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). 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.
|Developer(s)||MacTeX TeXnical working group|
MacTeX 2021 / April 1, 2021
|Platform||Arm and Intel|
|Type||TeX Live redistribution|
|License||Mixed free licenses|
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:
- TeX Live
- Ghostscript (an open source version of PostScript)
A substantially smaller version of MacTeX, BasicTeX, which does not contain Ghostscript or the aforementioned GUI programs, can be used instead along with a TeX editor as well.