I get the error "Paragraph ended before \tikzexternalize@opt was complete" on the following code:





\node [draw,rectangle,minimum width=0.5cm,minimum height=0.5cm] {};

\node [draw,rectangle,minimum width=0.5cm,minimum height=0.5cm] {2};

\node [draw,rectangle,minimum width=0.5cm,minimum height=0.5cm] {};



Any idea on how to fix this issue?

  • Welcome to TeX.sx! A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces or enclose words in backticks `, they'll be marked as code, as can be seen in my edit. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button (with "{}" on it).
    – Caramdir
    Jul 20, 2012 at 17:22
  • It works fine for me. Have you tried putting \tikzset{external/force remake} in your preamble to force the regeneration of the image? If that doesn't help: What compiler are you using (pdflatex, xelatex)? What version of TikZ?
    – Jake
    Jul 20, 2012 at 17:25
  • The date the version of the Latex I am using was built is january 2007.
    – Marc
    Jul 20, 2012 at 17:33
  • I am using the University's computers. I guess I will have to try from my laptop at home later. Thanks!
    – Marc
    Jul 20, 2012 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


The earliest version of the external lib required users to provide the name of the main TeX file as first argument, i.e. something like \tikzexternalize{maintexfile}.

Considering that your TeX installation is from 2007, I would guess that this is the problem here.

Suggested solution: upgrade to a more recent version of TeX. In can be installed in home directories if needed.

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