I am working a paper for IEEEtran using IEEEtran.cls. The citation style is not tidy while citing multple references, for instance,

% the result is:
[1], [2], [3]

% my expected result is:
[1-3] or [1,2,3]

Then, I use the package natbib and the citation style is fine. However, the font size is bigger than usual in bibliography entries.

How can I maintain the font size while using natbib?

BTW, the result is [1,2,3] using natbib. How can I change to [1-3]?

The main source codes are as follows:



\usepackage{tabularx} %for automatic line-break in tabular
\usepackage{makecell}  %for table header, center and bold

  • The IEEE style specifically is to have all numbers including the backets, so the correct for is [1]--[3]. That should be what you get from IEEEtran: we'll need a full example of your code to help. – Joseph Wright Jul 10 '15 at 13:03
  • @JosephWright, I have edited my question. – SparkAndShine Jul 10 '15 at 13:09
  • 1
    Don't use natbib for ieeetran here is a brief why tex.stackexchange.com/questions/78108/… and how to handle citations. – percusse Jul 10 '15 at 13:09
  • @percusse awesome. I add the package \usepackage{cite} and now the result is [1]-[3], which is much better. – SparkAndShine Jul 10 '15 at 13:12

If you really want to achieve this, the following code should help you:

Import the natbib package as


Enclose the bibliography with \footnotesize


This would

  • Make consecutive references like \cite{test1,test2,tes3} as [1-3], provided they are not referenced in a different order earlier in the paper.
  • Make the font-size of the Reference section as in the prescribed IEEEtran (without a noticeable difference, at the least).

But as suggested in the comments, this really isn't the prescribed IEEEtran way.

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