I am trying to compile a .tex file (beamer class), and I want to use references from a .bib file. This .bib file is located in a folder with a path with multiple white spaces in it. Basically I have the same question posed in How can I put a white-space in the Path to .bib while compiling BibTex ?. I know I can remove the white spaces by renaming some folders, or copy the .bib file to the same folder as my .tex file, but I would like to solve this in a different way (among others to avoid having multiple .bib files).

What I would like to do is make a symbolic link but I don't know how to, literally what to type where. The method is described here and here as well, but so far I haven't gotten it to work.

I work on a mac using TexShop. I have tried (a lot of variations on) the following: typing ln -s "/Users/myname/path with spaces"/ biblocation from my terminal. In my .tex file I put \bibliography{/biblocation/bibfile}. This does not work, when compiling the .bib file I get:

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (TeX Live 2012)
The top-level auxiliary file: presentation_1.aux
The style file: abbrv.bst
I couldn't open database file /biblocation/bibfile.bib
---line 40 of file presentation_1.aux
 : \bibdata{/biblocation/bibfile}
 :                              }
I'm skipping whatever remains of this command
I found no database files---while reading file presentation_1.aux

The problem is that I just copied this from the answers I found so I don't know what any of it means and I haven't been able to find a good explanation. Do I understand correctly that the ln -s command creates kind of a shortcut (symbolic link) for the path entered after it, with 'biblocation' being that shortcut? How can I then use this symbolic link in my tex code?

I hope I explained my question clearly, any help is welcome. Thanks in advance!


1 Answer 1


Some LaTeX implementations support paths with spaces. Put path between quotes, ", or extract the correct Mac compliant path name using terminal (for example, in Linux you use \ for a space " ") and put that.

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond. How do I extract the 'Mac compliant path name'?
    – Willemijn
    Nov 3, 2015 at 13:25
  • 1
    In addition to the above: I have tried this. I dragged the .bib file to the terminal, and copied the path into my .tex file. This path indeed replaced the spaces " " with "\ ", but using this path still resulted in an error during compiling. Enclosing the path in " " also did not help. In both cases I got the error: "White space in argument---line 44 of file presentation_1.aux"
    – Willemijn
    Nov 3, 2015 at 14:55

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