[Tex/LaTex] Bibtex, Latex compiling


On several occations I have read instructions like "run Latex on your file, then run Bibtex, and afterwards run Latex again…" . I am using TeXstudio as editor and when compiling any tex-code I simply press the compile-button. What happens behind this did not matter to me as the pdf I wanted was created anyway. Now that I am using .bib files for referencing, I am having a problem where the solution to this was the same as above. But how do I do it? I only know the compile-button. How can I run Latex individually from Bibtex and Bibtex individually from Latex? And which of both is running when simply pressing "compile"?

Best Answer

The 'compile' button is running a default compilation sequence. It sounds as if this is probably pdfLaTeX in your case. (You can probably change this if you wanted - many editors allow you to customise the default.)

To generate your bibliography, you need to look at what is in your document. How are you managing references? If you use commands such as


Then you need to run

  • pdflatex -> bibtex -> pdflatex -> pdflatex

If you have something like this:

\addbibresource{bibfilename.bib}% or \bibliography{bibfilename}

Then you need to run

  • pdflatex -> biber -> pdflatex -> pdflatex

It is possible to use bibtex with biblatex but it is not default. Unless you have


you don't need to worry about this. If you do use this option, you would use the bibtex compilation sequence above rather than the biber one.

To run the compilations, you can either use the command line or your editor. Most editors have buttons or menus with options for non-default compilation. Even though pdfLaTeX is default, there is probably a button or menu option for bibTeX (and perhaps biber). You can probably customise things further to suit your work-flow.

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