I'm trying to use the bibleref package together with [french]{babel}, and failing. The bibleref documentation warns that it doesn't play nice, and that you might have to make colons non-active with babel.

How do I do that?

I've tried using \shorthandoff{:} but it doesn't seem to help. Forgetting about babel would make my life much harder to have proper French rules.

To be more specific, here is the error I'm getting when calling pdflatex on my file:

Runaway argument?
! Paragraph ended before \@bibleverse was complete.
<to be read again> 


1 Answer 1


Either use \shorthandoff{:} after \begin{document} or enclose it within \AtBeginDocument in the preamble:







  • Thank you very much! What are the consequences on babel of doing this?
    – raphink
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 7:52
  • @Raphink: My guess is that babel does not automatically add a space before colons (which seems to be the norm in French typography).
    – lockstep
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 8:07
  • Would it be a good idea to write a new command like \newcommand{\bbibleverse}[2]{\shorthandoff{:}\bibleverse{#1}#2\shorthandon{:}} ?
    – raphink
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 8:24
  • @Raphink: Maybe -- I don't know what \bibleref does and what adverse effects might emerge. Another possibility is to define a new babel shorthand that copies the default defintion of : and to use the new shorthand in the text.
    – lockstep
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 8:46

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