In the references I want to cite like this: (Author1, author2 en/& author3). So far I only manage to get: (Author1, author2 and author3). Does anyone know how to put en/& in the reference? I use plainnat, or natbib as style. Can anyone help me?

I feel kinda stupid but I don't know how to answer Mico, so I hope it works like this. I understand your explanation except for one thing. If I scroll in my TeX document to bibliography{plainnat} I can't save it as a file. It is just a sentence, not a file or something. How do I do this?

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}.
    – jub0bs
    Nov 21, 2013 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


The conjunctions used between author names are defined by the bibliography style in use -- in your case, plainnat. Fortunately, changing "and" to "&" (or "en") isn't too difficult:

  • Locate the file plainnat.bst in your TeX distribution and make a copy of that file. Call this copy, say, myplainnat.bst. (Don't edit an original file of the TeX distribution directly.)

  • Open myplainnat.bst in your favorite text editor. Note: The editor you use for your tex files will also work on files with extension .bst.

  • Replace the three instances of the string " and " -- observe the spaces before and after "and" -- with " \& " or, if you prefer, " en ". (The three instances of this string are located in the functions format.names, format.full.names, and format.lab.names.)

  • Save the file myplainnat.bst either to the directory where your main .tex file is located or to a directory that's searched by your TeX distribution. If you choose the latter method, you may have to update TeX's filename database in a way that's appropriate for your TeX distribution.

  • Invoke the new style file with the instruction \bibliographystyle{myplainnat}. Be sure to run LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more to let all changes propagate fully.

  • From Jessica: My question is: I can find the plainnat file but my computer can't open it because it doesn't have the right program. He also can't find the right program to open it.. what to do? (copied by moderator) Nov 22, 2013 at 6:33
  • @Jessica: The text editor program you use to edit your .tex files will do fine for editing files with extension .bst.
    – Mico
    Nov 22, 2013 at 6:41

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