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Mogan v.s. GNU TeXmacs

Product Positioning

Mogan is a libre STEM suite, consists of Mogan Research, Mogan Code and Mogan Beamer. Mogan Research is one of the distribution of GNU TeXmacs, both of them are libre scientific editing platform.

Mogan Research as a distribution of GNU TeXmacs will try to keep the user experience as the same. Mogan Research and GNU TeXmacs could be regarded as the same kind product released by different teams. Mogan Code and Mogan Beamer will be brand-new products based on the layout engine and structural editing in GNU TeXmacs.

In this article, we will discuss the differences of Mogan Research and GNU TeXmacs in details:

In one table

GNU TeXmacsMogan Research
Release Cyclenot fixedmonthly
UI Styleretro stylemodern style
Shortcutssome of them do not work99% of them work fine
Qt Frameworkmainly in Qt 4 (some in Qt 5)mainly in Qt 6 (some in Qt 5)
Scheme EngineGNU Guile 1.8.xS7 Scheme
Code RepositorySVN (Savannah)Git (Codeberg/Gitee/Github)
Build ToolGNU Autotoolsxmake
Lead byJoris van der Hoeven (Mathematician)Darcy Shen (Software Engineer)


OptionMogan ResearchGNU TeXmacs
General->Interactive QuestionsIn pop-up windowsOn the footer
Other->Document updates runThree timesOnce
Convert->Pdf->Expand beamer slidesonoff

New Documents

Enable Focus->Layout->Margins as on paper by default


  1. Provide experiences like new document in WPS or MS Word for new TeXmacs user
  2. Insert->Note->Marginal note works as expected with margins as on paper
  3. When View->Zoom is 100%, the default page is almost the same with the exported PDF or the printed A4 paper (actually, because there are reserved and hidden 10px on each side on screen, the screen paper is slightly smaller than the actual A4 paper)

Enable Focus->Layout->No page numbers by default

Do not show page numbers to make it clean and tidy.


Structured Key Prefix: structured:cmd and structured:insert

Structured command key prefix is for toggling the foldable, toggling the numbered, structured moving, structured deleting and structured selecting.

On Windows and Linux, we switched the structured command key prefix from Alt to Ctrl, the structured insert prefix from Meta to Alt.

On macOS, we switched the structured command key prefix from Option to Ctrl, the structured insert prefix from Ctrl to Option.

Why:to avoid the collision with the system shortcuts. For example, Meta+Left is Windows system shortcuts, Ctrl+Left is the macOS system shortcuts。

Structured Variants Circling (since v1.2.3)

Add A-S-up and A-S-down for structured variants circling.

On Linux and Windows, C-tab and C-S-tab are reserved. On macOS, because we switched structured:cmd from Option to Ctrl and C-tab does not work, the shortcuts C-tab and C-S-tab do not work.

Why: C-tab, C-S-tab and A-S-tab do not work on macOS, see QTBUG-12232.

ESC key

The ESC is used for producing equivalents for the modifier keys in GNU TeXmacs. But in Mogan, it is a normal key. And later, the ESC may be used in the Vim plugin for Mogan. If the shortcuts in Mogan is conflicated with the OS system shortucts, we should regard it as a bug and fix it by changing the shortcut but not using the ESC key.


ActionMogan ResearchGNU TeXmacs
Insert->Image->Draw imageShow gridDo not show grid
Insert->Image->Ink hereShow gridDo not show grid
Insert->Grid->Unit length21


Most plugins in GNU TeXmacs are no longer built-in in Mogan Research. Only the Maxima Session plugin and the Octave Session plugin are built-in in Mogan Research.

The concepts of plugins are extended in Mogan Research, see Introduction to Plugins, for example, natural languages specific dictionaries and styles are maintained as Language plugins.

And Plugin Center will be available later for Mogan users to install the community plugins.


OSMogan ResearchGNU TeXmacs
macOS$HOME/Library/Application Support/XmacsLabs$HOME/.TeXmacs
C:\Users\[User name]\AppData\Roaming\XmacsLabsC:\Users\[User name]\AppData\Roaming\TeXmacs

Why: Using different TEXMACS_HOME_PATH is to make it possible to install both Mogan Research and GNU TeXmacs. The changes on Linux and macOS is to meet the standards on Linux and macOS.

Let us enjoy exploring science and technology!