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I am using MiKTeX 2.9 on Windows 7.

I'm getting the error: "can't write on pdf file." The pdf doesn't reflect what I wrote. What did I do wrong?

My input:


\textheight=8.5in\textwidth=6.6 in \baselineskip=18pt \parskip=6pt

\begin{document}  % added, was missing


\newpage \baselineskip=12pt


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You're missing a \begin{document}. I'm guessing the log file will state this clearly or your editor. –  pythonista Oct 19 '12 at 20:38
No, I have: \oddsidemargin=1.0in\evensidemargin=0.in \textheight=8.5in\textwidth=6.6 in \baselineskip=18pt \parskip=6pt %opening \title{Title} \author{Author} \begin{document} \maketitle \begin{abstract} –  user21127 Oct 19 '12 at 20:40
I can't see what you posted in the comment in the actual question. –  pythonista Oct 19 '12 at 20:43
This can happen when the output PDF file is locked by another application, e.g. it is open in Adobe Reader. –  cyberSingularity Oct 19 '12 at 20:54
You were right. The error was caused by the pdf already being open. Closing it fixed the problem. Thanks! –  user21127 Oct 19 '12 at 21:07
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closed as too localized by Joseph Wright Oct 22 '12 at 7:39

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1 Answer

The error message is generated by the prompt_file_name procedure in TeX.

Most likely causes:

A couple of things to note:

  • One cannot type x at this prompt to abort. That will write on a file called x.pdf.
  • In pdflatex, pressing ENTER without retyping the filename unhelpfully writes on a file called .pdf.
  • In lualatex, pressing ENTER without retyping the filename prompts again.
  • In xelatex, this prompt doesn't occur. Instead, one seems to get the message ** ERROR ** Unable to open ... and then it exits.
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