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I am trying to set up tikz externalisation so I can save individual images as .pdfs (and eventually .png's).

I am trying to run the following code in TeX works, W7, MikTex 2.9. I have changed the options such that pdflatex in the commands options of TeX works is pdflatex -shell-escape -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex .

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning,shapes.geometric,external}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\tikzexternalize

\begin{document}
\immediate\write18{echo "hallo"}
\begin{figure}
\tikzsetnextfilename{roundincircles}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw (0,0) circle (1cm);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{figure}


\end{document}

When I run this, I get Package tikz Error: Sorry, the system call 'pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error in the log file, and it suggests I enable -shell-escape. The \immediate\write18{echo "hallo"} is from Can't enable shell-escape , there it suggests I can check whether -shell-escape is actually enabled by seeing whether runsystem(echo "hallo")...executed is reported, which it is. If I remove the -shell-escape from the command options, it says runsystem(echo "hallo")...failed, or something similiar, so it seems like that is a sensitive test.

Things I have tried:

  • Compiling from the compiling line with pdflatex -shell-escape mweext.tex - gives same errors
  • Using TeXStudio and TexWorks with appropritate options applied, same issues.
  • Using -enable-write18 instead of -shell-escape
  • Changing pdflatex.ini and adding EnableWrite18=t from How can I enable write 18 on a MikTeX installation
  • Commenting out \tikzsetnextfilename{roundincircles}. This stops the error, but no external file is produced.
  • Running with this via the cmd line pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "roundincircles" "\def\tikzexternalrealjob{mweext}\input{mweext}" - this works, but I don't want to have to run from the command line every time!

Can other people run this code with the options specified? Is there anything else I need to enable this to work? When I compile the above it produces a circle, so I must have tikz properly installed.

Here is the entire log file.

    This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.15 (MiKTeX 2.9 64-bit) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2015.4.6)  6 APR 2015 19:06
entering extended mode
**mweext.tex
(mweext.tex
LaTeX2e <2014/05/01>
Babel <3.9l> and hyphenation patterns for 68 languages loaded.
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Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
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File: size10.clo 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
)
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\c@section=\count80
\c@subsection=\count81
\c@subsubsection=\count82
\c@paragraph=\count83
\c@subparagraph=\count84
\c@figure=\count85
\c@table=\count86
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41
\belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102
)
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Package: graphics 2014/10/28 v1.0p Standard LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)

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("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\pgf\frontendlayer\tikz\libraries\tikz
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LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 8.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 8.
 ABD: EveryShipout initializing macros
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[Loading MPS to PDF converter (version 2006.09.02).]
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runsystem(echo "hallo")...executed.


===== 'mode=convert with system call': Invoking 'pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-o
n-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "roundincircles" "\def\tikzexternalreal
job{mweext}\input{mweext}"' ========
runsystem(pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname
 "roundincircles" "\def\tikzexternalrealjob{mweext}\input{mweext}")...executed.


! Package tikz Error: Sorry, the system call 'pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-e
rror -interaction=batchmode -jobname "roundincircles" "\def\tikzexternalrealjob
{mweext}\input{mweext}"' did NOT result in a usable output file 'roundincircles
' (expected one of .pdf:.jpg:.jpeg:.png:). Please verify that you have enabled 
system calls. For pdflatex, this is 'pdflatex -shell-escape'. Sometimes it is a
lso named 'write 18' or something like that. Or maybe the command simply failed
? Error messages can be found in 'roundincircles.log'. If you continue now, I'l
l try to typeset the picture.

See the tikz package documentation for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.
 ...                                              

l.14 \end{tikzpicture}

This error message was generated by an \errmessage
command, so I can't give any explicit help.
Pretend that you're Hercule Poirot: Examine all clues,
and deduce the truth by order and method.

[1{C:/ProgramData/MiKTeX/2.9/pdftex/config/pdftex.map}] (mweext.aux) ) 
Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:
 11794 strings out of 493698
 247679 string characters out of 3144384
 282407 words of memory out of 3000000
 14933 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+200000
 3640 words of font info for 14 fonts, out of 3000000 for 9000
 1025 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191
 55i,5n,62p,571b,442s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,50000s
<C:/Progr
am Files/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
Output written on mweext.pdf (1 page, 8728 bytes).
PDF statistics:
 13 PDF objects out of 1000 (max. 8388607)
 0 named destinations out of 1000 (max. 500000)
 13 words of extra memory for PDF output out of 10000 (max. 10000000)
  • Your code works fine for me in miktex. Where is your file stored? What is the name of your file? – Ulrike Fischer Apr 6 '15 at 16:28
  • My file is called mweext.tex and it is located on a flash drive, 4 folders deep. Same problems if I move to my documents and call it asda.tex. – George Vousden Apr 6 '15 at 16:41
  • Just to check, should "hallo" be printed anywhere on the output file? It is not on mine. – George Vousden Apr 6 '15 at 17:03
  • Compile your document and show the log-file. – Ulrike Fischer Apr 6 '15 at 17:05
  • 1
    Try to compile on the command line pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "roundincircles" "\def\tikzexternalrealjob{mweext}\input{mweext}" – Ulrike Fischer Apr 6 '15 at 18:24

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