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Document 51

What is BibTeX?

Version: 2.5 - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word

Q. What is BibTeX?

A. BibTeX, free software tool of the LaTeX Project, generates a list of references from a bibliographic database.

Most publishers and publishing organizations give their editors a documentation style recommendation. This recommendation includes definitions for the style of the citations and the list of references. The idea of BibTeX is that an entry in the bibliographic database can be used with any documentation style recommendation. BibTeX realizes this concept by using a BibTeX style file and BibTeX databases.

A bibliographic database for BibTeX provides different types of sources such as article, book, inbook, inproceeding, etc. Each of these entry types consists of fields such as title, author, year, etc. The BibTeX style defines the order of cited sources, how a field of a database entry is formatted, and whether citations in the printed text are shown in a numerical or author-year format.

Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace support the use of BibTeX for generating the bibliography of your document. However, you must have a BibTeX database of your references. You can generate a BibTeX database with the free MS-DOS based software called BibDB that we have included in SW. Once you have generated a BibTeX database of your sources, you can use the BibTeX option in SW.

To generate a BibTeX bibliography with SW version 2.5:

  1. Switch on the BibTeX option:

    1. From the File menu, choose Document Info.

    2. Select the Bib Choice tab sheet.

    3. Choose BibTeX.

    4. Choose OK.

  2. Choose the BibTeX database and the BibTeX style you want to use:

    1. From the Insert menu, choose Field and then choose Bibliography.

    2. Make sure that your database is in the same directory as shown.

    3. Select your database and the style you prefer.

    4. Choose OK.

You can use a different directory for BibTeX files. Also, although Scientific Word lists only the default BibTeX styles delivered with the BibTeX tool, you can add another BibTeX style.

If you want to adapt a BibTeX Style to other language than English, you will, at the very least, have to translate the hard-coded English strings in the BibTeX style files, like "edition" or "and" Otherwise, you will have to ask for an appropriate style at your publishing organization, or search for a style at a CTAN site.

Using the BibTeX option affects the generation of your document in several ways: The BibTeX program reads the .aux file, which is generated by a LaTeX compiler (such as the TrueTeX compiler included in our package). From this file BibTeX recognizes which sources are cited in your document and chooses only these references for generating your list. Additionally, the .aux file informs BibTeX about the style you have chosen for the bibliography. BibTeX generates the .bbl file from this information. The LaTeX compiler adds the bibliography from this file to your document.

You can obtain further information about BibTeX from these sources:

  • the BibTeX help system at the CTAN site

  • BibTeX: swp\bibtex\btxdoc.tex

  • BibDB: swp\bibtex\bibdb.tex

or from one of several available LaTeX references.

Added 06/26/96

This document was created with Scientific WorkPlace.

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