The current name of Apple's desktop operating system is macOS. On this site, the tag is used to refer to that.

But other Stack Exchange sites use the tag , including:

So I would like to request that we rename , thus making us consistent with the other sites. We can keep the former tag as a synonym.

Additionally, we should have (the operating system was formerly called "OS X") as a synonym, as previously discussed at Merge [mac] and [osx], making [mac] a synonym of [osx]

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    IMO this is a nice proposal. I should mention that the osx synonym is already available in the main-site Jun 10, 2019 at 5:58
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    The difference between macros and macos is pretty small and the tags are displayed pretty small. I don't like the proposal therefore.
    – Skillmon
    Jun 10, 2019 at 9:16
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    I concur with @skillmon.
    – egreg
    Jun 10, 2019 at 11:43
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    @Skillmon Stack Overflow also has a macros tag. Same with Code Review. If they are able to make both macros and macos tags work, I don't see why this site should be any different. Jun 10, 2019 at 15:32
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    macros, being the fundamental programming paradigm used in tex, the macros tag is likely more important here and the possibility of confusion greater. Are there many occasions that you move from one site to the other and get confused by the tag names being different? Jun 10, 2019 at 16:12
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    @DavidCarlisle Actually, yes. I am more frequently on other Stack Exchange sites and joined this one when I started dabbling in LaTeX. It was confusing to me that this site used a different tag for macOS than all the others. Jun 10, 2019 at 19:44
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    @Skillmon the tag macos is already used so the "confusion" is already here. Jun 11, 2019 at 23:44
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    How about mac-os? I'm definitely in favour of merging all macOS related tags into one. Jun 12, 2019 at 3:08
  • @HenriMenke That still has the problem of not matching other sites. Besides, if we kept macos as a synonym that redirects to mac-os, then we'd still have confusion anyway. Jun 12, 2019 at 14:52
  • @PaulGaborit - There are only 44 macos-tagged postings on TeX.SE, 482 mactex-tagged postings, and a whopping 5752 macros-tagged queries. Changing the tag of the mac postings to macos would increase the number of macos-tagged queries by a factor of more than 10 -- and thus quite likely cause actual confusion.
    – Mico
    Jun 13, 2019 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


Let's take a look at the numbers of postings with various Mac-related tags:

mac       559
macos      44
mactex    482
texshop   495 % a Mac-only front end
latexian   13 % another Mac-only front end

macros   5752 % "macros" is among the "top ten" of all tags on TeX.SE

The majority of the 44 macos-tagged postings is not actually related to MacOS (the operating system) in a meaningful way. If anything, many of these postings should be re-tagged as either mac or mactex. However, there is a handful of macos-tagged postings with a clear link to MacOS, so I wouldn't get rid of the macos tag entirely -- or make it into a synonym for mac.

I can see no justification for re-tagging all 559 mac-tagged postings as macos. The focus of the overwhelming majority of the mac-tagged postings is clearly the Mac ecosystem, not the MacOS operating system (a small subset of the Mac ecosystem). One can easily verify that some of the mac-tagged postings are not acually all clearly related to any part of the Mac ecosystem and hence that the mac tag isn't appropriate for them. However, the fact that the postings are tagged incorrectly cannot be a reason for adopting the macos tag for them.

I would certainly not advocate changing the tag of mactex postings to macos.

There are also some postings tagged with texworks, a multi-platform front-end, and some of these postings are from users who use texworks on a Mac. However, the focus of these postings is on texworks, and it would be an error to change their tags to mac, let alone macos.

Another thought: Currently, postings tagged with macros outnumber those tagged with macos by a factor of more than one hundred to one. Since we should care about not creating unnecessary confusion, and because macos and macros do look rather alike at first glance, increasing the number of macos-tagged postings by a factor of more than 10 could very well be rather counterproductive.

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    +1: Please stay, seriously! Jun 14, 2019 at 10:33
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    @Dr.ManuelKuehner - OK, you, egreg, and others have convinced me. :-) I will take some time off, though, to recharge my batteries, so to say.
    – Mico
    Jun 14, 2019 at 12:39
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    That's really good news! Jun 14, 2019 at 13:06

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