2. Downloading and Installing MacTeX
LaTeX is available for free on many different systems and for the mac is called, “MacTeX”. If you don’t have LaTeX installed already, then you can obtain MacTeX from the MacTeX site at:
The download is large but comes with all the programs and applications you will need for a fully functioning LaTeX system for the mac. The installation of MacTeX is very easy, but take time to read the help documents included in the downloaded package and on the MacTex website:
Once MacTeX is installed, you should see a new folder called “TeX” in the “Applications” folder, it contains the programs you will use to create and edit LaTeX files:
- TeXShop: is used to create and edit the LaTeX files and allows you to compile your LaTeX documents too. It is akin to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for LaTeX
- BibDesk: manages your bibliographic reference library (the BibTeX file) and is a great way to keep all your references organised. It is very much like “iTunes” but for references
- LaTeX iT!: creates fully LaTeX typeset equations for simple drag-and-drop into other programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple iWork Keynote as either an image or PDF
- Excalibur (in the sub folder): a spell checker that understands LaTeX mark-up and commands and so doesn’t flag them as spelling errors as a regular word processor would
TeXShop and BibDesk are the two main programs you will use to create and edit LaTeX files and to manage the bibliography. It is worth taking some time to look at the websites and read the help for all these programs before diving in.
Note: The MacTeX package may not contain the most recent version of these applications, but the applications themselves automatically check online for updates when opened and can ask whether you would like to download the latest version if a newer one is found.