Frequently Asked Question List for TeX


Macintosh systems

The TeX collection DVD includes MacTeX, which is a Mac-tailored version of TeX Live; details may be found on the TUG web site. If you don’t have the disc, you can download the distribution from CTAN (but note that it’s pretty big). MacTeX is an instance of TeX Live, and has a Mac-tailored graphical TeX Live manager, so that you can keep your distribution up-to-date.

Note that installing MacTeX requires root privilege. This is a pity, since it offers several extras that aren’t available via a standard TeX Live, which aren’t therefore available to “ordinary folk” at work. For those who don’t have root privilege, the option is to install using the TeX Live tlinstall utility.

OzTeX, by Andrew Trevorrow, is a shareware version of TeX for the Macintosh. A DVI previewer and PostScript driver are also included. OzTeX is a Carbon app, so will run under Mac OS/X (see for details), but it is not a current version: it doesn’t even offer pdfTeX. A mailing list is provided by TUG: sign up via

Another partly shareware program is CMacTeX, put together by Tom Kiffe. CMacTeX is much closer than OzTeX to the Unix TeX model of things (it uses dvips, for instance). CMacTeX runs natively under Mac OS/X; it includes a port of a version of Omega.

Further information may be available in the MacTeX Help page.

FAQ ID: Q-sysmac