TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using MacTex and Latexian to write my thesis. I use biblatex for my bibliography and everything worked fine until I discovered that I can change the Alphabetic-labels with /DeclareLabelalphaTemplate. I got the idea from here: Biblatex alphabetic style like [Smith, 2005]

Since that only produced "unknown control sequence" in my thesis and in the minimal example of the answer to the question posted above. Here is an example based on the question from above and what I use in my thesis:





testbib.bib contains:

author = {Leroy, Rodney L.},
journal = {Corrosion-NACE},
keywords = {Inhibitor,Zink},
mendeley-tags = {Inhibitor,Zink},
number = {3},
pages = {98--109},
title = {{Chelate Inhibitors for Zinc and Galvanized Products}},
volume = {34},
year = {1978}
author = {Leroy, Rodney L.},
journal = {Corrosion-NACE},
keywords = {Inhibitor,Zink},
mendeley-tags = {Inhibitor,Zink},
number = {4},
pages = {113--119},
title = {{Polythioglycolate Passivation of Zinc}},
volume = {34},
year = {1978}
address = {D\"{u}sseldorf},
author = {Witt, C. A.},
edition = {2. Auflage},
isbn = {3870171715},
keywords = {Inhibitor,Zink},
mendeley-tags = {Inhibitor,Zink},
publisher = {Aluminium-Verlag},
title = {{Korrosionsinhibitoren f\"{u}r Aluminium, Blei, Kupfer und Zink}},
year = {1991}
author = {Schmidt-Ott, K.},
school = {Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden K\"{u}nste Stuttgart},
title = {{Reinigung von Silberoberfl\"{a}chen}},
type = {Diplomarbeit},
year = {1993}

I tried to solve that by updating biblatex from 1.7 to 2.2 and biber to 1.2. Now I don't get "unknown control sequence" anymore but I don't get any bibliography either. My citations are now printed as the citation-keys. The log-file including the file-listing says:

   *File List*
scrartcl.cls    2012/07/29 v3.11b KOMA-Script document class (article)
scrkbase.sty    2012/07/29 v3.11b KOMA-Script package (KOMA-Script-dependent basics and keyval usage)
 scrbase.sty    2012/07/29 v3.11b KOMA-Script package (KOMA-Script-independent basics and keyval usage)
  keyval.sty    1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
scrlfile.sty    2012/06/15 v3.12 KOMA-Script package (loading files)
tocbasic.sty    2012/04/04 v3.10b KOMA-Script package (handling toc-files)
scrsize11pt.clo    2012/07/29 v3.11b KOMA-Script font size class option (11pt)
typearea.sty    2012/07/29 v3.11b KOMA-Script package (type area)
biblatex.sty    2012/08/17 v2.2 programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex2.sty    2012/08/17 v2.2 programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/AB)
etoolbox.sty    2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX
    etex.sty    1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
kvoptions.sty    2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)
 ltxcmds.sty    2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
etexcmds.sty    2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)
ifluatex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
  logreq.sty    2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
  logreq.def    2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
  ifthen.sty    2001/05/26 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
     url.sty    2006/04/12  ver 3.3  Verb mode for urls, etc.
blx-compat.def    2012/08/17 v2.2 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
standard.bbx    2012/08/17 v2.2 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
alphabetic.bbx    2012/08/17 v2.2 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
alphabetic.cbx    2012/08/17 v2.2 biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
 english.lbx    2012/08/17 v2.2 biblatex localization (PK/JW/AB)

LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references.

Package biblatex Warning: Please (re)run Biber on the file:
(biblatex)                TSWLatexianTemp_000053
(biblatex)                and rerun LaTeX afterwards.

When I run biber on it manually I get:

ERROR - Cannot find control file 'TSWLatexianTemp_000005.bcf'! - 
did you pass the "backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX?

I don't know what's wrong because the bcf-file is in the same folder as the rest and I used backend=biber.

Do you know a way to fix this without downgrading biblatex and not using /DeclareLabelalphaTemplate?

share|improve this question
Please provide also a complete minimal working example (MWE) to show what you have done/tried until now. Have you succeeded in running the MWE from the mentioned question you got your idea? You can use package filecontents (texdoc filecontents) to include a minimal bib file. – Kurt Sep 30 '12 at 15:40
No, I didn't succeed with that either. That's also the reason why I didn't post a new MWE because it would be similar to the one there. would it be sufficient for yo to try it with that one? – fortunecookies Sep 30 '12 at 16:32
We really need a minimal example. I know it's a pain but this sort of error is usually something not obvious until we see a MWE. We also need to verify the versions you are using, just in case of multiple versions installed. What does "biber --version" return? – PLK Sep 30 '12 at 16:38
"biber --version" says 1.2 I don't know how to provide a working example since it is not working anymore when it uses biblatex. – fortunecookies Sep 30 '12 at 16:46
This might be an issue with temporary files Latexian generates for preview. Can you try compiling your tex file with latex <file>, biber <file>, latex <file>, where the tex file name <file> is given without the .tex extension? – Audrey Sep 30 '12 at 17:43

Here is the conclusion of the tests (guided by Audrey and PLK):

The problem seems to be based on the biber-integration of biblatex 2.2. The posted example is working when compiled manually (latex-run, biber-run with the bcf file, latex-run). It will work with editors that are able to use biber but currently Latexian is not one of them.

share|improve this answer

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.