first of all, I'm a tex virgin so my knowledge of the tools and terminology is pretty much at the same level with a fish.

I'm using Win7(64 bit). I installed winEdt.

I want to write a paper with a custom referencing style that my school demands. It is very similar to harvard style with some differences (3 authors for et al. kind of stuff). My questions are

  1. How can I modify the existing style or create a new style by changing the copy of an existing one?
  2. How do I add reference details to my project. Is there a program like Endnote where you can store all your references, modify them and use directly to create refs in Word?
  3. How do I add references in my text?
  4. Does latex auto update my bibliography when I add a new reference in text?
  5. How do I add sources in the bibliography by hand? I want to add sources that I don't cite but used.

please explain like you are explaining to an idiot.

a lot of questions but I really want to go on with and learn LaTeX, but unless I can find answers to these, I will go on with the Ms Word solution.

  • Welcome to TeX.SX. Usually, we don't put a greeting or a "thank you" in our posts. While this might seem strange at first, it is not a sign of lack of politeness, but rather part of our trying to keep everything very concise. Accepting and upvoting answers is the preferred way here to say "thank you" to users who helped you. Apr 7, 2013 at 15:01
  • 1
    You mention that your school requires the use of a custom "harvard" (author-year, right?) style for referencing and citing pieces. Do you know if a bibliography style file (extension .bst) exists that implements this style. Creating a new .bst file from scratch isn't too difficult if you use the makebst utility, but it's better if you can save yourself this step, right? Separately, since you're brand-new to LaTeX, be sure to work through an introductory-level tutorial such as the The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2e by Tobi Oetiker.
    – Mico
    Apr 7, 2013 at 15:18
  • Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/80174/… Apr 7, 2013 at 15:25
  • Incidentally, you didn't mention which TeX distribution you use. Either TeXLive or MiKTeX should work very well Windows7 and your editor (WinEdt, right?).
    – Mico
    Apr 7, 2013 at 15:53
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    There is no single "harvard" style. :-( The harvard package comes with the following .bst files: agsm, apsr, dcu, jmr, jphysicsB, kluwer, and nederlands. Do you know (a) which one of these styles is reasonably close to your custom style and (b) what the output should actually look like (if different from what's produced by the existing style file)? By the way, many packages besides the harvard package also implement authoryear-style citations. One of them is the natbib package, which has some advantages over the older harvard package (such as better support for hyperref).
    – Mico
    Apr 7, 2013 at 16:39


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