1

When trying out this solution but with

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning}
\usepgfplotslibrary{external}
\tikzexternalize

instead of \documentclass[tikz,border=2]{standalone}, I had the same problem as described in here. I tried implementing the answer by adding \tikzset{external/optimize=false} in each savebox declaration, but I get an error.

Here's the code (I marked changes to the original with %here, had to shorten it because of SX character limit):

\documentclass{article} %here
\usepackage{tikz} %here
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning} %here
\usepgfplotslibrary{external} %here
\tikzexternalize %here

\usetikzlibrary{shapes,snakes,calc}
\tikzstyle{connector} = [->,thick]

\newsavebox\myboxa
\savebox\myboxa{%
\tikzset{external/optimize=false} %here
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[
axis lines=middle,
width=4cm,
]
\addplot coordinates {(0,0) (2,-3) (4,5)};
\end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}%
}

\begin{document}
    \begin{tikzpicture}[x=3in,y=2in]
    \tikzstyle{ann} = [draw=none,fill=none,right]
    \matrix[nodes={draw, thick, fill=none},
    row sep=0.3cm,column sep=0.5cm] {
        \node[draw=none,fill=none,label={below:$\mathbf{u}$}] (N1) {\usebox\myboxa}; &
        \node[rectangle, minimum height=0.5in, minimum width = 0.75in] (N2) {Center}; &
        \node[draw=none,label={below:$\mathbf{y}$}] (N3) {\usebox\myboxa};\\
    };
    \end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

It gives me the error

! Package tikz Error: Sorry, the system call 'pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-e rror -interaction=batchmode -jobname "texstudio_n32112-figure0" "\def\tikzexter nalrealjob{texstudio_n32112}\input{texstudio_n32112}"' did NOT result in a usab le output file 'texstudio_n32112-figure0' (expected one of .pdf:.jpg:.jpeg:.png :). Please verify that you have enabled system calls. For pdflatex, this is 'pd flatex -shell-escape'. Sometimes it is also named 'write 18' or something like that. Or maybe the command simply failed? Error messages can be found in 'texst udio_n32112-figure0.log'. If you continue now, I'll try to typeset the picture.

The given log file says

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015/W32TeX) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2015.10.9)  25 FEB 2016 16:03
entering extended mode
 \write18 enabled.
 %&-line parsing enabled.
**\def\tikzexternalrealjob{texstudio_n32112}\input{texstudio_n32112}
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Package pgfplots external lib: loading complementary code for your PGF version.
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Package pgf Warning: Snakes have been superseded by decorations. Please use the
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! Undefined control sequence.
\pgf@externalend ... \pgfexternal@originalshipout 
                                                  \box 0 \gdef \pgfexternal@...
l.24 }

Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:
 23043 strings out of 494216
 611295 string characters out of 6160714
 759925 words of memory out of 5000000
 26013 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+600000
 4094 words of font info for 16 fonts, out of 8000000 for 9000
 417 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191
 72i,11n,105p,786b,1912s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,80000s

!  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!

Is there any robust way of using plots in nodes and \tikzexternalize?

  • Are you using -shell-escape when you compile? – mirkom Feb 25 '16 at 16:01
  • yes, I am using the following command: "C:/texlive/2014/bin/win32/pdflatex.exe" -synctex=1 --shell-escape -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex and externalization is working for other tikzpictures – riddleculous Feb 25 '16 at 16:20
  • 1
    It works for me if you put the definition of \myboxa after \begin{document} – mirkom Feb 26 '16 at 1:19
  • indeed, and the definition was after \begin{document}, too, in the answer I was referring to. I didn't notice that, thanks for pointing that out! Now I lack the understanding how \tikzset{external/optimize=false to get an idea why it needs to be in the main body. – riddleculous Feb 26 '16 at 1:35
  • can't help with that! :) – mirkom Feb 26 '16 at 1:39

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