Manuscripts and LaTeX typesetting

Manuscripts supports exporting your document into LaTeX, as well as compiling a LaTeX export of the project into a PDF directly. Manuscripts does not require LaTeX to be installed on your system, it is an entirely optional.

  • Exporting to LaTeX does not depend on having a LaTeX installation on your system.
  • Exporting to PDF via LaTeX depends on a LaTeX installation on your system.
  • If you want to export to PDF without installign LaTeX, you can use File > Export as PDF.

Pointing Manuscripts at Your LaTeX installation

Manuscripts supports typesetting with MacTeX versions 2013–2015, and from Manuscripts version 1.1.0 onwards, also MacPorts is supported. Your mileage with other LaTeX distributions may vary.

If you have installed LaTeX using the MacTeX distribution with default settings, all you need to do is to press Enter or hit “Choose” in the dialog where the app queries for the LaTeX installation root directory.

The default location where Manuscripts assumes your LaTeX installation to be located is /usr/local/texlive. This location is chosen by default in the file open dialog you see when you attempt to export to PDF via LaTeX (File > Export… PDF via LaTeX), or by choosing the LaTEX installation path under Preferences > General > LaTeX Installation Location.

Why can’t the app find the LaTeX installation itself?

Manuscripts is a so-called sandboxed Mac application. Sandboxing results in certain security restrictions to be imposed to the app, and one of those is that as a user you need to grant access to all files the app may be accessing beside files you have created with the app itself.

Compiling LaTeX into PDF requires of course the pdflatex command, as well as of fonts and other commands launched by and resource files accessed by the pdflatex compiler itself. This is why the app requires you to first point itself to your LaTeX location because without doing that it is not permitted of accessing it.

Using Manuscripts with BasicTeX

Manuscripts detects a BasicTeX installations (versions 2013–2015, same as regular MacTeX distributions). We cannot give quite the same degree of support for BasicTeX installations with Manuscripts as we do for the ‘standard’ MacTeX installation, as you may need to install additional packages, depending on exactly what you are running. We welcome ideas on steps that may have been necessary for you to get BasicTeX working on your system.

At the time of writing we are aware of at least the need to:

  • on OSX El Capitan (10.11.0 or later), you will need to execute sudo tlmgr update --self --all
  • install packages tabu, varwidth, (installable with the following command: sudo tlmgr install tabu varwidth) as the Manuscripts created TeX source (which you can inspect by compiling to LaTeX instead of PDF)depends on those.

Manuscripts & LaTeX installation from MacPorts

To use Manuscripts together with LaTeX installed via MacPorts, there’s a few considerations:

  • Please ensure you have installed both ports texlive and texlive-latex-extra (the latter contains a number of texlive packages needed by the TeX output by Manuscripts).
  • The path you should choose when asked to locate the TeX installation is typically /opt/local/libexec/texlive, or in case you want to use a specific version, you can choose for instance /opt/local/libexec/texlive/texdist-2015.