I have a LaTeX document in which I improt .bib database


I am getting an error (I know its quite common): ! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8:�d� not set up for use with LaTeX. when making a citation.

I dont know why - my editor is set to UTF8, JabRef (in which I create the .bib database) is set to UTF and I use \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

Any ideas how to solve this? Thanks for any tips...

  • Unicode contains more than 60.000 chars and latex does not load a suitable definition for all of them. It only predefines a small subset. You can add more definitions e.g. with the newunicodechar package. Mar 23, 2014 at 11:13
  • @Smajl You could try to use Heiko Oberdiek's inputenx package instead of inputenc, because it covers more unicode slots. Mar 23, 2014 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


Perhaps the reason is that you compile with bibtex, not biber. Bibtex doesn't understand utf8 — not even 8-bit encoding. Probably you should use biblatex — in which case the syntax for loading the database and a bibliography style should be (for the alphabetic style, for instance):


I'm unsure whether it's exactly the same style as the alphabetic.bst style file, but biblatex styles are much easier to customise than .bst files.

  • Your MWE is set to generate authoryear-style citations. Is there a biblatex style that approximates the alpha style more closely?
    – Mico
    Mar 23, 2014 at 14:53
  • @Mico: I don't know the details of the alpha bibstyle — except of course it sorts alphabetically. I once tried to have such details for classic .bst files, but didn't succeed in finding a documentation.
    – Bernard
    Mar 23, 2014 at 14:59
  • The alpha bibliography style generally creates citation labels of the form Jon90 and GKP94 for items published by Jones in 1990 and Graham, Knuth, and Patashnik in 1994, respectively. In addition, as you've noted, entries are sorted alphabetically (by authors' names).
    – Mico
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:12
  • @Mico: it then suffices to load biblatex with the citestyle=alphabetic option. The different citation styles are explained in § 3.3.1 of the doc.
    – Bernard
    Mar 23, 2014 at 21:27
  • I guess I'm unsure why, given that the OP has stated that he/she uses the alpha bibliography style under bibtex, you would write style=authoryear in the solution.
    – Mico
    Mar 23, 2014 at 22:08

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