I have tried to make biber to work on my machine, unsuccessfully. I have searched all over and have read all the biblatex-biber related posts, but nothing seems to do the trick. Here is a Minimal (Not working) Example:


let's cite \cite{ho1995}


When I try to compile it as it is here, using TexShop, by doing the Latex -> Bibtex -> Latex usual path (I previoulsy modified the Preferences -> Bibtex engine from bibtex to biber) I get the following message:

dhcp109128:myfolder Laura$ biber exampleBiber
INFO - This is Biber 1.6
INFO - Logfile is 'exampleBiber.blg'
INFO - Reading 'exampleBiber.bcf'
INFO - Found 1 citekeys in bib section 0
INFO - Processing section 0
INFO - Looking for bibtex format file '../../bibliographies/example' for section 0
ERROR - Cannot find '../../bibliographies/example'!

HOWEVER, if I change the backend from biber to bibtex and change the preferences again, I obtain a perfectly good file. I get the same issue if I try to run it in a terminal window, and again, if I run bibtex instead of biber (changing the backend each time), it works perfectly fine

Things that I have tried:

-I tried modifying the file above by adding the line % !BIB TS-program = biber at the very top, nothing happened...

-I tried updating my packages (as was suggested to me before): I am running TexLive 2013, biber 1.6, texshop 3.26 I am using bibdesk 1.6.1.

I think there might be a problem in the way bibdesk is savign the bibliography. For reference, I put the bib file at the end. Any ideas? thanks in advance

%% This BibTeX bibliography file was created using BibDesk.
%% http://bibdesk.sourceforge.net/

%% Saved with string encoding Unicode (UTF-8) 

Abstract = {Treatment of infected patients with ABT-538, an inhibitor of the protease of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), causes plasma HIV-1 levels to decrease exponentially (mean half-life, 2.1 +/- 0.4 days) and CD4 lymphocyte counts to rise substantially. Minimum estimates of HIV-1 production and clearance and of CD4 lymphocyte turnover indicate that replication of HIV-1 in vivo is continuous and highly productive, driving the rapid turnover of CD4 lymphocytes.},
Address = {Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, NYU School of Medicine, New York 10016.},
Author = {Ho, D D and Neumann, A U and Perelson, A S and Chen, W and Leonard, J M and Markowitz, M},
Cin = {Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):193. PMID: 7746311; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):193-4; author reply 198. PMID: 7746312; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):194; author reply 198. PMID: 7746313; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):194-5; author reply 198. PMID: 7746314; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):195; author reply 198. PMID: 7746315; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):195-6; author reply 198. PMID: 7746316; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):196; author reply 198. PMID: 7746317; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):197; author reply 198. PMID: 7746319; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):197-8; author reply 198. PMID: 7746320; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):198; author reply 198. PMID: 7746321; Nature. 1995 Jan 12;373(6510):102. PMID: 7816085; Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):197; author reply 198. PMID: 7605485},
Crdt = {1995/01/12 00:00},
Da = {19950203},
Date = {1995 Jan 12},
Date-Added = {2013-09-05 18:53:13 +0000},
Date-Modified = {2013-09-05 18:53:13 +0000},
Dcom = {19950203},
Doi = {10.1038/373123a0},
Edat = {1995/01/12},
Issn = {0028-0836 (Print); 0028-0836 (Linking)},
Jid = {0410462},
Journal = {Nature},
Jt = {Nature},
Language = {eng},
Lr = {20061115},
Mh = {Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use; CD4 Lymphocyte Count/drug effects; CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology/*virology; HIV Infections/drug therapy/immunology/*virology; HIV Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use; HIV-1/*physiology; Humans; Kinetics; Ritonavir; Viremia/drug therapy/*virology; Virion/physiology; *Virus Replication},
Mhda = {1995/01/12 00:01},
Month = {Jan},
Number = {6510},
Own = {NLM},
Pages = {123--126},
Pmid = {7816094},
Pst = {ppublish},
Pt = {Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.},
Rn = {0 (Antiviral Agents); 0 (HIV Protease Inhibitors); 0 (Ritonavir)},
Sb = {IM; X},
Status = {MEDLINE},
Title = {{Rapid turnover of plasma virions and CD4 lymphocytes in HIV-1 infection.}},
Volume = {373},
Year = {1995},
Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/373123a0}}
  • 7
    Add .bib to your bib file name in the \addbibresource command.
    – Alan Munn
    Nov 20, 2013 at 1:57
  • thank you Alan! it worked, can you formally reply so I can accept your answer?
    – Laura
    Nov 20, 2013 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Because the \addbibresource command in biblatex can in fact open other types of resources than .bib files (most notably, URLs, and experimentally RIS, and some XML formats), the file extension .bib is required. This is quite different from the \bibliography command (which it replaced) in which the extension was implicit.

So the solution to your problem is to use:


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