[Tex/LaTex] Implementation of “Title Case” in Bibtex


How is "title case" defined in bibtex? Which is the list of words not to capitalize, and in which file is it defined? Is it possible to change it? I checked the .bst file, but apparently it's delegated to a function change.case whose definition I cannot find.

Best Answer

As far as I am aware, there is no BibTeX (nor any biblatex) style that implements a "convert to title case" macro/function (there was a question a while back on how to achieve this with biblatex, the answer shows a way to get started with such a macro in biblatex with Biber).

There is, however, a function to turn titles into sentence case (uppercase first letter of the first word, rest lowercased). It depends on the style whether or not this function is used. If your style applies sentence casing you will probably find a line like this in the .bst file title "t" change.case$.

So the rules is to give the titles in Title Case in the .bib file and have the bibliography style convert them to Sentence case if desired (cf. What is the proper casing to use when storing titles in the bibliography database?).

Generally then, titles in .bib files should always be given in title case, where additionally words that always have to be capitalised in a certain way (names, acronyms, formulae etc.) are enclosed in curly braces {}.


title = {From {Brouwer} to {Hilbert}: {The} Debate on the Foundations of Mathematics in the 1920s}
title = {{NASA} Ends Unmanned Launchings in {Florida}}

See also BibTeX loses capitals when creating .bbl file, especially Alexis' answer.

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