Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have read all the related questions and taken all the suggested steps (well, the ones that had anything to do with my situation since for example I am not using Xelatex). As far as i can see, this file ought to produce a pdf with one citation in it and a bibliography with that entry.





Instead it produces a pdf with the name FefCF printed in boldface and no bibliography.

I am using TeXworks and have run both BibTeX and pdfLaTex+MakeIndex+BibTeX repeatedly in many combination.

To be clear, the reference FefCF is indeed in the file refs.bib (and has been used many time with BibTeX) and it is in the same folder as this file, namely C:/Users/Colin/Documents/TeX Files. I have also tried the full location name C:/Users/Colin/Documents/TeX Files/refs.bib to specify the bib resource. That makes no difference.

share|improve this question
Welcome to TeX.SX! \usepackage[]{biblatex} is not a proper call to biblatex especially if you want to run it with BibTeX. Try \usepackage[style=authoryear, backend=bibtex]{biblatex} instead; or install biber and try \usepackage[style=authoryear, backend=biber]{biblatex} (then, of course, you will have to run pdlfatex + biber + pdflatex + pdflatex). –  moewe Sep 28 '13 at 15:34
@moewe Thanks. Biber is installed and I have tried this with biber and bibtex. TeXworks does not give me an option of running biber the way it does bibtex. Anyway no combination of pdflatex and bibtex has worked for me yet. –  Colin McLarty Sep 28 '13 at 15:43
Mhhhh. What is the (.log) output of the LaTeX and BibTeX/biber runs respectively? Note that if at all the exact document you posted only works with biber (I might have replied glibly when I said your call was not proper as it should work with biber). For biber in TeXworks see How to automate using biber in MiKTeX-TeXworks and Dummies Guide to Biber –  moewe Sep 28 '13 at 15:46
I'd also consider using the wonderful arara tool to automate the process, as shown in How do I set up my LaTeX document to enable me to cite from my BibTeX bibliography? –  cmhughes Sep 28 '13 at 15:52
@moewe Thanks. This is the third time I've spent more than a few hours working on Biblatex and I'm sure I will get it to work some day. But for now (with 72 hours to get a book review to a journal) I'll go back to the familiar frustrations of BibTeX. –  Colin McLarty Sep 28 '13 at 16:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The main hurdles with biblatex/biber are:

  1. You are not calling biber at all but bibtex (check the .blg file if it starts with "biber" or "bibtex").
  2. biber fails due to a problem with the cache files. Run biber --cache on the command line and delete the folder you get as output.
  3. biber fails due to an error in your bib file: Check the blg file.
share|improve this answer
Is 1 a problem when I have set backend=bibtex? –  Colin McLarty Sep 28 '13 at 17:43
@ColinMcLarty It should not be at all, except, of course, for cases in which biber is necessary. Remember to remove all auxiliary files though. –  moewe Sep 28 '13 at 19:25
@colinMcLarty: 1 + 2 are biber specific. –  Ulrike Fischer Sep 28 '13 at 21:05

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.