I'm trying to use BibLaTeX, is there any other solution instead of using biber to display bibliography ? if it is, does it allow the edition of biblographies refenrences to this format [first_author_name, last_two_number_of_year] ?

Thanks a lot!

  • You can use BibTex or bibtex8 instead of Biber (see the backend option), but keep in mind that Biber is the recommended back-end and a lot of cool features only work with Biber. The style you describe can be achieved by modifying the alphabetic style, this, however, can only be done with Biber (the answer to Change entry label to Jones,82 uses the Biber-only \DeclareLabelalphaTemplate). Is there a specific reason why you do not want to use Biber?
    – moewe
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 20:09
  • @moewe Note that the question you linked is from the same user. I think that the answer to your question is probably to be found in this question.
    – cfr
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 21:22
  • @cfr That's why I pointed out that question. Now that the other question is solved (thanks for pointing it out), this appears to be quite a superfluous question.
    – moewe
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 5:08
  • Are you still interested in an answer, or are you fine with using Biber now. The answer to this question would probably be something along the lines in my first comment above: You can use other back-ends (BibTeX, BibTeX8), but only Biber offers all the functionalities biblatex offers.
    – moewe
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 5:09
  • @moewe, write your first comment as an answer please.
    – dgs
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


biblatex can be used together with four different backends (§3.1.1 Load-time Options/backend, p. 43 of the biblatex documentation)

  1. biblatex's very own Biber
  2. the well known BibTeX
  3. bibtex8, a BibTeX version that can deal with 8-bit encodings
  4. bibtexu, a Unicode version of BibTeX (the documentation states that biblatex has not been tested with bibtexu in any way)

If you skim through the documentation, however, you will find that a lot of features are marked "Biber only", these features are mostly - but not exclusively - concerned with sorting, list generation and (general) disambiguation, label modifications, cross-referencing between entries and, of course, the source mapping feature; Biber also provides a nice interface to add new entry fields and types.

So to make full use of all the features of biblatex, you will have to use Biber. The closer your needs are to those satisfied by the standard styles (authortitle, authoryear, numeric, alphabetic), however, the more likely you are to get along fine with using BibTeX.

Case in point is your question Change entry label to [Jones,82]: While it is perfectly possible to get a alphabetic-style bibliography using BibTeX, changing the label can only be done (comfortably) via \DeclareLabelalphaTemplate, a Biber-only command (there might be a solution hacking biblatex.bst, but that is not recommended).

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