PP3 Screenshot

PP3 – Star Charts for macOS

PP3 is THE program to produce printable star charts in TeX, EPS or PDF format for LaTeX or word processors, even if it is not quite intuitive to use as a command line program.

Unfortunately only compiled programs for MS-Windows and GNU/Linux (as RPM package) are available. I have compiled the PP3 source of version 1.3.3 for Intel Macs (macOS 10.14 and later, Mojawe) and made it available in an easy-to-install PKG installer here.

PP3 should run on all 64-bit Intel Macintoshs, at least from macOS version 10.14 (Mojawe) onwards.

IMPORTANT: A TeX package must be installed for PP3 to work. MacTeX can be found at https://www.tug.org/mactex/.


Compile it yourself

If you want to compile PP3 for older or non-Intel Mac OS X versions yourself, you only need a C++ compiler, like g++ or clang and the program make. The easiest way to do this is to install the Xcode Command Line Tools from Apple. From with 10.9 (Mavericks) onwards with the command 

xcode-select --install

in the terminal.

Compile PP3 and install it manually

  1. Download and unpack.
  2. Fix errors in the source code file pp3.cc:
    1. Open the file pp3.cc in a text editor (e.g. TextEdit).
    2. Go to line 8 and change #include <string> to #include <cstring>.
    3. Save pp3.cc
  3. Open a terminal window, go with into the root directory of PP3 (where the file pp3.cc is located), e.g. with:
    cd ~/Downloads/pp3-1.3.3.
  4. Type the command make. This should run without errors. A new executable file named pp3 should have been created. PP3 is compiled now.
  5. Move the pp3 executable to the /usr/local/bin/ directory:
    sudo mv pp3 /usr/local/bin/
  6. Create the directory /usr/local/share/pp3:
    sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/pp3
  7. Move the data files with the extension *.dat into the new directory:
    sudo mv *.dat /usr/local/share/pp3/
  8. PP3 is now installed.

MacTeX has to be installed to run PP3 properly. Sample files are located in the examples folder. Manual and tutorials can be viewed or downloaded from the homepage.


Regardless of whether you installed PP3 manually or with the installer, you can uninstall it with the following commands:

sudo rm /usr/local/bin/pp3
sudo rm -Rf /usr/local/share/pp3 /Applications/pp3


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