For those who use BibDesk on OS X, is there a way to add labels to bibitem entries through the UI? A way to put "label" into the BibTeX item like: \bibitem[label]{key}?

When items with labels are pulled into BibDesk, it changes the type of citation from, e.g., misc to misc[label] in the pull down menu.

Also, is there another BibTeX editor that can do this? JabRef, etc.?

  • Mendeley has a field for this, but on the other hand I don't like Mendeley's bibtex export (as the Mendeley document types don't quite correspond to the bibtex ones). – Caramdir Feb 21 '11 at 17:31

The interface of BibTex to custom item labels is the key= field, which however is only used if no author is given and an alphabetic style is used. As usual, support within biblatex is a lot better: The label= field mimics the key= field of classical BibTeX (but also works with numeric styles), whereas the shorthand= field provides an interface to explicitly define the label to use no matter what.

To use them with BibDesk just go to Preferences -> Fields and add them as new custom BibTeX fields.

I doubt, however, that BibDesk automagically extracts label to this fields when pulling \bibitem[label] items into BibDesk.

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