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 biblatex and I would like citations to have the form [AuthorYY] instead of [number]. How can I do that?

share|improve this question
Which style are you using? Something like authoryear should be fine. – Joseph Wright Feb 27 '11 at 11:43
What do you actually want? Do you want to cite like this: [Einstein05] or do you actually want something like Einstein (1905)? – Seamus Feb 27 '11 at 12:10
I want [Einstein05]. – Greg Graviton Feb 27 '11 at 17:21
You probably desire either the alphabetic style which generates citations of the form [Ein05] or the authoryear style which generates (Einstein 1905). – lockstep Feb 27 '11 at 18:07
Removed {citations} tag because the question is about general (bibliography/citation) styles, not about a particular citation command. – lockstep Feb 27 '11 at 18:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you want to change the form of your citations (and of the bibliography), choose another style, e.g. with \usepackage[style=alphabetic]{biblatex}. (\usepackage{biblatex} will choose numeric as the default style.) See section 3.3 of the manual for the available built-in styles.

Unless you have very specific requirements, there's no need to tinker with the existing citation commands. The two basic commands \autocite (style-independent command for bare citations, see section 3.6.4) and \textcite (for citations in the flow of the text, see section 3.6.2) should cover most of your needs.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! The manual was so daunting that I did not dare to read it. :) – Greg Graviton Feb 27 '11 at 17:28

You should check page 82 of the documentation. It explains the various citation commands. authoryear is indeed what you are looking for. In case it doesnt suit your needs you can of course make your own cite commands.

The documentation can be found here http://mirror.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex/doc/biblatex.pdf

share|improve this answer
Although the OP would like to change the form of his citations, the right way to do so is not to tinker with citation commands, but to choose a different bibliography/citation style. – lockstep Feb 27 '11 at 11:57
the documentation is present on your computer: run texdoc biblatex – Herbert Feb 27 '11 at 11:59
@lockstep true. Was just saying in case he wasnt happy with the authoryear he could always create one himself =) – Elmer Feb 27 '11 at 11:59

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.