TexPoint Frequently Asked Questions

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Licensing questions

  1. What are the license terms>
    There are two separate licenses. One if for the free temporary evaluation copy, and another one for the paid version of TexPoint.
  2. Does the license number expire?
    No it does not. You can use it forever. However, you will be limited to using those versions of TexPoint that are released before your purchase, or less than 6 months after your purchase. This means that you get free upgrades for 6 months. If you have an old license number and want to use it with recent versions of TexPoint you have two options:
  3. What if I have trouble entering the license key?
    We have heard to two possible problems:
  4. Does TexPoint send any information from my computer?
    TexPoint does not send information on the Internet, with one exception. When you are entering the license number in the Registration dialog box, and you click on "go online to get the registration key", TexPoint opens your web browser with a URL that includes your machine identifier. The machine identifier includes your user name and a string of characters unique to your machine.
  5. How do I register TexPoint on a computer that does not have Internet access?
    The only step that is special in this case is the generation of the registration key. Open the TexPoint/Registration dialog box, enter the license number that you received by email when you purchased the TexPoint license. Then use another computer that is connected to the Internet and point your web browser to http://texpoint.necula.org/licenses.cgi. In the web page that opens enter again the license number and the machine identifier shows in the TexPoint/Registration dialog box. Then press "Generate Registration Key" in the web page. You will obtain a registration key, which you must copy in the second textbox in the Registration dialog box.
  6. Where is the license number saved?
    In the TexPoint.lic file.
  7. What if our users use TexPoint on a cluster of machines?
    Contact texpoint the symbol at necula.org to explain your situation. It may be possible to setup a central TexPoint.lic file to contain registration keys for multiple users and machines. Put this file in a location that is accessible by all machines, and each user would have to set the licenseFile configuration parameter to point to that file.
  8. Do you have site licenses?
    Yes we do. The licenses are per user, and each user can use the license on all machines for which she is a primary user. Please take a look at the details.
  9. Why isn't TexPoint free?
    TexPoint was free from 2000 to early 2006. In that time I have received many bug reports and requests for features, but only one person actually contributed bug fixes. I think this is because the user base for TexPoint consists of people who have little interest in digging through the internals of Powerpoint and Windows. In March 2006 we have decided that we can either let TexPoint become stale, or we can add a financial incentive to the equation. Furthermore, we thought that most of our users are professionals who could charge the cost of licenses to their institutions. TexPoint is not free anymore, although it is quite cheap and you can do a lot with the features that do not expire in the free version.
  10. Will my computer go up in smoke if I do not buy a license after 30 days of use?
    No, you will just have to live with that pesty reminder box popping up once every few TexPoint operations. Also, after 30 days of using an unlicensed version the following features are disabled:
  11. Except for the first two items above, these features are new additions in TexPoint. We reserve the right to make this procedure more annoying in the future if the ratio of licenses to downloads continues to stay so low.

TexPoint on Windows questions

  1. I installed TexPoint but the display mode does not work at all The problem might be that TexPoint cannot find your installation of Ghostscript. Check that if you open a Command window you can run "gswin32c" at the command line. If you can't then either you have not installed Ghostscript (see here) or you need to add the directory where gswin32c.exe is located to your PATH (see here).
  2. Does TexPoint work with Windows 7? Yes, TexPoint was tested to work with Windows 7 32-bit. However, see below for the 64-bit story.
  3. Does TexPoint work with Windows 64-bit? TexPoint works even with 64-bit Windows, with the exception of the interaction with ghostscript 64-bit. Until a future release when this compatibility issue will be resolved, install a 32-bit version of Ghostscript.
  4. TexPoint does not work with the 64-bit release of Office 2010! Yet.
    The main reason is that TexPoint uses external programs and Windows SDK functions. Both need to be ported to 64-bit which requires major changes in the code. (even Microsoft suggests to use the 32-bit version for compatibility.)
  5. What are the differences between TexPoint for Office 2007/2010 and the Office 2003 version?
    Office 2007 has several important differences in how it interacts with add-ins.
  6. I installed TexPoint but the TexPoint add-in does not show in Powerpoint/Word.
    There can be several reasons why this may happen:
  7. I cannot install TexPoint on my machine and I get the following message: “You do not have sufficient privileges to complete this installation for all users of the machine. Log on as administrator and then retry this installation because the installation requires Administrator privileges.”, or a similar message that indicates lack of privilege.
    It appears that you need to have administrator privileges to install TexPoint (or more precisely to register the TexPoint add-in with PowerPoint and to register the fonts). In version 2.0 it appears that the add-in registration is not a problem anymore but the font registration is still a problem. I was able to install TexPoint nevertheless by repeatedly clicking “ignore” when told that a font cannot be registered. The resulting TexPoint installation was able to create displays but was not able to use the inline mode (due to missing fonts). I do not know any way around this problem. You must ask an administrator on your machine to install TexPoint.
    If an administrator has installed TexPoint then you must still perform a couple of steps to start using it. You must turn down the macro security level in PowerPoint to “Medium” (Tools/Macros/Security). Then go to Tools/AddIns/Add New, browse to find TexPoint.ppa in the installation directory and then click on it. Thanks to Arne Klawitter for figuring this out.
  8. I cannot install TexPoint because I get a message that the “add-in might contain an unknown virus”, or "Alert: Malicious script detected. Object FileSystem Object Activity OpenTextFile"
    This has been reported as a problem when you try to install TexPoint while you have certain anti-virus programs (such as F-secure) running. TexPoint does indeed use the FileSystem object. It does it to save the source of displays and to invoke latex.
  9. I get an installation error when I try to use the Windows Installer
    Try the following
  10. How do I install LaTex?
    Any implementation of Latex should work. We have used MikTex succesfully. It is very complete and reliable and also very easy to install. After you install Miktex make sure that miktex\bin in in your PATH. Verify that you can run "latex -version" and then "dvips -version" in an MSDOS prompt window.
  11. How do I install Ghostscript?
    We have used GPL Ghostscript. Get the latest GPL version of Ghostscript for which you can find Microsoft Windows self-extracting packages, which are easy to install. TexPoint has been tested with many versions of Ghostscript up to and including GPL 8.61.For versions of TexPoint before 3.2 you also need to set the PATH:
  12. How do I set the PATH?
    The PATH is an environment variable that contains a list of directories where executable commands are searched for. To add a directory <dir> to the PATH you must set the value of the PATH environment variable to <old value>;<dir> (use semicolon as a separator). To set the value of the PATH environment variable you must do the following:
  13. What should I check first if I cannot run TexPoint?
    Try to disable the antivirus (or tell it to leave TexPoint, or just Visual Basic macros, alone)
  14. I get the error “Cannot open the file or device specified” during the installation of TexPoint.
    I have seen this problem appear on Windows XP and only when the MSI file has been saved to a directory with very restrictive permissions. Move the MSI somewhere else and retry. It is also a good idea to run the MSI directly from the TexPoint web site.
  15. I get the error "Another application has exclusive access to TexPoint.ppa".
    This means that Powerpoint is running with a loaded version of TeXPoint. Quit Powerpoint.
  16. I have Office97 and TexPoint does not seem to work.
    TexPoint does not work on Office 97 because of Office97 lacks most of the functionality that TexPoint needs.
  17. Does TexPoint work for Word?
    Starting with version 3.0 we have a version of TexPoint for Word. But there are some limitations.
  18. I have PowerPoint 2000 on Windows and I cannot install TexPoint, or TexPoint does not work properly
    Make sure that you have downloaded the TexPoint package for Office 2000. The following symptoms were reported if you use another package:
  19. I installed a new version of TexPoint but I get the same behavior
    If you used TexPoint versions earlier than 2.0 then you must uninstall the previous version of TexPoint first. Otherwise Microsoft Installer might use a cached copy of the installation package instead of the new one. Note: this should not be a problem anymore starting with version 2.0 or on Mac.
  20. What do I need to do if I want to install a newer version of TexPoint on top of an older one?
    You should uninstall TexPoint before installing a new version. In version 2.0 and higher (Win): if you use the MSI package then the old version will be uninstalled automatically.
  21. After I install TexPoint, the installer asks me to reboot.
    Rebooting is not normally necessary, unless the installer has encountered some strange situation. In that case it is probably best to reboot.
  22. I am using the German (or pick your language) version of Powerpoint and there is already a menu option with the shortcut X. So, I cannot use ALT-X.
    You can configure the name of the TexPoint menu and its shortcut. See the corresponding FAQ item, or TexPoint/Configure.
  23. How do I install TexPoint manually on Windows?
    We do not normally distribute manual installation packages. But if we send you one, here is what you can do (in addition to installing Latex and Ghostscript as in a normal installation). :
  24. How do I uninstall TexPoint?
    If you used Windows Installer then go to Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs and click on TexPoint
    If you did not use Windows installer you must perform the following steps:
    1. Open PowerPoint, go to Tools/Addins..., select the TexPoint add-in and click Remove
    2. Go to Windows/Fonts (Win) or Library/Fonts (Mac) and delete the (links to) fonts cmsy10.ttf, msam10.ttf, msbm10.ttf, and stmary10.ttf. If you installed the Outline fonts, then you must delete a lot more fonts (those whose location is in the TexPoint directory).
    3. Delete your TexPoint directory

TexPoint on Mac OS X questions

  1. On which Office:mac versions does TexPoint work?
    Office 2008 was released without Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). TexPoint is a VBA based Add-In.
  2. Are there any problems in Office 2011?
    Unfortunately yes. There are a few bugs or missing features in VBA/PowerPoint which we cannot work around and are hopefully fixed in future Office updates:
  3. All recent Mac OS X versions are supported.
  4. Does TexPoint work on PowerPoint for Mac OS X?
    Yes, it does (see above). However, there are some limitations compared to the Windows version:
  5. Does TexPoint work on Word for Mac OS X?
    Well, at least Texify works - partly. But there are still some unsolved problems to get displays to work, since VBA has some very unfortunate limitations compared to Windows. Check out the differences compared to the Windows versions as well. The MS Word Addin is in a rather bad shape, and there are currently no plans to further develop it.
  6. PowerPoint/Word & TexPoint seem to be unstable
    Make sure you installed the latest updates for Office:mac by using the AutoUpdater or downloading them from the MS website. Call the AutoUpdater as long as it does not find any further updates, since it does not install all available updates in one step.
    Unfortunately Office for Mac is still behind the stability/reliability/performance of Office for Windows - and for obvious reasons will always be (?)...
  7. PowerPoint (Word?) crashes on startup
    Office:mac can corrupt its own settings (this information is for Office X and 2004 only). Please try the following:
    1. Close PowerPoint
    2. go to your home folder and open Library/Preferences/Microsoft/
    3. delete the file:
        Carbon Registration Database
      This file can get corrupted after some time of usage. (it is re-created on startup of Office and no setting are lost, see e.g. http://www.entourage.mvps.org/troubleshoot/crd.html).
      and maybe (replace 11 by 10 for Office X):
        Microsoft PowerPoint
        PowerPoint Toolbars (11)
        VBA Preferences
    4. open PP and load the Add-In.
  8. How do I install LaTex and ghostscript (and ImageMagick)?
  9. How do I install Gnuplot?
    The best way is to download the sources and compile it in a Terminal. However, this is for experts only, since a few specific configuration options need to be set, but no "hacking" is required. Otherwise there are several precompiled versions on the web. In any case make sure you can use it from a Terminal bash shell.
  10. How do I set the PATH?
    If you use the MacTex distribution your should not need to change anything. Otherwise, you have to edit the bash configuration file (profile, usually in folder /etc/). A typical modification could be (warning: paths might be different!):

    #added for TexPoint
    export PATH

    The profile file can only be edited as root, therefore use something like "sudo pico /etc/profile" to edit the file.
  11. I cannot copy, paste, or cut in TexPoint dialog windows using the standard Apple commands.
    Use the ctrl-modifier key instead of the command/Apple-key or use the tool-buttons if available. In Office 2011, the usual keyboard shortcuts seem to work. See differences.
  12. Can I use keyboard shortcuts on Macs to access TexPoint functions?
  13. I do not see the preview in the LaTex Equation/Template Editor, although I activated it in the settings
    Office X & 2011 do not support dynamic bitmaps in UserForms. Only Office 2004 did.
  14. PowerPoint is slow and uses a lot of memory
    see 4. Office X and 2004 are PowerPC programs, i.e., there is no Intel processor x86 version. Only with the next Office version (2008) it will be universal. This means for now that Office is emulated via Rosetta on Intel Macs! Unfortunately the "native" VBA of 2011 is still extremly slow.
  15. I am still not satisfied with the performance and reliability of Office for mac or want to use the latest Office version. What can I do?
    Well, there is a solution: use the Windows version: Use Virtual PC, Parallels, Crossover, Vmware Fusion, or Apples Bootcamp and install (Windows &) Windows-Office...sorry.
  16. Can I open Office Open XML files on the Mac?
    Yes, with Office 2011 and 2008 these are the native formats. For Office X and 2004, MS offers a standalone converter.
  17. How do I install TexPoint manually on Mac OSX?
  18. How do I uninstall TexPoint?
    We do not provide an unistaller for Mac OS X. Just deleting the TexPoint folder (as usual on Mac) should be fine, but for a completely clean uninstall you should perform the following steps:
    1. Open PowerPoint, go to Tools/Addins..., select the TexPoint add-in and click Remove
    2. Go to Windows/Fonts (Win) or Library/Fonts (Mac) and delete the (links to) fonts cmsy10.ttf, msam10.ttf, msbm10.ttf, and stmary10.ttf. If you installed the Outline fonts, then you must delete a lot more fonts (those whose location is in the TexPoint directory).
    3. Delete your TexPoint directory

Configuration questions

  1. Where is my global configuration file?
    See the manual.
  2. Why has my configuration file moved?
    Prior to version 2.14 the configuration file was in the TexPoint directory. Starting with version 2.14 the configuration file is moved to a user-specific directory. This allows multiple users to use TexPoint on the same machine (with different registration keys). Note that TexPoint version 2.14 or higher will move the file from the texpoint directory (if left behind by older versions of TexPoint) and will copy it to the new place.
  3. Can I edit the configuration file?
    Sure. But be careful. And read the manual.
  4. Why can't I save the configuration options?
    It could be because you do not have write permissions to the configuration file? Go to TexPoint/Configuration/Information to see which file you are using and whether it is read-only or not.
    For Mac Users: Please make sure that you do not run the Add-in from the mounted dmg volume (see also installation instructions). In case you did install it from that volume, go to Tools->Add-In in PowerPoint, remove the Add-In, and add it in the correct place.
  5. What is the deal with the ALT-X keyboard shortcut?
    In the standard English configuration, the keyboard shortcut ALT-X opens the TexPoint menu. Afterwards you can select menu items by pressing the key corresponding to the underlined character in each menu item. However, in different configurations of TexPoint this works a bit differently:

Font questions

  1. Characters do not look right when I view the presentation on another machine
    You have used symbol macros that need the AMS fonts. These fonts are not standard on Windows. See below for a few solutions for this problem.
  2. When I open my old presentation that uses inline TexPoint some of the characters are changed
    In the evolution of TexPoint there were several times when the fonts have changed slightly. It happened once in 2003 and then twice in May 2006 and September 2006. If you have edited your presentations with TexPoint versions 2.10.2, 2.11.1, or 2.11.2, and you try to open the presentation with an older, or newer, version of TexPoint some symbols (\wedge, \vee, \cap) will be shown garbled. This was an error in the font design.
  3. Why do some characters look strange in displays (for example, \Phi is not how it looks in my Latex documents)?
    TexPoint displays use by default \documentstyle{slides}. This is a standard Latex style that switches the fonts to make them more appropriate for large magnification. It also switches to sans-serif fonts, meaning that some characters are going to have fewer embellishments (e.g., \Phi). The reason for this default is that if you want to use bitmap formats then the slides fonts can be magnified more without showing pixelation. To get the familiar font, switch to another documentclass (e.g., article). To make this change the default for the entire presentation go to TexPoint/Configure/Active Presentation/Default Latex Source. You can do this I also suggest that you use the EMF figure format to avoid pixelation. The latter might not work for certain characters (see below in this document).
  4. I am looking at an old presentation and the EMF displays are all garbled.
    EMF displays are sensitive to the fonts installed on your machine. Maybe you are looking at a presentation on a machine that does not have TexPoint installed, and therefore it does not have the fonts installed. Read here how TexPoint deals with fonts.

Inline mode questions

  1. What should I check first if I cannot run TexPoint?
    Try to disable the antivirus (or tell it to leave TexPoint alone)
  2. How come TexPoint’s inline mode understands macros such as \alpha but not \frac, \bar, or \array or \sqrt?
    The inline mode supports a very limited set of macros (essentially the math symbols, subscript and superscript and some font changing macros; these are all listed in the accompanying TexPointDemo.ppt presentation). There are two main reasons for these limitations: (1) PowerPoint cannot position symbols arbitrarily but only one following another; and (2) TexPoint incorporates only a minuscule Tex interpreter so it could not handle complicated macros such as \bar. Note however that TexPoint does support user-defined macros with arguments. If you use the display mode you get the whole power of Latex but the result are images that do not flow with the text like the stuff produced with the inline mode does.

  3. I get "Visual Basic Error 5" when I try to use TexPoint.
    See the support page. Meanwhile, you should try to reset TexPoint (TexPoint/Reset TexPoint).

Display mode questions

  1. What should I check first if I cannot run TexPoint?
    Try to disable the antivirus (or tell it to leave TexPoint alone)
  2. I have all sorts of problems apparently due to the fact that TexPoint fails to find or use the external commands latex, dvips, pstoedit or ghostscript.
    You should go to TexPoint/Configure/Information and look through that file to see what can be wrong.
  3. When I try to create EMF displays I get an error and the machine becomes very slow.
    This has been observed with versions of Ghostscript starting with 8.56. It was due to a bug in the pstoedit application that TexPoint uses, and it was fixed in version 3.1.2 of TexPoint.
  4. When I use the EMF bitmap format I have lots of files with names like txp_fig342343.emf left in the presentation directory.
    Some versions of PowerPoint (e.g., PowerPoint 2000) forget to close EMF files that it loads. This prevents TexPoint from deleting the EMF files and requires it to create new EMF files with new names. The new names are formed using the value you have in the Debugging pane (default is txp_fig) along with a random numeric suffix. It is Ok to delete these files manually after you exit PowerPoint. Their contents is already included in the presentation.
  5. I get the error “Can't find "c:\gs\gs7.04\bin\gs32dll.dll" when trying to create EMF displays.
    The problem appears to be with your installation of Ghostview. Sometimes the following is the problem: The pstoedit tool, which is used by TexPoint only for creating EMF displays, finds out which version of the ghostscript DLL to load by looking at the file gsview32.ini (in the Documents and Settings/yourusername directory). This file is sometimes left over when you upgrade to a newer version of Ghostscript. Delete this file and try again, or edit the directory names in this file to the correct ones. Thanks for Andy Schofield for figuring this out.
  6. I am using Office 2000 and my EMF displays are shown upside down or heavily truncated.
    This might be because Office 2000 does not install by default the EMF graphic converter. If you are using Office 2000, you must make sure that your EMF graphic converter is installed. Go to Control Panel+Add/Remove Programs+Office 2000+Add of Remove Features+Converters and Filters+Graphic Filters+Enhanced Metafile Import+Run from This Computer. If you do not do this, some of your displays might not show properly. You should also make sure you update your Office to the latest update package. Newer versions of Office have the EMF converter built-in.
  7. Why are the bounding boxes so wide for EMF? In fact, for colored background the bounding box is the whole page.
    We use pstoedit to generate EMF displays. The current version of pstoedit is not very good at computing the bounding boxes. Please let us know if you have problems with clipping.
  8. My displays are empty.
    Make sure your TeX source contains some stuff. The underlying dvips does not like empty files. Maybe you are using an old presentation with a new version of TexPoint. To check if this is the case select Interactive and Pause when you make a display. Then see if the -E argument is passed to dvips. If not then you should update your configuration strings:
  9. I am getting errors when using runemacs as the external editor command From Peter Simon: When launched from TeXPoint, runemacs returns immediately, and TeXPoint assumes that the editing session is completed, so it deletes the temporary .tex file even before it can be loaded by emacs. The solution was to use emacs.exe rather than runemacs.exe as the designated external editor. Although emacs.exe opens an annoying DOS window in addition to the emacs window, it works fine with TeXPoint as an external editor.
  10. Why can't I use white-colored text with TexPoint?
    This is because some of the tools that TexPoint uses (e.g., Ghostscript) get confused if you use white foreground. Here is what I recommend, if you use the color package of latex. Instead of \color{white}, use \color[rgb]{0.9,0.9,0.9}. This will make your background "almost-white", but still distinct from true white. Both your human viewers and the tools should be happy with this.
  11. When I use Acrobat to print Texpointed PPT file to pdf, I get all the display mode patches boxed around.
    We have seen this problem mostly with the monochrome bitmap formats. Workarounds:
  12. When I use Acrobat to convert/print the PPT file to pdf, the TexPoint displays have poor quality in the resulting pdf file.
    This is due to the compression of bitmaps when creating the pdf. To improve the results here are some suggestions:
  13. I am trying to use TexPoint with the cygwin installation of Latex. But I get “Cannot run latex”.
    Go to TexPoint/Configure/Information and look in the text box to see where the problem is. The problem is that in cygwin the latex command is a symbolic link, which is not understood by the tex2bmp command. Here is a fix suggested by John J. Ottusch. Create a file named latex.bat in a directory that is in the PATH. The contents of that file should be
    bash –c “latex %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9”
    This should solve the problem.
  14. I get the error “Cannot compute the bounding box”. I am using AFPL Ghostscript 8.10.
    I noticed that this is a problem with Ghostscript 8.10. Use a different version of Ghostscript.
  15. I get the error that TexPoint cannot compute the bounding box.
    The problem could be that the gswin32c command is not in the PATH, or the output of Latex is invalid EPS. If you are using special packages (such as psfrag or graphicx) to include literal EPS commands, then those command might not be "clean" enough.
  16. I double click on an image that I know is a TexPoint display and I get the image edit dialog, instead of the TexPoint dialog.
    If you do not see the TexPoint menu then TexPoint is not loaded. Go to Tools/Add-Ins and load it. If you do see the TexPoint menu then you have encountered a bug. Try TexPoint/Reload and let us know.
  17. How do I import some Latex source from my paper into the TexPoint display?
    Open your paper with an editor and copy the fragment you want to import into the Clipboard (with Notepad or Word and most other editors you press CTRL-C; with Emacs you select the fragment and press ESC-W). Then you go into the TexPoint display text box and press CTRL-V (paste).
  18. If I try to edit displays that are part of a group, the old version of the display does not go away.
    If you have grouped displays TexPoint will try to edit them but it will fail to replace properly the old display with the new one. This is a bug in TexPoint but since it does not appear to be easy to fix, I will decrease its priority. Sorry.
  19. I resized the display using a side anchor and I lost the original aspect ratio. How do I get it back?
    Double-click on the display to start the edit process, but do not make any changes to the source. Press Ok and the new display will appear at the same width as before but the right aspect ratio.
  20. I set the transparency option for a display but without effect.
    The problem appears to be some strange behavior in PowerPoint: sometimes images are imported with an off-white background. It looks that this is happening only on Office XP Service Pack 2. You should use the “Workaround PPT bug” checkbox when this happens. Alternatively, you can always manually fix the problem by right-clicking on the display, select “Show Picture Toolbar”, then select from the toolbar the “Set Transparent Color” button and click on a background pixel of the image. It seems that this might be due to a bug in Office XP (see MSKB article 318042) and that it should be fixed in Office XP SP2. However, I still see the problem even with SP2.
  21. I right-click on a display and the TexPoint properties control is grayed.
    You must first select the display by clicking on it. Then right-click.
  22. TexPoint says that cannot start shell even though I am sure that I added TexPoint to my PATH.
    This happened to me too right after I installed TexPoint and I solved it by logging out and then back in. It seems that some changes to the PATH do not take effect immediately.
  23. I get an error from DVIPS
    This happens if you have an empty dvi file. You forgot to add anything to your document.
  24. How can I configure the name of the Ghostscript command to use when making the displays?
    You can do this starting with version 2.0 from the TexPoint configuration dialog box. If you use a complete path then the Ghostscript command does not have to be in the PATH anymore.