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make a bibliography for (La)TeX

see also : latex - tex


bibtex [-min-crossrefs=number] [-terse] auxname[.aux]

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This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive. The complete documentation for this version of TeX can be found in the info file or manual Web2C: A TeX implementation.

BibTeX reads the top-level auxiliary (.aux) file auxname that was output during the running of latex(1) or tex(1) and creates a bibliography (.bbl) file that will be incorporated into the document on subsequent runs of LaTeX or TeX.

BibTeX looks up, in bibliographic database (.bib) files specified by the \bibliography command, the entries specified by the \cite and \nocite commands in the LaTeX or TeX source file. It formats the information from those entries according to instructions in a bibliography style (.bst) file (specified by the \bibliographystyle command, and it outputs the results to the .bbl file.

The LaTeX manual explains what a LaTeX source file must contain to work with BibTeX. Appendix B of the manual describes the format of the .bib files. The ’BibTeXing’ document describes extensions and details of this format, and it gives other useful hints for using BibTeX.


The -min-crossrefs option defines the minimum number of crossref required for automatic inclusion of the crossref’d entry on the citation list; the default is two. With the -terse option, BibTeX operates silently. Without it, a banner and progress reports are printed on stdout.


BibTeX searches the directories in the path defined by the BSTINPUTS environment variable for .bst files. If BSTINPUTS is not set, it uses the system default. For .bib files, it uses the BIBINPUTS environment variable if that is set, otherwise the default. See tex(1) for the details of the searching.

If the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT is set, BibTeX attempts to put its output files in it, if they cannot be put in the current directory. Again, see tex(1). No special searching is done for the .aux file.



Bibliography style files.


’’BibTeXing’’ - LaTeXable documentation for general BibTeX users


’’Designing BibTeX Styles’’ - LaTeXable documentation for style designers


database file for those two documents


database file giving examples of all standard entry types


template file and documentation for the standard styles

All those files should be available somewhere on your system.

The host has a vast collection of .bib files available for anonymous ftp, including references for all the standard TeX books and a complete bibliography for TUGboat.

see also

latex , tex .
Leslie Lamport, LaTeX - A Document Preparation System, Addison-Wesley, 1985, ISBN 0-201-15790-X.


Oren Patashnik, Stanford University. This man page describes the web2c version of BibTeX. Other ports of BibTeX, such as Donald Knuth’s version using the Sun Pascal compiler, do not have the same path searching implementation, or the command-line options.

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