TeX capacity exceeded when externalizing

by user1494080   Last Updated May 16, 2019 01:23 AM

I have several large TikZ plots I want to externalize. Without externalization, everything works fine.

Document:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{external}
%\tikzexternalize
\begin{document}
  \input{plot}
\end{document}

Output:

$ pdflatex article
<output omitted>
(./plot.tex) [1{/var/lib/texmf/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}]
(./article.aux) )</usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/
cmr10.pfb>
Output written on article.pdf (1 page, 357026 bytes).
Transcript written on article.log.

However, when I uncomment \tikzexternalize, pdflatex exists with an error.

$ pdflatex article
<output omitted>
(./plot.tex
Runaway text?
[x=1pt,y=1pt] \definecolor {fillColor}{RGB}{255,255,255} \path [use a\ETC.
! TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [main memory size=5000000].
<argument> ... circle ( 1.16); \par \path [dr\ETC.

l.21034 \end{tikzpicture}

!  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!
Transcript written on article.log.

What is going on here? How can externalization increase space consumption? After all, the whole point of externalization is to improve efficiency and space consumption during compilation.



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