Setting Up a Nice Environment for LaTex on MacOS

This post demonstrates how to configure a nice LaTex working environment with Emacs on MacOS.


Install AucTex Package for Emacs

AucTex can be easily installed by using the Emacs package manager.

M-x list-packages RET

Mark the AucTex package for installation with i, and execute the installation by hitting x. If you encounter any issue during the previous step, please check your configuration for the package manager in your init file.

Since we are using latexmkrc file to control the compilation of the source LaTex document into the final typeset PDF file, we have to install another package called auctex-latexmk, which adds latexmk support to AucTex package.

M-x package-install RET auctex-latexmk RET

Configure your Emacs

Once you finish installing the packages mentioned above, you are ready to configure your Emacs by putting following configurations into your emacs init file.

;; setting up latex mode
;; Forward/inverse search with evince using D-bus.
;; Installation:
;; M-x package-install RET auctex RET
;; Tells emacs where to find LaTeX.
(let ((my-path (expand-file-name "/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/texlive/2015/bin/x86_64-darwin")))
(setenv "PATH" (concat my-path ":" (getenv "PATH")))
(add-to-list 'exec-path my-path)) 

;; AucTeX settings
(setq TeX-PDF-mode t)

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
(lambda ()
   '("latexmk" "latexmk -pdf %s" TeX-run-TeX nil t
     :help "Run latexmk on file")
(add-hook 'TeX-mode-hook '(lambda () (setq TeX-command-default "latexmk")))

(setq TeX-view-program-selection '((output-pdf "PDF Viewer")))
(setq TeX-view-program-list
      '(("PDF Viewer" "/Applications/ -b -g %n %o %b")))

     '(TeX-source-correlate-method 'synctex)
     '(TeX-source-correlate-mode t)
     '(TeX-source-correlate-start-server t))

Configure latexmkrc file

Create a ~/.latexmkrc with the following configuration.

# Generel

# Needed for the dot2texi package which invokes GraphViz.
$latex = 'latex --shell-escape';
$pdflatex = 'pdflatex --shell-escape';

# Mac OS
$pdf_previewer = "open -a Skim";
$clean_ext = "paux lox pdfsync out";

Configure your PDF viewer

If you are using Ubuntu, you don’t need to do anything since the built-in PDF viewer Evince is working pretty well. If you are using MacOS, it’s also pretty easy to configure the Skim with as follows.

Open Skim -> Preferences -> Sync
Preset: Custom
Command: /usr/local/bin/emacsclient
Arguments: --no-wait +%line "%file"


Congratulations! You’re all set. Open a .tex file and give it a try. Once you finish editing the source file, you can compile the project with C-c C-c and C-c C-c again to view the PDF in Skim. Forward search can be called by C-c C-v and inverse search can be called by shift+cmd+(left click).

Thanks for reading!