TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm using an internal bibliography in my main .tex file :


Is there a way to tell which entries I'm not referencing so I can remove them? I'm using texshop, and except for a

LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references.

it tells me nothing more specific (I think).

share|improve this question
The LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references. tells you that you either using \refs without proper \labels or IIRC a wrong \cite. – Martin Scharrer Feb 1 '11 at 10:34
Further up in the log file there will be more specific message telling you what references weren't defined. – Seamus Feb 1 '11 at 10:40
did you run latex->bibtex->latex ? – Herbert Feb 1 '11 at 11:04
up vote 5 down vote accepted

First, to find out uncited bibliography item, you can use


to enable back reference. Be sure that there is a blank line after each \bibitem. Then check the pdf file, you'll see uncited item clearly.

Test file:


\bibitem{foo} foo

\bibitem{bar} bar


Second, for cross references, which is an independent question, there should be a waring like:

LaTeX Warning: Reference `XXX' on page 123 undefined on input line 1234.
share|improve this answer
I think he is looking to find out which entries in the thebibliography environment are not cited, not which cites are not in the environment. – Martin Scharrer Feb 1 '11 at 11:56
Ah, I missed it. There're two independent questions. – Leo Liu Feb 1 '11 at 12:19
Sorry. I was not clear in my question. I was indeed looking for uncited references which was answered by @Leo. The error message I was pointing out has nothing to do with this, and the cross reference problem was not my present issue. – Nigu Feb 3 '11 at 9:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.