MacTeX Technical Working Group:

More than one distribution* is available to install TeX on Mac OS X and there are a variety of front ends and editors which can be used for editing and previewing. The focus here is on the easiest and most convenient (re)distribution to install TeX and a previewer that is simple to use.

Installers for TeX on Mac OS X
The gwTeX (re)distribution
by Gerben Wierda
i-Installer is a generic software install and configuration application. It is used to install, configure, and uninstall i-Packages which can be located through i-Directories (Known Packages). i-Installer can be found here. Download and start the application and open the i-Package-->Known Packages window. A basic TeX can be installed with the TeX i-Package. Ghostscript 8 is a recommended additional install. There are more packages, some are useful in combination with TeX.

by Richard Koch
TeXShop is a TeX previewer for Mac OS X, which uses the PDF producing versions of TeX---taking advantage of pdf being the native format for OS X. It is installed by downloading a disk image (containing the appropriate files) to the desktop. It requires the installation of a TeX distribution (for Unix) to work. One such distribution can be installed easily using The gwTeX (re)distribution maintained by Gerben Wierda. Both installers are available online here.


* There are several distributions of TeX, all based on the same core:

-- teTeX for Unix, (including Mac OS X) maintained by Thomas Esser.
          This is a distribution which requires a Developer System to install. It is available as a source download.
          It can be installed through fink on Mac OS X. Configuration requires an understanding of unix and TeX internals.

-- TeXLive for most types of Unix, (including Mac OS X) and Windows, maintained by the TeXLive Group.
          It is distributed annually on CD and DVD as a benefit of membership by some Local User Groups.
          Installation does not require a Developer System. Configuration requires an understanding of unix and TeX internals.

-- MiKTeX for Windows. Configuration does not require understanding of TeX internals.

-- the gwTeX (re)disttribution is strictly for Mac OS X and includes features from both TeXLive and teTeX.
          It is distributed online interactively through the i-Installer and there are disk volume downloads.
          Basic configuration does not require knowledge of TeX internals.

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