Here is my bibliography in latex. The types is "Inprooceedings".

I use WinEdt.

  Author         = {Comelli, P, Ferragina, P, Granieri, M.N, and Stabile, F},
  Title          = {Optical recognition of motor vehicle license plates},
  Year           = {1995},
  Volume         = {44},
  Series         = {4),
  Month          = {November},
  Pages          = {790–799},
  Publisher      = {Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions}

But i get this error. Error image in latex

How to solve it?

  • The character you are using in Pages = {790–799} is not the minus sign - but which is U+2013 and it's not recognized as a valid character unless you declare it as such. Aug 30, 2013 at 4:48
  • So, how to solve it? Aug 30, 2013 at 5:19
  • Use the minus sign - instead. Aug 30, 2013 at 5:22
  • I have try to edit "Pages = {4506--4510}," / "Pages = {4506$-$4510}" and include the \usepackage{tabularx}. but it still doesn't work. Aug 30, 2013 at 5:47
  • 1
    It should be Comelli, P. with a final period (unless the author's name is exactly “P”). The fact that, with some styles, BibTeX will add the period doesn't change the need for stating in the .bib file that we have an abbreviation.
    – egreg
    Aug 30, 2013 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


The problem is that you're using a non-ASCII character, , as the symbol to separate the first and last page of the range of pages. (Note the subtle difference between the Unicode endash symbol and the "simple dash" symbol -.) I assume that you're using pdfLaTeX rather than either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX; unless you've gone to some trouble to inform pdfLaTeX what it should do with the non-ASCII en-dash character, you'll get an error message such as the one you show in your posting.

There's a separate issue at stake: In some bibliography styles only the first page of a page range is shown. For BibTeX to be able to parse the contents of the pages field correctly and to extract just the starting page, it expects that either a single dash or a double dash are used as the range indicator. All other symbols, including the Unicode en-dash character , will make BibTeX fail this task.

You should therefore use either

  • a single dash, -, or
  • a double dash, --

as the range indicator in the pages field. Do not use a Unicode en-dash, , two such characters in a row ––, a math-minus, $-$, or a double Unicode en-dash in math mode, $––$. (In your comment to @karlkoeller's suggestion, you report that you've tried –– and $–$, i.e., with the Unicode en-dash character present.)

Incidentally, there's a separate error in the entry you show, in the author field. Instead of

author = {Comelli, P, Ferragina, P, Granieri, M.N, and Stabile, F}, 

you shoud have

author = {Comelli, P. and Ferragina, P. and Granieri, M.N. and Stabile, F.},

I.e., remove three commas and insert two and terms. Recall that and has a reserved meaning in author and editor fields as the separator between authors/editors. By the way, it's a really good idea to provide . symbols after abbreviated first and middle names.


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