A briefly guide to use BibLaTeX

Do you want to learn everything about BibLaTeX? You can find the complete guide here and in the relative CTAN documentation.

This post is only to help you in a hurry, or just to remind the right place of things.

First of all, BibLaTeX is based on two files:

  1. mainFile.tex
  2. bibliography.bib


The bibliography.bib is made by the references of all the books, articles or whatever you want to cite. The syntax of each entry have the follow form:


type and fields are described well here, where is possible to read if a field is supported, required or optional based on the type. citeKey instead indicate the name used in the mainFile to cite.

For example:

  title={The art of computer programming: Seminumerical algorithms. Vol. 2},
  author={Knuth, D.E.},

An easier way to create the references, without fill every time the fields, is to use the downlodable BibTeX citations, that are available in one of the books databases. Just download and copy the reference in your bibliography.bib file:


Check if BibLaTeX support the type and fields! because is possible to have errors for that.


Once your bibliography.bib is ready you need to setup the mainFile.tex.

So it would be appear in the follow form:

\documentclass[a4paper, 12pt]{book}


One of the books that I've ever read is cite{knuth2005art}.

\printbibheading[heading=bibintoc, title={Bibliography}]


Now you need only to compile the whole things with the follow order:

  1. latex mainFile.tex
  2. biber mainFile
  3. latex mainFile.tex
  4. latex mainFile.tex


  • if occur errors relative to the images (like image not found): check if the extension is compatible with the latex compiler. To solve this problem there are two ways:
    • change the extension of each image that have this issue
    • compile with pdflatex instead of latex;
  • if you use a GUI compiler (like TeXworks, TexMaker, etc): you need to setup it to compile the second step with biber:

How to setup TeXmaker — soon

Using TeXworks — soon

And with TeXstudio — soon

Leave a comment if you use a different compiler that I will add it in the post. Thanks!


Published by Daniele Dalla Torre

I'm a Civil Engineering but I love to learn everything about technology, from the basics to the new frontiers! Here my gpg public key!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: