 at 13:47

Please read the TeXShop Tips and Tricks document under TeXShop's Help Menu. For a much more detailed description of Command Completion see the Command Completion For TeXShop.pdf document in ~/Library/TeXShop/CommandCompletion. You can open ~/Library/TeXShop using TeXShop's TeXShop->Open ~/Library/TeXShop Menu item and go from there.


By the way, this is nearly exactly the way it works with WinEdt-Editor in the Windows-World. But the second bullet is kind of weird, I think. Maybe it's used to continue typing after the completion of this environment, i. e. place a comment or just go to the next line.

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