Sign up ×
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.

Unfortunately I forgot how to compile the bbl file in CMD to update my bibliography in a TeXwork document. I prefer to modify the bbl file rather then the bib..and if I'm right I have to compile it in the appropriate path in command prompt. Any help?

share|improve this question
You don't compile a bbl. bbl is the output of bibtex. – Ulrike Fischer Nov 5 '13 at 12:54
@UlrikeFischer Yes sorry, bad question. But I remember I could change the bibliography section simply modifying the bbl file and even deleting the bib before running PdfLatex+Makeindex+Bibtex. I used to type a command in CMD (that I found in one of the Latex forum discussion) which allowed texwork to read the updated citations. Anyway thanks for your time. I might create again a .bib file. – lauda Nov 5 '13 at 13:06
The .bbl file is constructed by either bibtex or biber after an initial run of latex on your .tex file; it is then read in to your output file (.pdf or .dvi) on subsequent run(s) of latex. So, in theory, you could make minor changes to the .bbl and, if you didn't do something invalid, have the changes reflected in the final output (via running latex twice more). This would be highly tedious and error-prone to do, however. It is much better to have a proper .bst (Bibliography STyle file) do the formatting for you (assuming you are using bibtex). – jon Nov 5 '13 at 14:54

Your Answer


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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.