LaTeX questions: real-time preview and spell-check

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by flat6, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. flat6 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    #1
    So, I've got LaTeX installed and up and running and it's wonderful (I can't believe I've gone 4 years of university without this... would have saved me so much time had I started with it earlier). Right now I'm using texmaker.

    Two things that would make the experience nicer for me.

    First, a real-time preview, so that as I'm typing, I can see the PDF output update. I work with a lot of equations, and it's hard to see the logical flow in TeX syntax, what with all the brackets and frac and whatnot. So a side-by-side code-and-preview setup would be ideal.

    Second, a spell-check. I'm using texmaker at the moment, and I know there's an ASpell dictionary that is theoretically possible to get up and running, but I'm not hardcore enough to manage to install ASpell.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #2
    If it is just equations for which you need realtime preview, then you should try LaTeXiT.
     
  3. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Sep 19, 2003
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    Canada, eh?
    #3
    I wrote my thesis using TeXShop. It's not quite a real-time preview, but it's close. (I'm not sure how useful an actual realtime preview would be for LaTeX anyway, because until you're finished typing a command, you might have junk output, so the previewer would have to wait until you're finished anyway). With TeXShop, you can have your editor open on one side of your screen, and a PDF preview open on the other. You just hit the "Preview" button and it takes a half-second to compile your document and update the PDF preview. Was very convenient.

    I don't remember if it made use of the system spell checker (I'm not at my Mac right now) but I think it did. I liked it, very much.
     
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
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    Omaha, NE, USA
    #4
    You can't do real-time preview as the code has to be compiled, and if you it tried to compile on the fly there would be many times when it would result in errors because you haven't finished what you are typing.

    I use TeXShop, which I can complile by using Apple+T and the PDF is automatically displayed. Plus as in is a Cocoa app it uses OSX's built in spellchecker.
     
  5. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #5
    You don't want a preview until you finish typing, as stated above. Before you close some parenthesis, what you type might giver errors or turn out gibberish. You should type your equations up as much as you can and then check the results. If your equations do not change a whole lot, you can prepare a few templates, so by cutting and pasting you can save quite a bit of time.

    I use Smultron, which colors the latex commands, which helps a lot to make sure you have completed the subsection or closed the paranthesis etc. It is a cocoa app, so it has access to the built-in OSX dictionary. It also allows tabbed editing, so you can have your "equation templates" in one of you tabs and have easy access to it.
     
  6. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2004
    #6
    Hah, I feel kind of silly now, you guys are totally right, it'd be a mess compiling unfinished syntax. I guess the only way to do it "automatically" would be a for program to update the preview only when it detects no errors; so, as you're typing a regular sentence, it'd be have a real-time preview, but as soon as you open up syntax (like a math equation) it'd silently wait until the syntax is error-free before updating the preview.

    Anyway, good stuff on the spelling suggestions, I'll give Smultron and TeXShop a spin.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #7
    If you want realtime preview of more than just equations, then you have to switch to the commercial app, Textures. It has been doing this for more than a decade.
     
  8. Am3822 macrumors 6502

    Am3822

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    Groningen, The Netherlands
    #8
    TeXShop spell-cheking

    How can I change TeXShop's (or OS X's) spell checker? It is currently set to US-English and I'd like it to use British-English spell checking.
     
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
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    Omaha, NE, USA
    #9
    I believe it uses OS X's built in spell checker, so it will be in whatever language your OS is in I think.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    You change the spell check language to UK english by going to System Preferences==>International==>Edit List==>British English.

    Then press OK

    Then it should appear at the top of the list if not drag it there.
     
  11. adammcd macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #12
    Real-Time Spell Checker

    It didn't seem like anyone answered the 2nd part of the thread-author's question: Is there are latex program for Mac that does real-time spell checking? I used TexShop in the past & don't remember having this feature. I use texmaker now, and it does not have in-line spell checking either. I know Kile has such a feature, but I've also heard installing Kile on Mac is difficult (installing texmaker & aspell and getting them to work was hard enough for me).

    What would be great is if there was a helper-application for Mac that somehow underlined incorrectly spelled words in the text in the desired application. Could such a thing exist?
     
  12. bahman macrumors newbie

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    Oct 19, 2007
    #13
    This does not seem logical. Writing a code and having the result while typing it!?
     
  13. adammcd macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #14
    Logical or not, it exists. I am using Firefox to type this response as we speak, and if I accidentally misspell a word, it instantly becomes underlined in red. I don't have to remember to run the spell-check tool every time I type an email or forum reply or anything else inside Firefox, it just tells me in real-time when I misspell something.

    Since so many applications use text, it would be nice to have a universal helper application that could check the spelling of the text in the paired application as you type. That's all I am trying to say. I was also wondering if such a thing could possibly already exist...
     
  14. Am3822 macrumors 6502

    Am3822

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    Aug 16, 2006
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    #15
    Well, you can have something pretty close to that if you're using LyX (which is _not_ LaTeX, of course, merely LaTeX-based).
     
  15. irbdavid macrumors regular

    irbdavid

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    Mar 27, 2006
    #16
    OS X does this already in most cocoa based apps. E.g. in Safari go to Edit/Spelling/Check spelling as you type. Most of the time this will be on by default. Firefox causes problems because it's not a 'mac' app as such and doesn't use the same dictionaries etc.

    There's a big difference between checking spelling as you type and compiling code as you type (as would be needed for a live preview in latex).

    As with anything else, as you learn latex you get quicker and make fewer mistakes, and need to preview less often. You can also work on chapters / sections of your document individually, so previewing / compiling takes less time.
     
  16. feyn-man macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #17
    I remember a software in windows called 'scientific work place' or something like that. Which can open and edit a .tex file just as MS-WORD. But I really don't like it. I thought that is just betray to the idea of TEX.
     
  17. adammcd macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #18
    Of course. What I was asking about was a real-time spell checker that checked the spelling of the pre-compiled code as you typed (the dictionary would have to include all the funny latex commands in addition to normal words, but that doesn't seem like a huge issue [or perhaps somehow one could tell the dictionary that every 'word' beginning with a "\" should be ignored]).
     
  18. adammcd macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #19
    Luckily Firefox (my version 2.0.0.10 for Mac/Intel anyhow) has its own "Check my spelling as I type" option under advanced preferences that works well. :)
     

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