April 1st 2009

Install MacTeX with TeXlipse on OS X

From the moment I started using LaTeX on OS X, I was looking for a good editor. The most promising ones where TeXShop, which comes with mac distribution of LaTex, and of course BBEdit, as it is the best text editor on OS X I know. Turning BBEdit into a LaTex editor didn’t go that well, so I used TeXShop and got used to it.

However, these days I came across TeXlipse, a plugin to turn Eclipse into a LaTeX editor. As I’m used to to Eclipse by the time, I gave it a try and must say that it’s much better and much more handy than TeXShop.

Hence I decided to document the steps needed to get to this setup.

Here’s how you install MacTeX, Eclipse and TeXlipse on OS X Leopard.

You need to have Java installed to be able to install Eclipse with TeXlipse.

Install MacTex

Download and install the MacTeX distribution to set up LaTeX on your system. This is a package installer. So just double-click the downloaded package and follow the installation process.

When using an older version of MacTeX, the paths in the TeXlipse configuration section will be different.

Install Eclipse

You need to download and install Eclipse, if not already installed on your system.

I tried to install TeXlipse on Eclipse Version 3.2.* and wasn’t successful. So I updated to 3.4.* and everything went fine

I recommend to download Eclipse with the Eclipse Modeling Tools included, as they are required by a lot of other plugins, and the manual installation can be quit annoying. Here‘s the direct download link for that package.

The installation process is painless. Just move the unpacked source to your Applications folder.

Install TeXlipse

There’s an install How-to on the TeXlipse page.

Configure TeXlipse

There’s a configuration How-to on the same page as well, but here we need to set the configuration to use the MacTex installation.

Builder Settings

Set the bin/ directory of TeX distribution to your TeX installation directory:
/usr/local/texlive/[year]/bin/[universal-XXX-darwin]
(e.g. /usr/local/texlive/2008/bin/universal-x86_64-darwin) and hit the Apply button.

Most of the programs in the list named Programs used when building: will be set. If something is missing, take a look at the following screenshot of my Builder Settings.

Viewer Settings

I set the acroread to /usr/bin/open with the arguments %file as showed in the following screenshot.

The other settings are shown in the next screenshotof my Viewer Settings.

Now that everything is installed, just create a new LaTeX project and enjoy the advantages that Eclipse and TeXlipse offer over TeXShop, e.g the Document Outline.

If you’ve never used Eclipse before maybe my Eclipse Keys Preferences are of some use for you.
To import them, open Eclipse and choose File → Import… → General → Preferences.
If you need more information about the Keys configuration in Eclipse, check this site.

2 Responses to “Install MacTeX with TeXlipse on OS X”

  1. There is information on how to use pdfsync with preview on the texlipse Building and previewing page under Using preview to source linking on Mac OS X. This may be worth a try.

  2. Hi!

    Do you know how to get pdfsync to work? I mean that (command- or dobule-) klicking on any position of the pdf brings you to the according position in the .tex-source? TeXShop offers this, but I don’t know how to set it up. Any Ideas?

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