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I have a large document which currently is comprised of a variety of .tex files.

The mainfile.tex looks something like:

%lots of total formatting stuff


However, this means each of the components (ie chapter1, chapter2, etc) are not valid code.

I want to be able to view an individual file and compile while viewing it (ex. chapter1.tex) within TeXmaker. I am fine if this compiles mainfile.tex

As I understand, I need to either combine everything into one file or do either:

  • tell TeXmaker to let me set a "always compile this file even if not viewing it" option somewhere - so things like F1, etc work, and always reference the mainfile.tex


  • move all my formatting initialization, etc, to a file which I can include at the front of each individual component (and include some sort of header guard in this? I have no idea if this concept is feasible or even makes sense in LaTeX) so the same overall formatting is ALWAYS included at the beginning of a document regardless as to the order they are included.

I would strongly prefer the second option if possible but I am unsure how to do this.

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Do you know about \includeonly{..}? With this you can select which \include-d files get really included. If you put your front (ToC, etc.) and back-matter (appendix etc.) also in own file and \include them you can compile things chapters. See e.g. Keep chapter number of chapters inserted with \include for details. –  Martin Scharrer Jan 18 '13 at 20:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Have your main document in the current editing window. Now select Options-Define Current Document as "Master Document". This should what I understand you are asking for. You will now see in the left pane the structure of the document and regardless of what subfile you are editing running a compile will compile your main document.

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Awesome. I have a feeling that's by far the easier of my two options... –  enderland Jan 18 '13 at 20:33
Argh, I've been ages clicking back to the main document to compile the whole thing, this tip is going to save me millions of clicks! THANKS! –  Dan May 20 '13 at 15:08
My life just became so much more efficient. You, sir or madame, are truly wonderful. –  Dylan Knowles Jan 17 '14 at 19:01
Using texmaker for 4 or 5 years, this problem always bugged me. Today I finally look for a solution and here you are. Props on you sir. –  Al_th Jul 8 '14 at 8:27

You can just process your main file but add


then only chapter 2 will be processed. Unlike processing it as a completely separate document, the aux files of the other chapters will be read and so the chapter will still be numbered 2 and cross referenced to other chapters will work even if those chapters are omitted on this run.

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