# How to change the appeareance of bibliography item labels in amsrefs?

Assume that I'd like to set the item labels in the "references" list in amsrefs in, say, boldface (or in lining numbers - I have oldstyle numbers set throughout the document). I can do it in citations in the text (obtained through \cite) by means of redefining \citeform; but how to do it for the references list?

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You can change the labels by redefining \BibLabel; for reference, here's the original definition (as given in amsref.sty):

\newcommand{\BibLabel}{%
\hfill
[\thebib]%
}


In the following example I patched \BibLabel with the help of \patchcmd from the etoolboxpackage using an auxiliary command (\biblistlabelfont) so that the labels will appear using boldfaced oldstyle numerals:

\documentclass{amsart}
\usepackage{amsrefs}
\usepackage{etoolbox}

\newcommand{\biblistlabelfont}{%
\normalfont
\bfseries\footnotesize
}

\patchcmd{\BibLabel}{\thebib}{\biblistlabelfont\oldstylenums{\thebib}}{}{}

\begin{document}
\cite{lamport}
\cite{knuth}
\cite{patashnik}

\begin{bibdiv}
\begin{biblist}

\bib{knuth}{book}{
author={Knuth, Donald~E.},
title={{TeX} and {M}etafont, {N}ew {D}irections in {T}ypesetting},
publisher={American Mathematical Society and Digital Press},
date={1979},
}

\bib{lamport}{book}{
author={Lamport, Leslie},
title={{LaTeX}: {A} {D}ocument {P}reparation {S}ystem},
edition={Second},
date={1994},
}

\bib{patashnik}{misc}{
author={Patashnik, Oren},
title={{BibTeX}ing. {D}ocumentation for {G}eneral {BibTeX} {U}sers},
how={Electronic document accompanying BibTeX distribution},
date={1988},
}

\end{biblist}
\end{bibdiv}

\end{document}


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I'd recommend using \patchcmd because there might be other packages trying to redefine \BibLabel. –  Stephan Lehmke Mar 30 '12 at 6:10
@StephanLehmke: yes, that's a good point. I'll update my answer. –  Gonzalo Medina Mar 30 '12 at 6:18
@GonzaloMedina: thanks a lot. Already knowing a bit about amsrefs, I did not expect an "easy" way;). –  mbork Mar 30 '12 at 6:19
@StephanLehmke: good point indeed, though in my case I know exactly what packages I load and therefore I could do without it. –  mbork Mar 30 '12 at 6:20