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 use mendeley to generate my bib file so I have a very large list of items (3000+) and since mendeley collects the bibliography information sometimes from the pdf file, there may be errors and strange characters. I guess this is why I get the following error

! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8:∗ not set up for use with LaTeX.

What should I do? I use Pdftexify on WinEdt8. packages are up to date

    \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}% For proper input encoding
    \usepackage[citestyle=authoryear,isbn=false,maxcitenames=3,maxbibnames=99,doi=false,url=true]{biblatex} % place in the document preamble

example of a bib item gone wrong:

author = {Biais, Bruno and Weill, Pierre-olivier},
file = {:D$\backslash$:/Gdrive/Drop/Dropbox/mendeley/Biais, Weill - 2009 - Liquidity shocks and order book dynamics ∗ - Unknown.pdf:pdf},
keywords = {bid-ask spread,limit-order book,liquidity,search},
pages = {1--51},
title = {{Liquidity shocks and order book dynamics ∗}},
year = {2009}

here I guess the * is bad...

share|improve this question
Do you need all 3000 bibtex entries in this article? Can you limit the .bib file to some subset you actually cite? – darthbith Aug 6 '13 at 13:42
well yes the idea is to have one large bibliography database that I can use with each different article. but I guess the problem here comes rather from the incoding... do you have an idea? many thanks for your help – Noobie Aug 6 '13 at 13:46
You should show us one or two of that entries which causes the problem ... You know a lot of your problem but you do not tell us the relevant things. So we can only guess ... – Kurt Aug 6 '13 at 13:49
@Noobie My strategy with Mendeley is to have a folder (in Mendeley) for each article I write, and when I want to cite something I put it in that folder. Then you can select all in that folder and export a specific .bib file for each article. Its a bit more work, but it can save you much heartache when trying to sort out encoding issues because you'll have a much smaller subset of references to go through. – darthbith Aug 6 '13 at 13:53
@Noobie Write the name of the user preceeded by @ if you want to notify him... Anyway I get the same errors as you. Ulrike's suggestion doesn't work for me. Notice that the character you have is not an asterisk. Replacing with * I get no errors. – karlkoeller Aug 6 '13 at 15:09
up vote 0 down vote accepted

first, let me thank @karlkoeller @jon @Ulrike Fischer @darthbith @kurt and @Bart Arondson for their help.

What I did :

1) export a small bib file containing all the citations I need. nothing more 2) correct manually the mistakes generated by mendeley 3) contemplate a well compiled pdf

thank you all, I hope this can help other mendeley users

share|improve this answer

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.