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I have a fairly large LaTeX document that requires compiling a number of times (because of a lot of (cross)references, appendices, etc.). Part of this document are a number of TikZ images that require a different number of compilations to come out right (here's an example); Some require 2, and some require 3, or 4.

Since my overall compilation process requires 4 executions of (pdf)latex, it would be nice to speed things up a little bit, just by skipping unnecessary TikZ compilations. But if I use tikzlibrary "external", only the first run of (pdf)latex will work on the TikZ images, and those that need multiple runs will never reach maturity.

Can I somehow tell TikZ how often to compile a given image during each run? That way the first run of (pdf)latex would take care of maturing all TikZ images, and in the next run, the image would simply be pasted from it's ready-made pdf rendering.

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    Well, you could put each tikzpicture into a separate file using \documentclass{standalone} and replace the original tikzpicture with \includegaphics{filename.pdf}. – John Kormylo Dec 17 '13 at 17:30
  • I guess that's the best way to do it. Do you want to type that up into an answer to be able to get rep/credit for it? – derabbink Dec 19 '13 at 13:41
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Well, you could put each tikzpicture into a separate file using

\documentclass{standalone} 

and replace the original tikzpicture with

\includegaphics{filename.pdf}

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