How to write in bibliography (package natbib) letter "a" with two dots above? Specially, I mean the word Birkhäuser.
Is there a general rule or way how to write such umlauts or other accented letters in bibliographies?
To typeset accented characters inside bibliography fields for processing with BibTeX, encase them in curly braces. To list but a few accented characters:
The word Birkhäuser should therefore be entered as
Addendum: There is an obvious follow-up question to the "How does one enter a special character for use in BibTeX?" question. Namely: Why is it necessary to encase these "special characters" in this manner? Or: Why is the ordinary methods of entering these characters in a LaTeX document -- say,
The main issue to grasp is that the contents of bibliographic fields -- certainly the
For some pretty sound reasons -- but which are way too ancient and obscure to go into any adequate level of detail here; to explore these reasons properly, it's crucial to have Appendix C of the TeXBook handy... -- a decision was made in the design of BibTeX to "purify" (the BibTeX function that does this job really is called
As you can immediately appreciate, this "purification" step is greatly simplified and made more robust if the "accented" characters are all entered consistently in the manner suggested in the first part of this answer.
Turning to the earlier case of the three authors named
Some specialists from, say, Sweden, may object that this approach to sorting characters that aren't among the basic 26 characters of the Latin alphabet doesn't meet the specific national standards of, say, Sweden. [I obviously don't mean to pick on any Swedes. I mention them because I remember having read somewhere that in the Swedish alphabet,
The issue of how BibTeX sorts bibliographic entries (as well as many other fascinating [!] issues) is examined at length and explained admirably in the surprisingly readable (given the enormous dryness of the subject!) essay Tame the BeaST by Nicolas Markey. If you have TeXLive or MikTeX as your TeX distribution, you can also access this document by typing "texdoc tamethebeast" at a command prompt.
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for example. Then
yields the desired result. Or, you could also use
In the final result, using either method, the umlauts are inserted automatically.
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