4

There's a peculiar error when running biber. I have a .tex and .bib file that compile to a fine pdf on one pc, but give the error

Use of \sortlist doesn't match its definition. \sortlist{

on the .bbl file line

\sortlist{entry}{}

on another. This makes me suspect the problem lies with my system.

The biber.exe file is copied from the working pc to the error-prone one, the settings in TeXStudio have been copied, and the MikTeX package repository has been synchronized with different sources. Of course all files but the .tex and .bib ones have been deleted between test runs. Compilation goes fine when using bibtex instead, which I'm sure you understand isn't a permanent solution.

What could be the source of this error, and how could it be solved? MWE not provided as this seems to be a system problem.


Edit: Uninstalling and reinstalling biblatex and miktex-biber-bin causes a different error:

Illegal parameter number in definition of \z. \end

Edit 2: The source of the error is {\c{c}} in the .bib file. A quick fix of replacing it with c works fine, but may have the French author sob over his misspelled name.

MWE:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{MWEbib.bib}
\begin{document}
\cite{konschelle2014}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

MWEbib.bib:

@article{konschelle2014,
    title={Transport equations for superconductors in the presence of spin interaction},
    author={Konschelle, Fran{\c{c}}ois},
    journal={The European Physical Journal B},
    volume={87},
    number={5},
    pages={1--19},
    year={2014},
    publisher={Springer}
}

Error:

Illegal parameter number in definition of \z. \end

Log file:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (MiKTeX 2.9) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2016.5.3)  3 MAY 2016 15:59
entering extended mode
**./2016-05-03_MWE.tex
(2016-05-03_MWE.tex
LaTeX2e <2015/10/01> patch level 2
Babel <3.9n> and hyphenation patterns for 69 languages loaded.
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\base\article.cls"
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\base\size10.clo"
File: size10.clo 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
)
\c@part=\count79
\c@section=\count80
\c@subsection=\count81
\c@subsubsection=\count82
\c@paragraph=\count83
\c@subparagraph=\count84
\c@figure=\count85
\c@table=\count86
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41
\belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\biblatex.sty"
Package: biblatex 2016/03/03 v3.3 programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\biblatex_.sty"
Package: biblatex_ 2016/03/03 v3.3 programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/A
B)

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\etoolbox\etoolbox.sty"
Package: etoolbox 2015/08/02 v2.2a e-TeX tools for LaTeX (JAW)
\etb@tempcnta=\count87
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\graphics\keyval.sty"
Package: keyval 2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC)
\KV@toks@=\toks14
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\oberdiek\kvoptions.sty"
Package: kvoptions 2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\oberdiek\ltxcmds.sty"
Package: ltxcmds 2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\oberdiek\kvsetkeys.sty"
Package: kvsetkeys 2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\oberdiek\infwarerr.sty"
Package: infwarerr 2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\oberdiek\etexcmds.sty"
Package: etexcmds 2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\generic\oberdiek\ifluatex.sty"
Package: ifluatex 2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
Package ifluatex Info: LuaTeX not detected.
)
Package etexcmds Info: Could not find \expanded.
(etexcmds)             That can mean that you are not using pdfTeX 1.50 or
(etexcmds)             that some package has redefined \expanded.
(etexcmds)             In the latter case, load this package earlier.
)))
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\logreq\logreq.sty"
Package: logreq 2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
\lrq@indent=\count88

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\logreq\logreq.def"
File: logreq.def 2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
))
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\base\ifthen.sty"
Package: ifthen 2014/09/29 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
)
("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\url\url.sty"
\Urlmuskip=\muskip10
Package: url 2013/09/16  ver 3.4  Verb mode for urls, etc.
)
\c@tabx@nest=\count89
\c@listtotal=\count90
\c@listcount=\count91
\c@liststart=\count92
\c@liststop=\count93
\c@citecount=\count94
\c@citetotal=\count95
\c@multicitecount=\count96
\c@multicitetotal=\count97
\c@instcount=\count98
\c@maxnames=\count99
\c@minnames=\count100
\c@maxitems=\count101
\c@minitems=\count102
\c@citecounter=\count103
\c@savedcitecounter=\count104
\c@uniquelist=\count105
\c@uniquename=\count106
\c@refsection=\count107
\c@refsegment=\count108
\c@maxextratitle=\count109
\c@maxextratitleyear=\count110
\c@maxextrayear=\count111
\c@maxextraalpha=\count112
\c@abbrvpenalty=\count113
\c@highnamepenalty=\count114
\c@lownamepenalty=\count115
\c@maxparens=\count116
\c@parenlevel=\count117
\blx@tempcnta=\count118
\blx@tempcntb=\count119
\blx@tempcntc=\count120
\blx@maxsection=\count121
\blx@maxsegment@0=\count122
\blx@notetype=\count123
\blx@parenlevel@text=\count124
\blx@parenlevel@foot=\count125
\blx@sectionciteorder@0=\count126
\labelnumberwidth=\skip43
\labelalphawidth=\skip44
\biblabelsep=\skip45
\bibitemsep=\skip46
\bibnamesep=\skip47
\bibinitsep=\skip48
\bibparsep=\skip49
\bibhang=\skip50
\blx@bcfin=\read1
\blx@bcfout=\write3
\c@mincomprange=\count127
\c@maxcomprange=\count128
\c@mincompwidth=\count129
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex default data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-dm.def' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\blx-dm.def")
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found.
\c@afterword=\count130
\c@savedafterword=\count131
\c@annotator=\count132
\c@savedannotator=\count133
\c@author=\count134
\c@savedauthor=\count135
\c@bookauthor=\count136
\c@savedbookauthor=\count137
\c@commentator=\count138
\c@savedcommentator=\count139
\c@editor=\count140
\c@savededitor=\count141
\c@editora=\count142
\c@savededitora=\count143
\c@editorb=\count144
\c@savededitorb=\count145
\c@editorc=\count146
\c@savededitorc=\count147
\c@foreword=\count148
\c@savedforeword=\count149
\c@holder=\count150
\c@savedholder=\count151
\c@introduction=\count152
\c@savedintroduction=\count153
\c@namea=\count154
\c@savednamea=\count155
\c@nameb=\count156
\c@savednameb=\count157
\c@namec=\count158
\c@savednamec=\count159
\c@translator=\count160
\c@savedtranslator=\count161
\c@shortauthor=\count162
\c@savedshortauthor=\count163
\c@shorteditor=\count164
\c@savedshorteditor=\count165
\c@labelname=\count166
\c@savedlabelname=\count167
\c@institution=\count168
\c@savedinstitution=\count169
\c@lista=\count170
\c@savedlista=\count171
\c@listb=\count172
\c@savedlistb=\count173
\c@listc=\count174
\c@savedlistc=\count175
\c@listd=\count176
\c@savedlistd=\count177
\c@liste=\count178
\c@savedliste=\count179
\c@listf=\count180
\c@savedlistf=\count181
\c@location=\count182
\c@savedlocation=\count183
\c@organization=\count184
\c@savedorganization=\count185
\c@origlocation=\count186
\c@savedoriglocation=\count187
\c@origpublisher=\count188
\c@savedorigpublisher=\count189
\c@publisher=\count190
\c@savedpublisher=\count191
\c@language=\count192
\c@savedlanguage=\count193
\c@pageref=\count194
\c@savedpageref=\count195
\shorthandwidth=\skip51
\shortjournalwidth=\skip52
\shortserieswidth=\skip53
\shorttitlewidth=\skip54
\shortauthorwidth=\skip55
\shorteditorwidth=\skip56
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load compatibility code...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-compat.def' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\blx-compat.def"
File: blx-compat.def 2016/03/03 v3.3 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load generic definitions...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex_.def' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\biblatex_.def"
File: biblatex_.def 
\c@textcitecount=\count196
\c@textcitetotal=\count197
\c@textcitemaxnames=\count198
\c@biburlnumpenalty=\count199
\c@biburlucpenalty=\count266
\c@biburllcpenalty=\count267
\c@smartand=\count268
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.bbx' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\bbx\numeric.bbx"
File: numeric.bbx 2016/03/03 v3.3 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'standard'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'standard.bbx' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\bbx\standard.bbx"
File: standard.bbx 2016/03/03 v3.3 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
\c@bbx:relatedcount=\count269
\c@bbx:relatedtotal=\count270
))
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load citation style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.cbx' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\cbx\numeric.cbx"
File: numeric.cbx 2016/03/03 v3.3 biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\cite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\parencite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\footcite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\footcitetext'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\smartcite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\supercite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\textcite'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\textcites'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\cites'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\parencites'.
Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\smartcites'.
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load configuration file...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex.cfg' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\biblatex.cfg"
File: biblatex.cfg 
)))
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load language 'english'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'english.lbx' found.

("D:\Program Files D\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\lbx\english.lbx"
File: english.lbx 2016/03/03 v3.3 biblatex localization (PK/JW/AB)
)
\@quotelevel=\count271
\@quotereset=\count272

(2016-05-03_MWE.aux)
\openout1 = `2016-05-03_MWE.aux'.

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
Package biblatex Info: No input encoding detected.
(biblatex)             Assuming 'ascii'.
Package biblatex Info: Automatic encoding selection.
(biblatex)             Assuming data encoding 'ascii'.
\openout3 = `2016-05-03_MWE.bcf'.

Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliographic data...
Package biblatex Info: ... file '2016-05-03_MWE.bbl' found.
 (2016-05-03_MWE.bbl)
Package biblatex Info: Reference section=0 on input line 4.
Package biblatex Info: Reference segment=0 on input line 4.

! Illegal parameter number in definition of \z.
<to be read again> 
                   \crcr 
l.7 \end
        {document}
You meant to type ## instead of #, right?
Or maybe a } was forgotten somewhere earlier, and things
are all screwed up? I'm going to assume that you meant ##.

[1

{C:/Users/TomVe/AppData/Local/MiKTeX/2.9/pdftex/config/pdftex.map}]
(2016-05-03_MWE.aux)
Package logreq Info: Writing requests to '2016-05-03_MWE.run.xml'.
\openout1 = `2016-05-03_MWE.run.xml'.

 ) 
Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:
 6100 strings out of 493634
 107487 string characters out of 3142935
 492623 words of memory out of 3000000
 9485 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+200000
 4591 words of font info for 17 fonts, out of 3000000 for 9000
 1025 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191
 44i,4n,45p,833b,950s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,50000s
<D:/Program Files D/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmbx12.pfb><D:/
Program Files D/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb><D:/Program
 Files D/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmti10.pfb>
Output written on 2016-05-03_MWE.pdf (1 page, 39108 bytes).
PDF statistics:
 18 PDF objects out of 1000 (max. 8388607)
 0 named destinations out of 1000 (max. 500000)
 1 words of extra memory for PDF output out of 10000 (max. 10000000)

The error disappears and the document compiles when {\c{c}} is replaced by c.

10
  • 1
    That's normally caused by a version mismatch between biblatex/biber. May 1 '16 at 21:27
  • How could such a mismatch be fixed?
    – Betohaku
    May 1 '16 at 21:28
  • Uninstalled and reinstalled biblatex and miktex-biber-bin in the Package Manager, now I got the error `Illegal parameter number in definition of \z. \end'.
    – Betohaku
    May 1 '16 at 21:43
  • Mhhh, what exactly are your biblatex and Biber versions? (Call biber --version and compile a document with biblatex and add \listfiles to the beginning - you will find the biblatex version in the .log file.) Did you clean the auxiliary files .aux, .bcf and .bbl before retrying?
    – moewe
    May 2 '16 at 5:47
  • If the error about \z prevails, I would still like to see an MWE for that, because that is unlikely to be a machine-specific issue.
    – moewe
    May 2 '16 at 6:04
5

Finally I can reproduce the issue with your MWE above. I guess it has to do with Biber 2.4, microtype, and special characters, the workaround mentioned there works here as well.

An easy fix is to load the fontenc package with the T1 option for proper non-ASCII characters

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

In the upcoming biblatex version 3.4 that problem should be fixed.

4
  • This gives the error pdfTeX error (font expansion): auto expansion is only possible with scalable fonts. \clearpage at different places (both at \clearpage commands and at equations).
    – Betohaku
    May 3 '16 at 16:30
  • @Betohaku Load lmodern: tex.stackexchange.com/a/10708/35864
    – moewe
    May 3 '16 at 16:44
  • Lol now that gives 100 errors like Please use \mathaccent for accents in math mode. ...such as $\v{r}$ for the position and $\v{p}. The ride never ends.
    – Betohaku
    May 3 '16 at 16:47
  • @Betohaku Either you are using accented characters in math mode, in which case you shouldn't. Or something else is seriously wrong. It's hard to say without further knowledge. If you can't solve the problem through a bit of research, feel free to ask a new question with a short MWE.
    – moewe
    May 3 '16 at 16:52
0

For anyone having this question this after upgrading their TeXLive, try to clean your compilation directory before trying the solution above. This means deleting all the automatically generated files as *.aux, *.bbl. You might save some time:)

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