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pdflatex is giving me problems since Friday 3rd, October 2015. Apparently babel and some font definitions are making it stall. From the pdflatex.log I copied the following message:

2015-10-05 22:24:37,344+0200 FATAL pdflatex - GUI framework cannot be initialized.
2015-10-05 22:24:37,344+0200 FATAL pdflatex - Info: 
2015-10-05 22:24:37,344+0200 FATAL pdflatex - Source: Libraries\MiKTeX\UI\Qt\mikuiqt.cpp
2015-10-05 22:24:37,345+0200 FATAL pdflatex - Line: 50
The error message when trying to run pdflatex in the console is "This application failed to start because it could not find or load the Qt platform plugin  "windows".

Here is a MWE

\documentclass[final,authoryear,5p,twocolumn,times]{elsarticle}
\begin{document}
\begin{frontmatter}
    \title{Some title\tnoteref{t1}}
    \date{\today}
    \begin{abstract}
        \noindent abstract.
    \end{abstract}
\end{frontmatter}
\section{Introduction}\label{sec:intro}
Over the past two decades, there has been a marked shift.
\end{document}  
  • It seems to be a problem with your editor. I have no problem with this code under MiKTeX 2.9 (updated to the last version). Which editor do you use? – Bernard Oct 5 '15 at 20:43
  • @Bernard, I use winedt 8.1. But can an editor which worked before suddenly not work, especially as I did not update the editor in question. Additionally, if I comment the Babel line, the MWE compiles up till the font description at the end of the compilation. I also tried on my other machine which is on Win8.1 and with Winedt9.1 (64-bit) and got the same error message: pdflatex failed for some reason. – Xavier_B Oct 7 '15 at 12:57
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – moewe Oct 9 '15 at 9:27
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After much exploration and hair pulling, and thanks to moewe, the culprit was in fact the interaction between WinEdt as TeX editor, and the Package options manager of MiKTeX when a new package has to be installed. The update window is blocked somehow and pdflatex crashes, and so do the other compilers like LuaLaTex. The best solution is to have option "Installing missing packages on the fly" set to "Yes" instead of "Ask me first".

One last comment: pdflatex still hangs at the end of the compilation when started by winedt.

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winedt>Tex>Miktex>Miktex Options>Install missing packages on the fly (SET TO YES)!!!!

  • 2
    Are you sure that is the solution? Why? Please explain it! – Kurt Apr 6 '16 at 19:28

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