# Parsing a .bcf file to biber in the preamble

I have a `biber.conf` file with regular expressions for matching and replacing journal names for their abbreviations (following Paul Stanley's advice).
Right now the file is located in my home dir as `.biber.conf` and so it is always loaded.
I'd like to be able to control the loading of this file in cases where I don't need to use it.

According to the biber manual this should be easy to achieve by renaming the file to say `JourAbs.bcf` and parsing it to biber like this: `biber <options> JourAbs.bcf`.

What I can't figure out is how to code this in the preamble. I tried: `\usepackage[style=ISMEJ, natbib=true, backend=biber JourAbs.bcf]{biblatex}`, but that doesn't seem to work. I get: `! Package biblatex Error: Option 'backend=biberjourab invalid.`

I know there's also the option of using `\DeclareSourcemap` but that would require generating a whole new file for some 50+ journals with an entirely different syntax. I'd resort to that only if there are some clear advantages to using this method.

(I'm using: kubuntu 12.04; lyx 2.0.4; biblatex 2.2; biber 1.2)

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I've never done this. But don't you just set `backend=biber` in the file and then pass the options to `biber` on the command line when you run biber? (Or set up Latexmk or ... your favourite editor to take care of that) – Paul Stanley Oct 19 '12 at 10:10
Yep, that would be the standard way, I guess, but I compile my docs using lyx or occasionally kile and not through command line. – Roey Angel Oct 19 '12 at 10:45
You can have a local `biber.conf` in the current directory. If you want to use the same file in multiple projects, you could soft link to one central copy. Your suggestion of placing this in a `.bcf` file seems wrong, that file gets rewritten by the latex runs. Also the biber documentation says that certain commands can only be in the `biber.conf` file. – Andrew Swann Oct 19 '12 at 16:37
This seems to work fine. Why didn't publish it as an answer? I'll keep the questions open in case someone comes with a more 'elegant' answer. – Roey Angel Oct 19 '12 at 19:33
You can't do this in the LaTeX file. The `backend=biber` just tells biblatex which internal code to use, it has nothing to do with specifying the command-line for biber. If you want to use an alternative config file, you have to run biber with the `--configfile|-g` flag. – PLK Oct 20 '12 at 20:38

1. Create a `.biber.conf` file in the home directory, which will be loaded automatically biber whenever it is used (I have no idea what's the Windows/Mac alternative.)
2. Add a `biber.conf` file to the same directory of the LaTeX document (or create a link to where the `biber.conf` file is located).
3. Supply the commands directly in the preamble, or if these are too long write them into a text document and use `\input{}` to include them.