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How can I tell LaTeX that it should use an existing bbl file foo.bbl, say, without running bibtex?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

OK, I see, just use \input{foo.bbl}. The bbl file just contains the bibitems and thus can be included like any other content.

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maybe \InputIfFileExists{foo.bbl} ? –  tohecz Feb 25 '13 at 22:21
    
This is a great solution for making the "References cited" file for an NSF grant proposal. –  Bjørn Kjos-Hanssen Sep 22 at 0:10

LaTeX attempts to read a .bbl file when you use the \bibliography command. If the file does not exist, you get an empty bibliography. LaTeX doesn't 'know' if you run BibTeX, it only knows if a .bbl file exists. (You can make a .bbl file by hand, and it will work.)

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Yes that's exactly what I meant. I have a .bbl file (created "somehow", let's say) and I want LaTeX to use it without biblatex coming into play. –  lpdbw Feb 24 '13 at 17:16

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