GNU TeXmacs

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GNU TeXmacs
Tm gnu1b.png
Developer(s) GNU project
Stable release 1.99.4 (December 17, 2015; 53 days ago (2015-12-17)) [±]
Operating system Linux, Windows, Mac, Unix-like[1]
Type word processor
License GNU GPLv3[2]

GNU TeXmacs is a free scientific word processor and typesetting component of the GNU Project. It was inspired by TeX and GNU Emacs, though it shares no code with those programs. TeXmacs does use TeX fonts.[3] It is written and maintained by Joris van der Hoeven. The program produces structured documents with a WYSIWYW user interface. New document styles can be created by the user. The editor provides high-quality typesetting algorithms and TeX fonts for publishing professional looking documents.


TeXmacs can handle mathematical formulas and is used as a front-end to a number of computer algebra systems such as Maxima and Sage. TeXmacs also supports a Scheme extension language called Guile for customizing the program and writing extensions.

A screenshot showing several features: mathematical formulas; bitmaps; bold, color, and italic font.

Like many WYSIWYG editors (such as Microsoft Word), authors manipulate a document on screen which should print to a similar looking paper copy. The goal of TeXmacs is to provide a WYSIWYG editor that nevertheless makes it possible to write correctly structured documents with aesthetically pleasing typesetting results. TeXmacs is not a front-end to LaTeX[4] but TeXmacs documents can be converted to either TeX or LaTeX. LaTeX also can be imported (to some extent), and both import to HTML, Scheme, "Verbatim", and XML and export to them is provided.[5] There is a converter for MathML as well, and TeXmacs can output PDF and PostScript for printing.[6]

TeXmacs currently runs on most Unix-based architectures including Linux, FreeBSD, Cygwin and Mac OS X. Along with the Cygwin version, a native beta port is available for Microsoft Windows.

TeXmacs also features a presentation mode and there are plans to evolve towards a complete scientific office suite with spreadsheet capacities and a technical drawing editor.

Mathematical typography[edit]

With TeXmacs, it is easy and fast to type mathematical formulas. For example, the symbol \Rightarrow can be obtained by typing =>. Some variants, such as \Uparrow, can be obtained using the tab key. Hence, a wide range of symbols are accessible easily using user-friendly keyboard shortcuts.[7]

Batch processing[edit]

It is possible to use TeXmacs as a batch processor (which is LaTeX's usual operation mode), using X virtual framebuffer to avoid opening unwanted windows while processing. For example, the command

xvfb-run texmacs --convert article.pdf --quit

generates a PDF file "article.pdf" from a TeXmacs document "".

Supported back ends[edit]

A TeXmacs session of Yacas

TeXmacs has back-ends supporting many technologies.

Programming languages: CLISP, CMUCL, Python, QCL, R, Shell

Computer algebra systems: Axiom, Giac, Macaulay 2, Mathematica, Maxima, Mupad, PARI/GP, Reduce, Sage, Yacas

Numeric matrix systems: GNU Octave, Matlab, Scilab

Plotting packages: gnuplot, Graphviz, XYpic, Mathemagix

Other: DraTeX, Eukleides, GTybalt, Lush

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Downloading and installing TeXmacs (FSF GNU project)". Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  2. ^ "The GNU General Public License". Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  3. ^ Frequently asked questions (FSF GNU project)
  4. ^ van der Hoeven, Joris (2006-08-21). "GNU TeXmacs: a scientific editing platform" (PDF). pp. 7f. Retrieved 2016-01-16. Since TeXmacs is not a LaTeX front-end, it follows that we can only ensure correct conversions for a (quite large) sublanguage of LaTeX. 
  5. ^ van der Hoeven, Joris; Seidl, Andreas (2011). "Frequently asked questions". Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  6. ^ van der Hoeven, Joris (2012). "Welcome to GNU TeXmacs". Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  7. ^ See the user manual : « Typing mathematical symbols ».

External links[edit]