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I know there is a package called comment, which can let latex ignore some text.

How can I do the inverse? I want to compile just a small segment of the whole tex file and let latex ignore other part.

EDIT

This is desirable when I'm looking for a specific coordinate in drawing on an image.

But I do not want an solution just for handling figures.

I've been using ktikz for drawing tikz figures, and the following to generate the pdf image and the complete latex source.

```

#!/bin/bash

filename="${1%.*}"".TeXTiKz"

echo "\
\documentclass{article} \

\usepackage{pgfplots} \

\usepackage{tikz} \

\usepackage[active,tightpage]{preview} \

\PreviewEnvironment{tikzpicture} \

\setlength\PreviewBorder{2mm} \


\begin{document} \

    \input{$1} \

\end{document}" \
> $filename

echo $filename

pdflatex $filename
share|improve this question
    
You can use ktikz to draw Tikz images. –  giordano Jun 12 '13 at 12:01
1  
If your document is very long, you can split it into several TeX files, use \include on the main document to join them all and \includeonly{name} on the preamble to compile just the content of name.tex. –  Luan Resende Jun 12 '13 at 12:04
    
@giordano, Thank you. I do use ktikz. But when it's not about drawing or figures, is includeonly the only way to do this (as per @LuanResende 's comment)? –  Hongying Jun 12 '13 at 12:36
    
@Hongying well, that's a possibility. But if you want to compile only a small region includeonly isn't really useful. You can try some editors allowing preview of regions of the document, such as Emacs+AUCTeX or TeXstudio –  giordano Jun 12 '13 at 12:40
    
@giordano, Oh, I never know that under Emacs we can preview regions of the document. By the way, I use Latex-Box with vim, but maybe I should view Emacs+AUCTeX as a powerful latex editor rather a general text editor or an operating system (just joking. Thank you. :) ). –  Hongying Jun 12 '13 at 13:00

1 Answer 1

A possible solution are Makefiles:

main = main-doc
plots-dir = plots

# all tikz-pictures in separated *.tex in folder plots
plots-tex :=  $(wildcard $(plots-dir)/*.tex)
vpath %.tex $(plots-dir)

# rule to make all plots
make_tikz_plots : $(plots-tex:.tex=-preview.pdf)

# 'packages.tex' can be the same as used in 'main-doc.tex' but should
# at least contains the needed TikZ package and desired libraries
# '\externaldocument' is from the package 'xr' which will use
# 'main-doc.aux' to create the right '\ref' etc
plots/%-preview.pdf : %.tex
    @echo Generating $<
    pdflatex --shell-escape --jobname="$(<:.tex=-preview)" \
    "\documentclass[compress,10pt]{beamer}"\
    "\input{packages}"\
    "\externaldocument{$(main)}"\
    "\begin{document}\tikzset{external/force remake}"\
    "\input{$(<:.tex=)}\end{document}"

All TikZ-pictures are saved in individual *.tex-files in a directory plots. Running make will generate for every of these file a *-preview.pdf using the packages defined in packages.tex. With the package xr even references will be correctly resolved from the main document main-doc.tex.

(This is more a comment, but as a new user I can't yet add comment :/)

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, a long detailed "comment" becomes an answer! :). By the way,what's the benefits (from your experience of using it)? I've noticed there are people use makefile for compiling latex file, but I've never tried that. –  Hongying Jun 12 '13 at 13:07
    
I'm not sure, if there is any real benefit :). My main use is/was with gnuplot's epslatex or tikz terminal to test the fonts and references from the main document in descriptions individually. Maybe somebody has a more advanced Makefile using the external tikz-library (so the preview-pdfs would be the actual includeded pictures). –  Hasenblut Jun 12 '13 at 13:25

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