Unable to read an entire line

TeX belongs to the generation of applications written for environments that didn’t offer the sophisticated string and i/o manipulation we nowadays take for granted (TeX was written in Pascal, and the original Pascal standard made no mention of i/o, so that anything but the most trivial operations were likely to be unportable).

When you overwhelm TeX’s input mechanism, you get told:

! Unable to read an entire line---bufsize=3000.
    Please ask a wizard to enlarge me.

(for some value of « 3000 » — the quote was from a comp.text.tex posting by a someone who was presumably using an old TeX).

As the message implies, there’s (what TeX thinks of as a) line in your input that’s « too long » (to TeX’s way of thinking). Since modern distributions tend to have tens of thousands of bytes of input buffer, it’s somewhat rare that these messages occur « for real ». Probable culprits are:

  • A file transferred from another system, without translating

record endings.  With the decline of fixed-format records (on
mainframe operating systems) and the increased intelligence of
TeX distributions at recognising other systems' explicit
record-ending characters, this is nowadays rather a rare cause of
the problem.
  • A graphics input file, which a package is examining for its

bounding box, contains a binary preview section.  Again,
sufficiently clever TeX distributions recognise this situation,
and ignore the previews (which are only of interest, if at all, to a
TeX previewer).

The usual advice is to ignore what TeX says (i.e., anything about enlarging), and to put the problem right in the source.

If the real problem is over-long text lines, most self-respecting text editors will be pleased to automatically split long lines (while preserving the « word » structure) so that they are nowhere any longer than a given length; so the solution is just to edit the file.

If the problem is a ridiculous preview section, try using `ghostscript <https://www.ghostscript.com/>__ to reprocess the file, outputting a « plaineps » file. (Ghostscripts distribution includes a scriptps2epsiwhich will regenerate the preview if necessary.) Users of the shareware programgsview <http://www.ghostgum.com.au/>`__ will find buttons to perform the required transformation of the file being displayed.


Source: Unable to read an entire line