I've formatted my photo as a PDF but it doesn't seem to be working correctly. Here is the relevant code (I am using the IEEE bare journal template and IEEEtran class with the journal option).

Here is the code from the document with dots to indicate filler:







% biography section
% If you have an EPS/PDF photo (graphicx package needed) extra braces are
% needed around the contents of the optional argument to biography to prevent
% the LaTeX parser from getting confused when it sees the complicated
% \includegraphics command within an optional argument. (You could create
% your own custom macro containing the \includegraphics command to make things
% simpler here.)
\begin{IEEEbiography}[{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{mshell}}]{Michael Shell}
% or if you just want to reserve a space for a photo:

\begin{IEEEbiography}{Michael Shell}
Biography text here.



I've uncommented the macro line to use it, but it doesn't seem to work for me (yes I have an mshell pdf image in the correct path as a test). This is the offending line (commenting it makes the error go away):

\begin{IEEEbiography}[{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{mshell}}]{Michael Shell}

I am getting this error:

<mshell.pdf, id=1, 72.27pt x 90.3375pt> <use mshell.pdf> <use mshell.pdf>
! TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [main memory size=5000000].
\par ->\hfil \penalty -\@M 
l.685 \begin{IEEEbiography}{Michael Shell}

!  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!
Transcript written on Heuristic_Paper.log.

The PDF image is only 77KB - I know I've used much larger images in TeX files before with no memory problems.

  • This works OK for me: \documentclass[journal]{IEEEtran} \ifCLASSINFOpdf \usepackage[pdftex]{graphicx} \else \fi \begin{document} \begin{IEEEbiography}[{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{example-image-a}}]{Michael Shell} Biography text here. \end{IEEEbiography} \end{document} Do you have any problems with this example? Aug 30, 2013 at 17:10
  • 1
    @Gonzalo, I get the same error. @Dan, your example has a missing \end{IEEEbiography}.
    – Aditya
    Aug 30, 2013 at 17:15
  • Doh! @Aditya that was the problem. I thought it was a macro not an actual declaration. Whoops! Thanks! Make than an answer and I will accept it.
    – Dan
    Aug 30, 2013 at 17:20
  • @Aditya well, using Dan's code of course there's an error: the line \begin{IEEEbiography}{Michael Shell} is superfluous. In the code I proposed that line was removed. Aug 30, 2013 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


You have two \begin{IEEEbiography} lines:

\begin{IEEEbiography[{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{mshell}}]{Michael Shell}

\begin{IEEEbiography}{Michael Shell}

The IEEEbiography environment cannot be nested. Remove the second line, and everything compiles corrected.




    [{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{mshell}}]{Michael Shell}
Biography text here.



There is no problem with the code, just write down the file extension with the file name.

The following code should work.

\begin{IEEEbiography}[{\includegraphics[width=1in,height=1.25in,clip,keepaspectratio]{mshell.pdf}}]{Michael Shell}
  • Are you sure that it is either necessary of sufficient to provide the filename extension in order to solve the problem? The \includegraphics instruction is smart enough to cycle through various plausible filename extensions automatically. If the file mshell.pdf exists, it will be found if one specifies \includegraphics[...]{mshell}.
    – Mico
    Nov 28, 2019 at 12:20

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