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How to install HieroTex on Mac OS X
This page is seriously outdated. If you're looking for an easy way to install HieroTeX on Mac OS X 10.3-10.5, please check out my new webpage with updated installation instructions.
What is HieroTex?
HieroTex is a Tex-package by of HieroTex, or read the documentation to get an idea of the applications capabilities.which allows you to type hieroglyphs in Latex, an advanced typesetting application. It gives a very high quality output (as pdf- or PostScript files) and has lots of options for typesetting (stacking and shading hieroglyphs, writing from left to right of from right to left, writing in columns, etc. You can also easily include transliteration, translation and grammatical rules). For more information go to home page
Why this page to install HieroTex on OS X?
HieroTex is only provided as source code. This means you have to compile it yourself on your computer before you can use it. Since it has been developed on Linux, it will probably compile without any problems on most Linux systems…but not so on Mac OS X! Most Egyptologists who want to use the program however, aren’t such techies that they will be able to compile and install it themselves. (I also had to call upon some of my friends who study computer science.) For these people this page adds a more comprehensive explanation of the installation procedure on Mac OS X, which is not specifically covered in the documentation. Now, let’s go on to the installation!
Things you need before installing HieroTex
First of all, HieroTex is not a complete application itself. In fact, it is just an extension of the well-known Latex typesetting system. So you'd like to install Latex first, of course. One way to do this is with Fink and Fink Commander (an OS X graphical user interface for the text-based program). Fink is an application that is used to install common UNIX open source applications (such as The Gimp) on OS X. Just download and install both Fink and Fink Commander on your computer (this shouldn’t be a problem, you can find all the information you need on their respective websites).
Please note that Fink will not work if you haven’t installed the Apple Developer Tools. These include some applications required by Fink (e.g. the gcc-compiler). So first ensure you have installed the Developer Tools (named XCode in OS X 10.3). This can be easily checked in the Finder. If you have a folder ‘Developer’ (with a hammer on the folder icon) on your ‘Macintosh HD’, the Developer Tools are already installed on your system (screenshot 1). (Click on any of the screenshots to see a larger version, which is a bit more clear.) If not, install them from your Mac OS X cd-rom/dvd or download them from Apple's website.
After the installation of these two (or three) applications, launch Fink Commander.
During the installation, Fink Commander can ask you a couple of questions:
Be aware that you’re actually compiling the whole Tex-system, so don’t think it’ll be a matter of minutes. On my PowerPC G4 1 Ghz (with 640MB Ram) it took a couple of hours to compile it. But I was heavily working during installation (web design, image editing, etc.), so if you leave your computer, it’ll probably run a bit faster.
If you do not like to use Fink and Fink Commander to install Latex, you can have a look at TeXShop/TeXLive-teTeX, which is an alternative option to obtain Latex for Mac OS X. I'm trying to get my installer/installation instructions working with TeXLive too, but I can’t really guarantee that it will work.
There are probably still many other ways to install Latex, but I only tested tetex/Fink myself and heard of people who have been able to run HieroTex with TeXShop/TeXLive-teTeX.
I cannot guarantee that the installer for HieroTex will work with other Latex-distributions too.
Now, after installing the Tex-system, we can finally install the HieroTex package. You can either choose to use the installer-application I’ve written (recommended), or to follow the instructions for a manual install (only recommended if the installer fails). Using the installer application is discussed below, for the manual installation guide see this page.
Update 16/10/2005: please follow the manual installation instructions, as the installer doesn’t do its job on many computers (it doesn't seem to work on Mac OS X 10.4).
Your first hieroglyphs
Now it’s time for testing!
Testing the high-resolution Postscript fonts
Now, if you look at the pdf-file you’ve just generated at high zoom levels (800% and up), you’ll see that the hieroglyphic font is actually a bitmap font (with ragged lines, not smooth). For high quality output (e.g. on laser printers), you’d better use the Postscript fonts (which are vector-fonts, so they produce very sharp and smooth lines). If you’ve installed HieroType, you can test if the fonts work this way:
If something doesn’t work in the above explanation, you can check out the troubleshooting-page: I’ve included some possible errors you might encounter and how to solve them. If you still cannot solve your problem, you can of always contact me and I’ll try to help you.
Now since processing the .htx-files is not very easy this way (you always need to enter 3 or 4 commands after each other), I’ve created the shell script htx2tex which makes things a lot easier. Read on to part two (How to use HieroTex on Mac OS X), if you would like to know more about actually using HieroTex in a more sophisticated way…
©2006 F. Vervloesem.