I am using Biber (backend of biblatex) to make the bibliography. I have two questions about the bibliography.

  1. I want to use a reduced font ONLY for the bibliography (not the citation in the text, that in my text is in numeric style e.g. [1], [2] etc.). In particular, the font of my text is 11 pt and I want to print the bibliography in 10 pt.

  2. In the bibliography some text exceeds the text cage, because the ISBN is printed without a break. What is the command I should use for avoid this overfull hbox?


I found this command:


and work well. (first question).

For the second question, for now I used to break the ISBN with line (XXX-X-XXXX-XXXX-X, standard 13-number ISBN code). But I'm searching for a more general rule to avoid overfull in bibliography (for example, when I tried to use small font, a DOI URL exceeded the cage text; in this case a manual break doesn't work, because the URL doesn't work after text break)


Here is an option for people who use biblatex, add


in the preamble after you import biblatex.

By the way, in Daniele's answer, please note that you also have to put \renewcommand*{\bibfont}{\small} after you import biblatex.

  • 1
    \bibfont is defined by biblatex as well (the default definition from biblatex.def is \newcommand*{\bibfont}{\normalfont\normalsize}) and Daniele's answer works perfectly well with biblatex. (Though having seen the original definition one might be inclined to say \renewcommand*{\bibfont}{\normalfont\small} instead.) Of course \AtBeginBibliography still works fine as well, but \bibfont just feels a little bit "more right" for font changes. – moewe Apr 14 '20 at 15:38
  • 1
    @moewe I put \renewcommand{\bibfont}{\scriptsize} before \usepackage{biblatex}, which caused the conflict I described. So I will update my answer accordingly. Thanks! – zyy Apr 14 '20 at 15:45

For the first question, in the bibliography section you can change the main font size, just as you do it in some particular section.

For example:

{\small \bibliography{Users/Daniele/Thesis/bibliography}}

There are plenty font sizes: \tiny, \scriptsize, \footnotesize, \small, \normalsize, \large, \Large, \LARGE, \huge and \Huge.

  • 3
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. Notice please that this answer doesn't answer the OPs problem. He uses biblatex, your solution works for BibTeX. As well, I need to remark that using absolute pathes of any kind is very frowned upon. – yo' Sep 29 '14 at 18:49
  • 12
    This will not work. biblatex does not use the \bibliographystyle command and \bibliography is not used in the same way. – cfr Sep 29 '14 at 23:25

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