After profiting enormously from other people's questions here, I finally need to ask one myself: since I updated my MiKTeX 2.9 installation a week ago, I can't compile my PhD thesis anymore.

I use pdflatex in conjunction with the auto-pst-pdf package to include graphics obtained with matlabfrag. I also need TikZ for a couple of diagrams and custom chapter and section headings that I programed using the features of the memoir class.

In this configuration, Ghostscript 9.05 (the one included in MiKTeX 2.9) crashes with an irrecoverable error. Here's a minimal example to reproduce the problem:


% (A) alternatively, comment the following two lines



% (B) or those two lines in order to prevent the Ghostscript error



The weird thing is that Ghostscript doesn't break if either the TikZ import or the \begin{center} and \end{center} block is commented out. (I expect that this also holds for other blocks, but I haven't tested it yet.)

I'd greatly appreciate any help!

Also, as an alternative, I tried pstool (since the auto-pst-pdf manual suggests its use as replacement), but this gives me different trouble: the \includegraphics{...} directive takes subdirectories (as usual) with a forward slash /, but since I'm on Windows, these need to be translated into backslashes \ for shell-escape commands. Unfortunately, pstool seems not to be doing this, resulting in command line errors when copying the bbl file. (Should I ask this in a separate question?)

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    Try \usepackage{ifpdf}\ifpdf\usepackage{tikz}\fi. – Ulrike Fischer Mar 20 '14 at 10:05
  • Sorry -- that was rather obvious, wasn't it? (Add the sound of someone frenetically slapping himself.) Many thanks, Ulrike! How do I mark this as an answer? – Andreas Häusler Mar 20 '14 at 10:15



Remark: Why the new pgf version breaks in auto-pst-pdf hasn't been analysed yet. So this is more a work-around then a solution.

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    it prevents the loading of the PostScript files. I suppose a problem with a redefinition of the \special command. – user2478 Mar 20 '14 at 10:54
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    Thanks for the background information! After 30 hours of trying to isolate the error out of a multitude of package imports and customizations, and a heads-over-heels dive into auto-pst-pdf.dtx trying to execute it step-wise in the shell, I'm relieved that my thesis compiles again -- even more though that I now know that it didn't fail because I unknowingly used some deprecated functions. :-) – Andreas Häusler Mar 20 '14 at 11:21
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    @AndreasHäusler: Well, I've been fighting with this for several days and I was about to ask a question right before I saw your OP. It took me a long time to figure out something was not quite right with the latest tikz. – Marcos Apr 7 '14 at 8:08
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    @AndreasHäusler: I have been struggling through those packages for days as well... Seems the problem still exists... Took some time to find the right solution as well, but this works as a charm. – long tom Aug 26 '16 at 9:41
  • I too have been helped by this, after many hours trimming down my thesis to identify the error and/or in preparation for posting an MWE to tex.SX! – owjburnham Sep 11 '18 at 14:05

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