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I am writing my latex document in TexMaker and suddenly in one of the thousands of compilations I make there is a error and I cant get rid of it. The error is:

! Text line contains an invalid character.

The "funny" thing is that the error is in line 2, where I haven't changed anything for weeks and it turn out that there are 100 errors like this in the compilation, each of them with 1 more invalid character. Starts with one and then every error gives +1 character more to the string. Weird.

Has anyone had this error before? It is clear that the error is not because of the invalid character, it doesn't exist! Any ideas?

share|improve this question
Perhaps the whole log could be useful, but I don't think it is worth to include it in the question. Can you upload it to some pastebin site and give the url in a comment? – JLDiaz Nov 30 '12 at 11:28
@JLDiaz I actually can't copy paste the part where the invalid characters appear in the log file, but this is the log file: pastebin.com/YBYDpBxJ In the end there are 100 of invalid character – Ander Biguri Nov 30 '12 at 11:35
You have removed the essential information. However it seems that the problem is in the .aux file. Delete it and retry. – egreg Nov 30 '12 at 11:39
@Ander_Biguri Ok, the log didn't help much, but apparently the invalid chars are in the file Memoria.aux and not in Memoria.tex. Try removing that file. – JLDiaz Nov 30 '12 at 11:40
Actually YES! I removed the .aux and everything works. Thanks. Post your comment as answer so I can accept it! PD: i didnt remove the important info, I just cant copy it, windows doesnt allow me hehe – Ander Biguri Nov 30 '12 at 11:41
up vote 38 down vote accepted

The following comes from the .log file you reported:

("C:\Documents and Settings\ander.biguri\Escritorio\Memoria\LaTeX\Memoria.aux"
! Text line contains an invalid character.
l.2 ! Text line contains an invalid character.

This means that the invalid character is found in the .aux file. Remove the file and retry.

Errors during a compilation may, sometimes, cause a corruption of the .aux file that is rewritten each time. The removal is a safe operation, which has the only consequence that some more LaTeX runs are needed for synchronizing cross references.

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Thank you so much! I almost thought my thesis was dead! – user32517 Jun 19 '13 at 19:57
Problem source in my LaTEX :aux(2) ! Text line contains an invalid character. Solution: This means that the invalid character is found in the .aux file. Remove the file and retry. Thanks guys: – user32958 Jun 28 '13 at 17:25

The following line of the error message (which you haven't shown) should show the character for example

! Text line contains an invalid character.
l.7 \begin{document}^^?

In fact I think in the default setup that is the only invalid character (delete, U+007F). So You need to delete the delete character.

Possibly your file has been saved in an incorrect encoding?

share|improve this answer
the characters are shown as small squares, and I am not able to copy them! But where should i delete the Delete character? the error is in line 2, where there has been nothing changed for the previous thousands of compilations. Also there is not 1 error of those, but 100 and the amount of "squares" in the errors goes uo by one each error. so error 45 has 45 squares as invalid character – Ander Biguri Nov 30 '12 at 11:38
see egreg's answer, now you have posted the log file, it shows the character is in the aux file so you can simply delete the file and latex will regenerate it. Also even if it shows as a small square it could have been identified had you pasted it in to your question, even though missing glyphs look the same they retain their original character code internally, even on this web page. – David Carlisle Nov 30 '12 at 11:59
Hi : I had this error and deleted the .aux file but I am still getting the error! – Naema Jan 5 '15 at 6:49
@Naema the full log shows which file is being read look for matching (...) in the log. the log shows which file and which line number the character is on. Without that impossible to guess. If you can not find it ask a new question and put the relevant log in a code section in your question – David Carlisle Jan 5 '15 at 7:47
David, yes I found a file .out in the log file and when I came back to the folder and deleted it , I was able to compile my thesis.Thanks! – Naema Jan 5 '15 at 17:19

protected by Martin Scharrer Jun 29 '13 at 17:20

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