I am unsure how to quote correctly using csquotes and \textquote and \blockquote. In the documentation I found this general advise: \blockquote[cite][punct]{text}tpunct but am unsure how to really use it to get consistent quotation. I am using \autocite with biblatex, so at the moment I write it like this:

\textquote{Knuth wrote in his famous book that LaTeX is superb} \autocite[86]{Knu86}.

I bet this is not the way to do it, and I am always mixing up the positions of }, (Citation) and punctuaction.

How to do it correctly?

3 Answers 3


I'm not quite sure what's ›correct‹ and ›incorrect‹ in your perspective, or what exactly you find problematic with the result you're currently getting. Maybe a minimal example would be helpful.

Here's what I do, and what has always (i.e., for about 5 years now) given me output that's correct by my standards. Over time, I've reduced the number of different ways of entering quotes to two:

For short quotes, or for things that are not quotes but just need quotation marks, single or double, I'm using \MakeAutoQuote in the preamble, so all I have to do is type in quotation marks directly, and let csquotes do the rest (the quotation marks effectively trigger \enquote and \enquote* IIRC). I placed », «, , on [alt gr] + [2...5] on my keyboard, which helped a lot here. If I want it followed by a citation, I add plain old \cite{...} which is handled by biblatex.

For quotes that are longer, and that might have to be turned into a display quote in the output, I use \blockcquote[123]{Knuth82}{blabla}. It is, of course, csquotes that will decide if the quote has to be turned into a display one. That said, for texts whose layout I'm free to design myself, I've disabled display quotes completely: \SetBlockThreshold{99}, plus a re-definition of the display quotes' style. They're marked by quotation marks like text quotes, plus their left margin is reduced by \parindent. (that latter aspect is not part of the example, though)...




»Knuth wrote in his »famous« book that LaTeX is superb«
\blockcquote[pre][post]{cite}{\blindtext etc}.

I don't let cquotes play with my punctutation, I feel more comfortable staying in control of it myself. Unless I have to follow someone else's style guide (or write in English), my order is always:

[quotation] - [closing mark] - [period or other punctuation] - [footnote mark]

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  • This is already good advice. As I use Harvard style citations, I have some issues with this way of using csquotes. I will update my question...
    – mcbetz
    Mar 20, 2013 at 16:04

For the Harvard citation style I'm using something like this right now:

\blockquote[{\cite[109]{key}}]{Some interesting quote.}

For me it delivers the desired result:

Quote (Name + Year, p. 109)

It should also work for \textquote, but mind the extra {} inside the [cite] option from the standard form: \blockquote[cite][punct]{text}tpunct Without them it didn't work for me.

  • 1
    For referenced quotes, csquotes has the \blockcquote command. Your example should result in the same output if you changed it to \blockcquote[109]{key}{Some interesting quote}. Note that you just have to provide the citation key without a \cite command and that it is a mandatory argument. Any optional arguments to \cite are carried over to the \blockcquote command.
    – ThomasH
    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:06
  • @ThomasH It is actually not giving the same output. \blockcquote[100]{key}{My quote.} results in: “My quote.” Name Year, p. 100, whereas the use of \blockquote (without the c) puts brackets around author and year, as the initial question asked for.
    – Thomas K
    Jul 4, 2014 at 0:14
  • 1
    I'm traveling at the moment, so i can't test it myself but I'd imagine that's just a case of setting up natbib or the csquotes cite command via \SetCiteCommand
    – ThomasH
    Jul 4, 2014 at 9:43

I need to answer instead of commenting because of not having enough reputation. But I think some people may find it useful to know that Thomas K is not getting the same output with \blockcquote and \blockquote because both commands have different hooks which print the final output.

For \blockquote it is \mkcitation which is defined with space and parenthesis: \newcommand*{\mkcitation}[1]{ (#1)}. For \blockcquote it is \mkccitation which is defined with space but without parenthesis: \newcommand*{\mkccitation}[1]{ #1}. So, if you redefine \mkccitation you can use \blockcquote and you get the same output and do not have to write \cite in combination with \blockqote every time.

  • For those who need something to cut and paste exactly, it's \renewcommand*{\mkccitation}[1]{ (#1)}. Make sure you add it after `\usepackage{csquotes}' so the default command is there to overwrite.
    – DHW
    Jan 19, 2018 at 15:22

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