auctex / doc / preview-readme.texi

@include macros.texi
@ifset rawfile
@node Introduction, What use is it?, (dir), (dir)
@top @previewlatex{} in a nutshell

@end ifset
@c -----------------------
@cindex Readme
Does your neck hurt from turning between previewer windows and the
source too often? This @AUCTeX{} component will render your displayed
@LaTeX{} equations right into the editing window where they belong.

The purpose of @previewlatex{} is to embed @LaTeX{} environments such as
display math or figures into the source buffers and switch conveniently
between source and image representation.

* What use is it?::
* Activating preview-latex::
* Getting started::
* Basic modes of operation::
* More documentation::
* Availability::
* Contacts::
@end menu

@ifset rawfile
@node What use is it?, Activating preview-latex, Introduction, Introduction
@chapter What use is it?
@end ifset
@ifclear rawfile
@node What use is it?, Activating preview-latex, Introduction, Introduction
@section What use is it?
@end ifclear
@cindex Philosophy of @previewlatex{}
@acronym{WYSIWYG} (what you see is what you get) sometimes is considered
all the rage, sometimes frowned upon.  Do we really want it?  Wrong
question.  The right question is @emph{what} we want from it.  Except
when finetuning the layout, we don't want to use printer fonts for
on-screen text editing.  The low resolution and contrast of a computer
screen render all but the coarsest printer fonts (those for low-quality
newsprint) unappealing, and the margins and pagination of the print are
not wanted on the screen, either.  On the other hand, more complex
visual compositions like math formulas and tables can't easily be taken
in when seen only in the source.  @previewlatex{} strikes a balance: it
only uses graphic renditions of the output for certain, configurable
constructs, does this only when told, and then right in the source code.
Switching back and forth between the source and preview is easy and
natural and can be done for each image independently.  Behind the scenes
of @previewlatex{}, a sophisticated framework of other programs like
@samp{dvipng}, Dvips and Ghostscript are employed together with a
special @LaTeX{} style file for extracting the material of interest in
the background and providing fast interactive response.

@node  Activating preview-latex, Getting started, What use is it?, Introduction
@section Activating @previewlatex{}
@cindex Activation
After installation, the package may need to be activated (and remember
to activate @AUCTeX{} too).  In XEmacs, and in any prepackaged versions
worth their salt, activation should be automatic upon installation.  If
this seems not the case, complain to your installation provider.

The usual activation (if it is not done automatically) would be

(load "preview-latex.el" nil t t)
@end example

If you still don't get a ``Preview'' menu in @LaTeX{} mode in spite
of @AUCTeX{} showing its ``Command'', your installation is broken.  One
possible cause are duplicate Lisp files that might be detectable with
@kbd{@key{M-x} list-load-path-shadows @key{RET}}.

@node Getting started, Basic modes of operation, Activating preview-latex, Introduction
@section Getting started

Once activated, @previewlatex{} and its documentation will be accessible
via its menus (note that @previewlatex{} requires @AUCTeX{} to be
loaded).  When you have loaded a @LaTeX{} document (a
sample document @file{circ.tex} is included in the distribution, but
most documents including math and/or figures should do), you can use
its menu or @kbd{C-c C-p C-d} (for @samp{Preview/Document}).
Previews will now be generated for various objects in your document.
You can use the time to take a short look at the other menu entries and
key bindings in the @samp{Preview} menu.  You'll see the previewed
objects change into a roadworks sign when @previewlatex{} has determined
just what it is going to preview.  Note that you can freely navigate the
buffer while this is going on.  When the process is finished you will
see the objects typeset in your buffer.

It is a bad idea, however, to edit the buffer before the roadworks signs
appear, since that is the moment when the correlation between the
original text and the buffer locations gets established.  If the buffer
changes before that point of time, the previews will not be placed where
they belong. If you do want to change some obvious error you just
spotted, we recommend you stop the background process by pressing
@kbd{C-c C-k}.

To see/edit the @LaTeX{} code for a specific object, put the point (the
cursor) on it and press @kbd{C-c C-p C-p} (for @samp{Preview/at point}).
It will also do to click with the middle mouse button on the preview.
Now you can edit the code, and generate a new preview by again pressing
@kbd{C-c C-p C-p} (or by clicking with the middle mouse button on the
icon before the edited text).

If you are using the @code{desktop} package, previews will remain from
one session to the next as long as you don't kill your buffer.  If you
are using XEmacs, you will probably need to upgrade the package to
the newest one; things are being fixed just as I am writing this.

@node Basic modes of operation, More documentation, Getting started, Introduction
@section Basic modes of operation

@previewlatex{} has a number of methods for generating its graphics.
Its default operation is equivalent to using the `@LaTeX{}' command from
@AUCTeX{}.  If this happens to be a call of PDF@LaTeX{} generating
@acronym{PDF} output (you need at least @w{@AUCTeX{} 11.51} for this),
then Ghostscript will be called directly on the resulting @acronym{PDF}
file.  If a @acronym{DVI} file gets produced, first Dvips and then
Ghostscript get called by default.

The image type to be generated by Ghostscript can be configured with

@kbd{M-x} customize-variable @kbd{RET} preview-image-type @kbd{RET}
@end example
@vindex preview-image-type

The default is @samp{png} (the most efficient image type).  A special
setting is @samp{dvipng} in case you have the @samp{dvipng}
@cindex Using dvipng
@pindex dvipng
program installed.  In this case, @samp{dvipng} will be used for
converting @acronym{DVI} files and Ghostscript (with a @samp{PNG}
device) for converting @acronym{PDF} files.  @samp{dvipng} is much
faster than the combination of Dvips and Ghostscript.  You can get
downloads, access to its @acronym{CVS} archive and further information
from its @uref{, project

@node More documentation, Availability, Basic modes of operation, Introduction
@section More documentation
After the installation, documentation in the form of 
@ifclear rawfile
@end ifclear
@ifset rawfile
@end ifset
@end ifinfo
@end ifnotinfo
info manual will be available.  You can access it with the standalone
info reader with

info preview-latex
@end example

or by pressing @kbd{C-h i d m preview-latex @key{RET}} in Emacs.  Once
@previewlatex{} is activated, you can instead use @kbd{C-c C-p
@key{TAB}} (or the menu entry @samp{Preview/Read documentation}).

Depending on your installation, 
a printable 
@end ifnottex
this printed
@end iftex
manual may also be available in the form of @file{preview-latex.dvi} or

Detailed documentation for the @LaTeX{} style used for extracting the
preview images is placed in @file{preview.dvi} in a suitable directory
during installation; on typical teTeX-based systems,

texdoc preview
@end example

will display it.

@node  Availability, Contacts, More documentation, Introduction
@section Availability
@cindex Download
@cindex @sc{cvs} access

The @previewlatex{} project is now part of @AUCTeX{} and accessible as
part of the @uref{,@AUCTeX{}
project page}.  You can get its files from the
@uref{,@AUCTeX{} download area}.  As of
@w{@AUCTeX{} 11.81}, @previewlatex{} should already be integrated into
@AUCTeX{}, so no separate download will be necessary.

You will also find @file{.rpm} files there for Fedora and possibly
SuSE. Anonymous @acronym{CVS} is available as well.

@node  Contacts,  , Availability, Introduction
@section Contacts
@cindex Contacts
@cindex Mailing list

Bug reports should be sent by using @kbd{M-x preview-report-bug
@key{RET}}, as this will fill in a lot of information interesting to
us.  If the installation fails (but this should be a rare event), report
bugs to @email{}.

There is a general discussion list for @AUCTeX{} which also
covers @previewlatex{}, look at
@uref{}.  For more
information on the mailing list, send a message with just the word
``help'' as subject or body to @email{}.  For the
developers, there is the @email{} list; it would
probably make sense to direct feature requests and questions about
internal details there.  There is a low-volume read-only announcement
list available to which you can subscribe by sending a mail with
``subscribe'' in the subject to @email{}.

Offers to support further development will be appreciated.  If you want
to show your appreciation with a donation to the main developer, you can
do so via PayPal to @email{}, and of course you can arrange
for service contracts or for added functionality.  Take a look at the
@file{TODO} list for suggestions in that area.