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MacTeX Distribution
Developer(s)MacTeX TeXnical working group
Stable release
MacTeX 2019 / May 8, 2019; 14 months ago (2019-05-08)
Operating system
Size3.9 GB
Available inEnglish
TypeTeX Live redistribution
LicenseMixed free licenses

MacTeX is a free redistribution of TeX Live, a typesetting environment based on TeX. While TeX Live is designed to be cross-platform (running on Unix, macOS, and Windows), MacTeX includes Mac-specific utilities and front-ends (such as TeXShop and BibDesk).[1] It is also pre-configured to work out-of-the-box with macOS, as it provides sensible defaults for configuration options that, in TeX Live, are left up to the user to allow for its cross-platform compatibility.

MacTeX is packaged and distributed by the MacTeX TeXnical working group, a subgroup of TeX Users Group (TUG). TeX Live is distributed by the TUG, making MacTeX less a fork of TeX Live than a customised repackaging.

The full MacTeX install package contains three subpackages:[1]

  • TeX Live
  • GUI-Applications
    • BibDesk
    • Excalibur (a LaTeX spell checker)
    • LaTeXiT (a LaTeX equation editor)
    • TeX Live Utility (a utility to update, install or remove parts of TeX Live)
    • TeXShop (A Mac-based TeX editor)
  • Ghostscript (an open source version of PostScript)

As of 2019, the content of the full MacTeX installation exceeds 4 GB in size. However, a substantially smaller version of MacTeX, BasicTeX, which does not contain Ghostscript or the aforementioned GUI programs, can be used in its stead along with a TeX editor as well.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "MacTeX - TeX Users Group". Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  2. ^ "The Definitive, Non-Technical Introduction to LaTeX, Professional Typesetting and Scientific Publishing". Math Vault. 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  3. ^ "More Packages - MacTeX - TeX Users Group". Retrieved 2019-07-22.

External links[edit]