I'm writing a large book (using tufte-book) that will likely be 500 pages. My computer has enough working memory that I can typeset the full text but this book is about art and the digital document includes many many large image files. Working memory cannot hold the full book with all its images. It can hold all the text and the images for just one or two (or possibly three) chapters. But no more than that.

Just a single chapter--about half written--yields a pdf of nearly 100Mbytes.

Here's the structure of my LaTeX document:





\chapter*{My preface}

Here is my preface text.




I'm happy to digitally typeset the full book with the figures in only one chapter (e.g., Chapter 7), and then print a pdf of just that chapter (e.g., pages 350-400, or whatever).

The problem is that it is essential that the page numbering, inter-chapter cross-referencing, left-right page symmetry, etc. be proper on these pages, and that the table of contents, bibliography, index and so forth contain the material for the full book.

As such, the common approach of typesetting a single chapter at a time, without the other chapters, simply will not work.

I'm hoping there is a way to make some sort of figure-less (low-memory usage) preview version of each of the other chapters (where their preview images are of the proper size, to ensure the layout will match the final book) with a "full figure" version of just the target chapter (e.g., Chapter 7), so I can surmount these problems.

Is that possible?

I'm using TeXShop 3.96 under Mac OS 10.12.6.

  • You could alternate between two compilation modes: (a) full document (i.e., all chapters), but with draft mode enabled at the document class level -- this will create all cross-references, etc, but won't include any images and should thus work with your computer's resource constraints -- and (b) one chapter at a time, without the draft option, and with a suitable \setcounter{page}{<num>} directive to start at the correct page number?
    – Mico
    Apr 21, 2019 at 18:45
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    \include is designed to exactly allow processing of individual chapters while keeping all cross references and numbering, however the omitted chapters really are omitted, it allows quicker drafting but you need to be able to process the full document at some point. (unless you patch together separate pdf files at the end) Apr 21, 2019 at 19:00
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    @Mico: My plan is to create full camera-ready pdf, chapter-by-chapter, and upload them one-by-one to my publisher's internal server. The end product is a book printed on paper. Yes, of course I've down-sampled images to the extent possible... but that will not suffice. Take a look at an art-history book to see the wealth of color images that such books demand! Apr 21, 2019 at 19:13
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    @DavidG.Stork "My plan is to create full camera-ready pdf." I suggest you talk to the publisher and find out what their plan for dealing with such a PDF is. If they really are going to do ultra high resolution color printing, most likely they are going to strip the images out of the "camera ready PDF" anyway and process them differently from the text. In that case including them in the PDF was a waste of everybody's time and risks corrupting the original hi res image. You might just as well use low-res images for proofreading purposes and supply the high-res files separately.
    – alephzero
    Apr 21, 2019 at 20:08
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    @alephzero: Thanks. This is my third book with that particular major publisher, but I'll check with their production team next week. I do want to have camera-ready document for teaching, feedback from scholars, etc. Apr 21, 2019 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Use the include system instead of input

 %\includeonly{chapter2} % and similar
% etc


  • PeterWilson: Thanks, I just tried that (with several versions of \includeonly or just \include in the body of the document) and none typeset the desired chapter. What am I doing wrong? Apr 21, 2019 at 20:15
  • @PeterWilson (and others): I'm sorry but your proposed solution simply doesn't work for me. I have tried all manner of typesetting with just the includeonly, mixtures, with or without additional chapters, and so on. Has anyone else tried this proposed solution? What am I missing!? Apr 22, 2019 at 3:52
  • @PeterWilson: Finally works! It turns out (for some reason) that \include{Chapter1.tex} and \includeonly{Chapter7.tex} does not work, but \include{Chapter7} does (no .tex). I don't know why this is the case, but at least now I know what to do! (accept) Apr 22, 2019 at 4:19

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