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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5 Apps
I use LaTeXit quite extensively for adding equations to presentations. On installing OS 10.5, I discovered that LaTeXit 1.14.4 hangs on launch. Reinstalling LaTeXit did not solve the problem. Although I had latex operating properly under X11, evidently, LaTeXit wasn't finding the paths. Probably a new Leopard release will fix this, but in the meantime, what does one do? Here's how I solved the problem.

I installed a new and separate version of LaTex using i-installer. The i-installer enabled me to download and install a new version of gwtex, and after that, LaTeXit worked. I include the details below:
  1. I followed the directions in the LaTeXit Read Me file, and downloaded i-installer. I quote from the LaTeXit readme: "The i-installer is a little program that allows you to install LaTeX (or other things) on your system, by getting all the files you need in a remote location. This is very handy, because you are ensured that the files you get are the most recent ones, and all the installation is made for you. So, just download the i-installer, open the dmg, and install it."
  2. I launched the i-installer and chose the menu item i-packages » Known packages i-directory. In the left-panel, I chose and "<Use>"d the Gerben's i-Directory @ TUG. In the right panel, I selected "gwTex based on TexLive," and <Open i-package>. As the LaTeXit readme promises, LaTeX was installed on my system, chosing the default answer to all questions. This took about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. For good measure, I also installed ghostscript 8 the same way.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (4 votes cast)

10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5 | 17 comments | Create New Account
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i-installer is unsupported
Authored by: chipster on Nov 09, '07 08:46:52AM

Note that i-Installer is unsupported as of Jan. 2007.

LaTeXit is shipped with with the (excellent) MacTeX package listed in my LaTeX on Mac OS X Howto. And that package sets your entire environment up to use TeX right away. It also comes with other great TeX tools.

I can vouch, since that howto was written in LaTeX on a Mac. :-)

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: Trashman on Nov 09, '07 11:19:56AM

LaTeXiT 1.14.4 (for Tiger) works fine for me under Leopard. No troubles at all typesetting equations in LaTeX and no crashing.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: ejensen on Nov 09, '07 12:53:47PM

This seems odd- on the LaTexIt web page Pierre acknowledges a problem on Leopard for the current version 1.14.4 but apparently has not installed it himself yet so has not had a chance to fix it. On my systems (a G4 and a G5), it is slow to load and I get an infinite beachball cursor when I try to format anything. I tried tinkering with the paths to the command line tools but that has not helped so far. I am curious if it is working for someone- is it on an Intel machine?

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: Trashman on Nov 09, '07 05:19:30PM

Yes, this is on Intel - MacBook v1.1 to be specific.

I don't use LaTeXiT much (once every month maybe) buy my quick testing now didn't show any problems at all. MacTex-2007 is installed and all GUI-programs (TexShop, LaTeXiT, BibDesk and Excalibur) updated to latest versions manually. I use TexShop, BibDesk and Excalibur daily and no problems with any of them.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: ars on Nov 09, '07 01:38:12PM

LaTexit works for me too under Leopard. If you do an archive and install for Leopard, then you need to re-install the Tex engine, as it is part of the system files which get wiped. IMHO the Mac-Texlive installation is the way to go now (I used the i-installer before, but as remarked it is no longer supported).

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: ejensen on Nov 09, '07 03:17:39PM

Well I have done this- TeXShop and BibDesk work just fine, but LaTeXIt is not. I have the same issue on 2 ppc Macs. Are you on an Intel Mac? Perhaps there is a permissions thing somewhere...

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: ejensen on Nov 11, '07 09:35:18AM

It turns out that there is a bug in 1.14.4, but the previous version (1.14.3) works fine in Leopard until Pierre issues a fix [Thanks to R. Koch for the pointer]. In my testing it seems that LinkBack works OK but using the LaTeXiT via the Services menu does not at the moment.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: MathGod on Nov 09, '07 06:40:30PM
I did a clean install of everything on my system after installing Leopard, and I can verify that LaTeXit works using the MacTeX distribution (I previously had both MacTex and i-installer's gwTeX distributions).

Assuming that you don't want to do what I did, you can fix the path LaTeXit uses to access pdftex. Go to the Composition tab of LaTeXit's preferences and use the Change... button for the pdfLaTeX path to see if the path is set correctly and to browse to the correct path if it is not. If you use the gwTeX distribution, the path should be somewhere inside /usr/local/gwTeX. If you use the MacTeX distribution, the path is in /usr/local/texlive. In my case (G4 laptop, MacTeX distribution), the full path is /usr/local/texlive/2007/bin/powerpc-darwin/pdflatex, but /usr/texbin/pdflatex works also because there is an alias in /texbin. If you use Fink, the path would be somewhere in /sw.

If you still haven't fixed it, you can also try the TeX on Mac mailing list (go to to sign up, to see the archives). If they help you, please post back here.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: unimatrixzxero on Nov 20, '07 10:42:43PM

Sweet article you put together there.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5 from the Services Menu
Authored by: jfjelstrom on Nov 09, '07 09:14:00PM

My LaTeXiT works in Leopard, but not from within apps like Pages (via the Services Menu). When text i selected then I choose an option in LaTeXiT from the Services menu it will open LaTeXiT but won't insert the image. I tried reinstalling the MacTex package, but no luck.

I'm on a 1.33 GHz PowerPC 12" Powerbook and I did a regular upgrade of Leopard last week.

Any ideas?

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: Paolo.Bosetti on Nov 30, '07 03:44:36AM

There is actually a much easier workaround: simply change your /etc/profile commenting the following lines (add the "#" at the begining):

# if [ -x /usr/libexec/path_helper ]; then
# eval `/usr/libexec/path_helper -s`
# fi

and adding the following two:

export PATH

Why so? Apple changed the Leopard way to set the PATH variable, and now it uses the /usr/libexec/path_helper command, which seems having troubles with LaTeXiT spawned bash scripts. If you make this modification to your /etc/profile, you are simply dropping the new path_helper in favour of the plain old way to set the PATH variable.
This also explain why some people says "on my mac it works fine": they already have a customized /etc/profile and they made an upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5, and upgrade installs don't change modified system files (looks so).

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: grahamdennis on Jan 02, '08 03:09:42PM

I was having the same problem on my laptop when I installed Leopard, but not on my desktop, and I didn't change /etc/profile on either. Further investigation (with the help of your comment) showed that the problem was that I had /opt/local/bin at the start of my PATH in my ~/.profile file on the laptop (this is what MacPorts suggests as a default), while on my desktop I had previously decided this was a bad idea, and put it at the end of my PATH variable.

Putting /opt/local/bin after the standard PATH in my ~/.profile file on the laptop fixed the problem (after logging out). It seems that /usr/libexec/path_helper reads the ~/.profile file, and I believe the reason your fix corrected the problem was that it basically amounted to putting /opt/local/bin after /bin, /usr/bin, etc.


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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: autumnmist on Jan 17, '08 08:59:59PM

This is indeed the way to fix things.

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path_helper freezing
Authored by: Lliwynd on Apr 10, '08 05:16:47PM

I had the same issue: /usr/libexec/path_helper -s was freezing and using 100% CPU when starting LaTeX*It. (never seen this before on 10.5)

I found that I couldn't even kill it easily (it took a kill -9 to make it die). However, once I killed it, latexit continued to load and seemed to work fine.

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: ESMP on Mar 04, '08 04:36:36PM


Tried this solution and now LaTeXiT is working again!

Thanks dude!

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: Ola H. on Apr 06, '08 01:48:22PM

jflelstrom, did you get it to work?

For me Latexit service works in some apps but not in others. Not pages for example. Latexitstarts, but nothing gets pasted in.

I don't know much about these things, but my suspicion is that it has something to do with cocoa or carbon. Latexit service works in InDesign and some other Adobe apps which are carbon, I think. It does not seem to work in cocoa apps.

Any idea?

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10.5: Make LaTeXit work on 10.5
Authored by: jfjelstrom on Apr 23, '08 09:50:18AM

I now have LaTeXit working, due to the LaTeXit update they released recently. Works via services in Pages and Keynote, so I'm good to go! Thanks for the help.

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