File doesn't compile

Ugh… I had a quite stressful time in the library today… The problem is as follows:

I have several folders/chapters with files/subchapters in them.
I decided to print the whole thing by compiling each chapter separately. Some were ok, no problem. For others, compile seemed extremely slow, so that I eventually cancelled.
I attempted to compile the files/subchapters from the affected folders separately and found that for specific files, compile just plays dead dog. Nothing… What could that be? Please help…

Do you have embedded images in the documents that don’t compile? What’s the sort of content you have? Presumably it’s the same sections that aren’t compiling, so can you identify anything different about these sections?


Thanks for your reply :slight_smile:
No, there is really nothing unusual about the files (ok, not OBVIOUSLY unusual to me, because there must be something). And one of them (Chapter 3), I know I compiled before without trouble…

Update… I managed to compile everything now, but I really would like to understand the background:

In one afflicted file, I removed one empty line (underneath the title), which was empty and formatted as the rest. Somehow this small change removed whatever was stopping it from being compiled, but why?

Ok, sorry for the repeated posting, but I found more weirdness:

I managed to compile all the files in the folder separately, but when trying now to compile the folder (I should day, it is not a ‘folder’, but one of these ‘stacks of files’) in one go, it still won’t do it…

Push upwards…

No thoughts or advice? Anyone?

My guess is that a few strange characters got into the material somehow. A bad formatting call or strange Unicode character can halt the compiler as it cannot process all of the text in the document.

Unfortunately these are very hard to find. They, as far as I know, always come in from pasted text though, so that may help you narrow it down—but it may not as it is possible to paste in some text, put the cursor after that text but before the bad character that came in with it, and put 5,000 new words down in between the actual flaw and the pasted text. That’s why these things can sometimes be hard to find as they are invisible in the editor, they get pushed around as you write.

The best thing to do is to try and compile with half, and if that works the other half. If it works on one side then you know all of those files are fine. Repeat halving each broken section into you isolate it down.

Ah, I see! Thanks for the explanation. I have narrowed it down to two (large) files already, so I keep hunting :slight_smile: