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I am new to LaTeX and keep having this re-occurring problem. I create a table and notice a mistake (incorrectly specifying the number of columns or something) because the pdf won't compile (I am using 'pdfLaTeX'). I stop the compilation and fix the table. When I try to re-run the pdf I get the error message:

Runaway argument?
{\contentsline {subsection}{\numberline {6.3}General comments o 
! File ended while scanning use of \@writefile.
<inserted text> 
l.47 \begin{document}

Once this happens no matter what I do the pdf won't run and the .synctex.gz file is 'busy'. I have to copy and paste all my (corrected) code into a new TeX works file and then it re-runs fine! I suspect it has something to do with the fact that LaTeX is still thinking about the erroneous table. How can I completely break the compilation process and stop this from happening?

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Delete your temporary files and compile once more. Which Editor and TeX distribution do you use? – Kurt Aug 6 '12 at 3:43
Thank you Kurt! I am using TeX works Version 0.2.3 (r.466), on a mac. What extensions are the temporary files? – Ruth Aug 6 '12 at 3:48
also, please post the concerned lines from the .tex file. – Vineet Menon Aug 6 '12 at 4:49
You can delete (most) temporary files from within TeXworks: File --> Delete auxiliary files. – Torbjørn T. Aug 6 '12 at 7:12
I made some tests with TeXworks on miktex 2.9. Imho it is not advisable to use the large button "stop prozess" (or however it is called in the english version). It simply kills the process and quite a lot files are not correctly closed. E.g. I don't get a log-file. When you get an error type "x" (the cursor should already be in the line at the bottom) and then hit "enter". This should close the files correctly. – Ulrike Fischer Aug 6 '12 at 8:26

You have 3 options:

  1. As Ulrike points out, you should stop the compilation by typing x into the command line at the very bottom.

  2. Delete .toc and .aux files after an incomplete compilation (There's a button File->Delete Temporary Files in TeXworks, as Torbjørn points out.

  3. Type q into the command line in TeXworks whenever this error at \begin{document} appears. The compilation will continue in a strange mode, but the next compilation should be ok.

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In my experience, you can also simply press enter when receiving this error, and the compilation will proceed normally assuming you do not have any "real" errors. – Radon Rosborough Jun 30 '15 at 1:39

In my experience, you should just stop the process and then delete the .aux file in the package. Then you compile the next time and it will be fine. Hope this answer can help you. Best regards.

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"Delete the .aux file in the package"? Not the package, surely... just the regular .aux. – Werner Mar 17 at 6:48

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