Update 5-Sep-2012: Sorry for highjacking this question, but as the status of the accepted selected answer has changed (now multiple sorting is implemented with biber/biblatex), and I think it is a good idea to update the answer of this question rather than me posting a new but nearly identical question.

The question is how have different portions or fragments of the bibliography (separated e.g. by type) appear under different headings and each with a different sort order.

I've tried using the sorting option of \printbibliography as suggested by PLK's answer bellow, but the numbers come out in the wrong order. Minimal example follows:

  author    = {Author Aaa},
  title     = {Some Title},
  publisher = {Some Publisher},
  year      = 2003
  author    = {Author Bbb},
  title     = {Some Title},
  publisher = {Some Publisher},
  year      = 2002
  author  = {Author Ccc},
  title   = {Some Title},
  journal = {Some Journal},
  year    = 2004,
  author  = {Author Ddd},
  title   = {Some Title},
  journal = {Some Journal},
  year    = 2001,



The order of the bibliography entries in the output is correct, but the numbers are not. I get: "Books [3] [2]" and "Articles [1] [4]", rather than "Books [1] [2]" and "Articles [3] [4]" as I would expect.

Using biblatex how would one sort different sections in the bibliography by different criteria e.g.

  • Section A of biblio: Sort by name, title, year, and
  • Section B of biblio: Sort by year, name, title.

For instance Section A would be a list of books and Section B a list of Proceedings where the Proceedings should be sorted by year.


Different sections of a bibliography can be separately sorted by using sorttitle={}, see the example here:

title = {Feldman v Mexico, ICSID Case No. Arb(AF)/99/1 (NAFTA)},  
year = {6 December 2000},  
shorttitle = {Feldman v Mexico},  
sorttitle = {2000}  

  title = {Joy Mining Machinery Limited v. Arab Republic of Egypt, ICSID Case
    No. Arb/03/11},  
  year = {6 August 2004},  
  shorttitle = {Joy Mining v Egypt},  
  sorttitle = {2004}  

Is there another way to accomplish the same thing?

  • I how have a beta version of biblatex and biber which support a "sorting" option for \printbibliography and \printshorthands. Please contact me if you would like to try it.
    – PLK
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 9:36

2 Answers 2


This is not currently possible. However the functionality for this is implemented in biber already and will be made visible through biblatex in the near future. This will allow you to specify different sorting not only for each refsection but for multiple bibliography lists in the same refsection.

This is now possible with biblatex 3.x and biber 2.x:



In older versions (biblatex 2.x and biber 1.x):

\printbibliography[sorting=nty, type=book]

\printbibliography[sorting=ynt, type=proceedings]
  • It seems that this functionality is now available. Would you care to update your answer to provide an example on how to do this? Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 14:34
  • I have updated the answer to show how to do this with biblatex 2.0/biber 1.0
    – PLK
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 14:51
  • I'm having trouble getting your solution to work. I've updated the question to reflect this. Do you think you could provide me some help? Or should I better start a new question? Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 13:31
  • Did you try the defernumbers pacakge option?
    – PLK
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 14:27
  • 1
    @JuanA.Navarro Sorry - defernumbers as documented should have the labelnumber re-assigned at \printbibliography, but biblatex doesn't seem to properly handle the sorting option. Would you mind posting an issue at github? It's probably a better place to get this resolved.
    – Audrey
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 15:51

Biblatex 3.0 (2015-04-20) introduces the concept of bibliography contexts for this. See section 3.6.11 of the manual. (For this reason the sorting option in \printbibliography has now been deprecated.)

  • 1
    And how to sort it now? For example, I want to sort citation in the text by year, but in the bibliography by names? Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 16:38

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