# Correct way to use include and includeonly when writing a large document like a thesis

I am writing a large document with several chapters and I would like to work on each chapter separately. In my main.tex I include the chapters either like

\include{chap1.tex}
\include{chap2.tex}
\include{chap3.tex}

or

\input{chap1.tex}
\input{chap2.tex}
\input{chap3.tex}

I think \include is preferable if I want things to be referenced and cited correctly? but doing it the \include way latex main.tex I don't get any dvi output whereas with \input things compile fine to dvi. What's going wrong here?

I would then like to use \includeonly (or \excludeonly ) to work on individual sections of the document whilst maintaining the referencing etc.

thanks for any help.

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I don't know if this is related to your problem, but I think you could remove the file extensions. Otherwise, perhaps a minimal working example (MWE) would help. –  Corentin Dec 14 '12 at 11:23
I believe you should use \include at the level of a control file calling files for your chapters. On a related note, I found that \include is problematic inside a \chapter. So \input is also handy. –  apexofservice Dec 14 '12 at 11:26
@Corentin good catch: I missed that in my answer. –  David Carlisle Dec 14 '12 at 11:26
@fpghost You might want to look at When should I use \input vs. \include?, which looks quite similar to this question. –  Joseph Wright Dec 14 '12 at 11:29
@Corentin that fixed it, thanks a lot –  fpghost Dec 14 '12 at 11:35