on macOS new user experience likely to be frustrating

Dr Eberhard Lisse nospam at lisse.NA
Fri Feb 14 10:59:28 UTC 2020

I have none of these problems but then I have been using LyX on a daily 
basis since 1998 (v0.12) (on Linux at first but since 2005 on the Mac 
in a busy Obstetrics and Gynecology practice) 

And, I have installed 4 systems recently which all work out of the 

Here is what I have tested today:

MacOs 10.15.3

I don't install TeXLive 2019, not even MacTeX-2019, but BasicTeX
straight off of


At update time I run

	tlmgr list --only-installed \
	   | gawk '{gsub(/:/, ""); print $2}' \
	   > ~/Downloads/texlive.$(date +%Y-%m-%d).installed.txt 

from the command line (which requires the GNU awk (homebrew) but you can
of course sed this) before the update and when done

	tlmgr install $(cat ~/Downloads/texlive.$(date +%Y-%m-%d).installed.txt)

to make my additions survive.

After installation of LyX, I (re-)run Tool->Reconfigure which is 
probably unnecessary.

I change the default PDF format in

	Document->Settings->Formats->Output Format->Default Output Format 


	PDF (LuaTeX)

which results in a change in the document to something like

	\default_output_format pdf5

and of course 

	perl -i -p -e 's/(\\default_output_format)\W*(\w*)\W*$/$1 pdf5\n/g' *.lyx

or even

	find ~/ -name '*.lyx' \
		-exec perl -i -p -e 's/(\\default_output_format)\W*\w*\W*$/$1 pdf5\n/g' \ ';'

will do that for all files

As I like to use Skim for all PDFs on the Mac I just open one with 


and select 

	Open With

	Change All...

and have to do nothing within LyX.

If you like to use Preview for some and Skim for LyX PDFs, select

	LyX-> Preferences -> File Handling -> ~File Formats -> Viewer -> Custom

and add something like

	open -a skim $$i

As far as SyncTeX is concerned


is helpful, look for "displayline' which in my LyX is one of the pull 
down options anyway.

I change in

	Document->Settings->Formats->Synchronize with output 

the pulldown to


which should be the default (but doesn't seem to be), save the LyX file,
preview (CMD-R) and it works.

In Skim in

	Preferences->Sync->PDF-TeX Sync support:->Preset

I choose




works in reverse.

Just a small note at the end, if you are looking for an "experience",
buy commercial software.  This is Open Source being maintained by very
helpful, responsive and competent volunteer developers (in their spare

If you find that the Wiki is incorrect, feel free to contribute by
submitting changes or even amending accordingly.

Personally I find posts under initials (anonymous) only, extremely
annoying, especially when asking for help, even if an anonymous email
address is being used for de-spamming purposes, which is quite in order.
(That said, I hope that Thunderbird does indeed display my name in the
>From line :-)-O)

greetings, el

On 12/02/2020 17:22, mn wrote:
> LyX, macOS 12
> This is just a new user to LyX perspective: bad.
> Newly setup system:
> 1. install macOS
> 2. install TeXlive2019
> 3. install LyX
> 4. install Skim
> 5. read some docs for configuration
> (as written previously: trying to read UserGuide.pdf will not work in
> this setup…)
> - Changing default PDF output in
>   Preferences > Output > General
>   to 'Skim' results in pdflatex output being displayed in X11/xpdf
>  (As
>  Preferences >  File Handling > File Formats > Viewers (PDF(pdflatex))
>  is indeed set per default to 'xpdf')
> - trying to enable synctex support as per wiki is impossible
> — **none** of the options under
>  Preferences > File Handling > Converters
>  enables any 'OK' or 'Apply' buttons. They always remain greyed out, no
> changes can be saved.
> https://wiki.lyx.org/LyX/SyncTeX  (says:
>> Enter Tools > Preferences > File Handling > Export programs [not existing]
>> Click "LaTeX (pdflatex) > PDF (pdflatex)" in the list. In the "Export
> program" box, it now says pdflatex $$i. Instead, put pdflatex
> -synctex=-1 $$i there.
>> Click Modify to the right of the list, then Apply. [Bug: 'nothing to
> click']
> https://wiki.lyx.org/Mac/Mac
> Aim is to use LyX and Skim with synctex.
> Result is a not working as expected system, plus a bug?
> New install experience on macOS hampered by bugs, inaccessible and
> confusing & outdated documentation (within bundle, on official wiki).

If you want to email me, replace nospam with el

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