# Set limit to one author when using “et al.” in biblatex

In the header of my document I set the maximal author names to 2:

\usepackage[style=authoryear-icomp, maxbibnames=9, maxcitenames=2, backend=biber]{biblatex}


Now, when I cite texts with two authors, LaTeX gives me the following:

(Author_A/ Author_B 2012: 232)

When I have three authors or more, LaTeX makes it:

(Author_A/ Author_B et al. 2012: 232)

But I want LaTeX to just name the first author if there are more than two authors ... like this:

(Author_A et al. 2012: 232)

Any tips on how to achieve this ?

-

By default biblatex will truncate name lists exceeding maxcitenames to one author plus "et al." (mincitenames=1). However, biblatex will (also by default) not truncate if doing so would cause ambiguous citation keys, which I suspect is the case in your document. Compare the output of the following two examples:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[style=authoryear-icomp,maxbibnames=9,maxcitenames=2,backend=biber]{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{ABC01,
author = {Author, A. and Buthor, B. and C},
year = {2001},
title = {Alpha},
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}

Some text \autocite{ABC01}.

\printbibliography

\end{document}


\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[style=authoryear-icomp,maxbibnames=9,maxcitenames=2,backend=biber]{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{ABC01,
author = {Author, A. and Buthor, B. and C},
year = {2001},
title = {Alpha},
}
author = {Author, A. and Duthor, D. and E},
year = {2001},
title = {And now for something completely different},
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}

Some text \autocite{ABC01}.

\printbibliography

\end{document}


If you only want one author in citation keys under all circumstances, use the option uniquelist=false. (Note that this may lead readers to the false conclusion that "Author et al." refers to the same author team.)

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[style=authoryear-icomp,maxbibnames=9,maxcitenames=2,uniquelist=false,
backend=biber]{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{ABC01,
author = {Author, A. and Buthor, B. and C},
year = {2001},
title = {Alpha},
}
author = {Author, A. and Duthor, D. and E},
year = {2001},
title = {And now for something completely different},
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}

Some text \autocite{ABC01}.