10 Best Free and Open source LaTeX/ TeX editors for macOS

10 Best Free and Open source LaTeX/ TeX editors for macOS

What is LaTeX?

LaTeX is document writing, preparation that uses TeX typesetting for formatting, originally designed by Leslie Lamport in 1983. It is preferred by many scientists and researchers around the world. LaTeX is also considered a TeX macro package with more user-friendly settings.

Who uses LaTeX/ TeX?

Who's using LaTeX? [src]

Many are using LaTeX under "Academic discipline", yet many professions continue to use LaTeX in their daily workflow, as it help them keep their work organised here is a list of some of them:

  • Mathematicians
  • Researchers
  • Engineers
  • Journalists
  • Editors
  • Publishers
  • Writers
  • Statisticians
  • Chemists
  • Data scientists

How does LaTeX look like?

Papeeria.com (Online LaTeX editor)

Is LaTeX for everyone?

LaTeX is not for everyone, some may prefer to use simple editor, word processor or note-taking app instead of  investing time learning LaTeX/ TeX. However, LaTex is an advanced tool which requires some time to learn and master.

Free & Open source LaTeX/ TeX  editors for macOS

1- TeXMaker


TeXMaker is a free open source LaTeX/ TeX editor for almost all known platforms including macOS. It made the top of this list because it's features-rich, supports RTL, comes with advanced editing tools and project management workflow tools.

TeXMaker supports many languages and it's perfect for publishers, researchers, editors and engineers.

It comes with a rich library that contains 370 mathematical symbols, a powerful wizard , advanced error handling and a file/ text search tool with advanced options.

2- TeXstudio


TeXstudio is a fork of TeXMaker with more tools and customisation options. It inherits all the features and functionalities of TeXMaker with addition to many other features for writers and researchers. Its library has 1000+ mathematical symbols, easy bookmarks management, drag/ drop support for images, live assistant for images, formulas, tables and code.

It features enhanced autocompletion, code folding, interactive dynamic spellchecker, interactive grammar checker, and reference checker.  It also comes with built-in support for LaTeX compilers, bibliography manager, and glossary.

3- LyX

LyX on macOS

LyX is a word and text document processor which combines LaTex with WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. It's built for creating mathematically-rich and structured  documents.

LyX is perfect for writers and publishers as it is good for writing books with built-in features including advanced copy/ paste, drag/ drop support, built-in reference manager and its support for many graphical formats.

4- MacTex


With MacTex you are getting simple yet powerful LaTeX/ TeX editor. It's built exclusively for macOS, distributed as a lightweight package.

5- TeXShop


TeXShop is yet another free LaTeX/ TeX editor built for macOS.  It's developed and released as an open source by the American mathematician Richard Koch.



MikeTeX is a cross-platform LaTeX/ TeX editor which a built-in package manager that allow the user to extend the core functionalities by downloading online packages.

7- Aquamacs


Emacs is an integrated text editors family preferred by many developers, programmers and researchers around the world. It's originally developed by David A. Moon, Guy L. Steele Jr. and Richard M. Stallman.

Though, Emacs is built for GNU Linux, Aquamacs is built for macOS and offers seamless integration with the system. It features better keybinding, drag/ drop functionality and clipboard integration.

Aquamacs has a built-in support for LaTeX/ Tex and a rich ecosystem with many third-party packages.

8- Kile

Kile is an open source free LaTeX/ Tex editor for KDE Desktop environment (Linux), but it also runs on macOS and Linux.

Kile features template and wizard manager, smart build system for LaTeX document, advanced editing commands, auto-completion of (La)TeX commands, quick preview and a powerful easy-to-use compiler.

9- TeXnicle


TeXnicle is a free LaTeX/ TeX editor and project manager. It's lightweight native macOS package. It features project management tool, document outline viewer, built-in code library and autocompletion.

10- Vim with LaTeX suite

VimR package on macOS

If you are Vim user I would recommend using Vim with LaTeX suite. LaTeX suite for vim combines Vim with LaTeX power making it rich productive for experienced Vim users


LaTeX/ TeX is not for everyone, it's for specific type of users who don't mind investing some time learning and mastering this productive typesetting. With this article, I hoped to make it easy for macOS users to have many options to choose from.

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Hamza Mu

Written by Hamza Mu

A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open-source supporter. Created several medical products EMR/ DICOM and more.
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