In trying to create a customized bibliography style, I have attempted to run the command latex makebst (and alternatively tex makebst) but to no avail. Instead, I get the following error message:

! I can't write on file 'makebst.log'.  
Plase type another transcript file name:  
! Emergency stop  
No pages of output.  

I am using Version 3.1415926 (MiKTeX 2.8), for what it's worth. Any suggestions/insight on how to correct for this error?

  • 3
    How exactly are you invoking latex makebst? Jun 24, 2011 at 16:13
  • You might be trying to do this in the directory where MikTeX is installed & not allowed to write to it. a simple solution might be to copy makebst.tex into some temporary directory - making sure that you have write permission to it (check the Properties tab for the folder) & run latex makebst again. Jun 25, 2011 at 2:07
  • Thank you, it indeed was as simple as correcting my permissions for the folders in question.
    – erikp
    Jun 26, 2011 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


Either your disc is full or you don't have permissions to write in the directory or there is already a file makebst.log that you don't have permission to write to.

Is the error message so hard to understand?

  • 1
    I think the poster was asking how to fix the errors (e.g. change the permissions on which directory).
    – hatmatrix
    Jun 24, 2011 at 22:18
  • 1
    @crippledlamda: This is not a general help forum for Windows users. Jun 24, 2011 at 22:58
  • 2
    The only requirement for using this forum is being an enthusiastic user of TeX, LaTeX, and related systems --a requirement I meet. The simplicity of my question/problem should not detract from the quality and professionalism of the response(s) it elicits. For someone who advocates raising the public awareness of TeX, I figured you of all people would appreciate the importance of fostering others' understanding of relevant issues.
    – erikp
    Jun 26, 2011 at 1:08
  • 1
    The issues of which directories need to be write-enabled for the makebst log file is a relevant issue for tex users I believe.
    – hatmatrix
    Jun 26, 2011 at 4:58
  • @erikp: Touché. I think you can close this question. Jun 26, 2011 at 10:28

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