[R-SIG-Mac] checking for pdflatex

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Tue Mar 17 16:50:27 CET 2015

Dear JJ,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: JJ Allaire [mailto:jj at rstudio.com]
> Sent: March-17-15 11:33 AM
> To: Simon Urbanek
> Cc: John Fox; Berend Hasselman; r-sig-mac at r-project.org
> Subject: Re: [R-SIG-Mac] checking for pdflatex
> >
> > I guess that would be less disruptive. If the user has picked a custom order
> at least it would be preserved. But as noted earlier I also think that this
> should be better fixed in rmarkdown - preferably by using the full path so it
> doesn't depend on PATH. I'm told RStudio is providing pandoc binaries so I
> would guess it's easy for them to guarantee the functionality but JJ is
> included so he can weigh in.
> rmarkdown calls pandoc which in turn calls pdflatex. We have some logic to
> discover the path to pdflatex and forward that on to pandoc
> here:
> https://github.com/rstudio/rmarkdown/blob/master/R/util.R#L186-L203
> I'm not sure in this particular case why the right version isn't found. What
> happens if you call rmarkdown:::find_program("pdflatex")
> from the R prompt.

Actually, I already looked at the code in rmarkdown and tried exactly this. On my Mac under R.app, where the default path is

> Sys.getenv("PATH")
[1] "/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin"

 I get

> rmarkdown:::find_program("pdflatex")
[1] ""


> Would be happy to make any change you suggest to the way we forward
> paths on to pandoc in order to make this work.

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