# What does the command “\newblock” in bibliographies do?

I have been manually changing a bibstyle created with makebib to achieve a given look of the references. Since I ended up deleting a few new.block commands in the .bst-file and I realised that this removes the corresponding \newblock-command in the .bbl-file, I was wondering what LaTeX-command \newblock actually does.

I am using the article class at the moment but in general I am interested in whether deleting the new.block parts in the bst-file might cause spacing problems or other problems in some cases.

To be more precise, I do not see a difference between

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}
\begin{thebibliography}{1}
\bibitem{Author2016Fancy}
A. Author \newblock \emph{A Very Interesting Book}. Fancy Series, vol. 42,  \newblock Famous Publisher, 2016.
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}


and

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}
\begin{thebibliography}{1}
\bibitem{Author2016Fancy}
A. Author \newblock \emph{A Very Interesting Book}. Fancy Series, vol. 42, Famous Publisher, 2016.
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}

• @barbarabeeton: I changed the question according to your comment. At the moment I am using the article class but I was worried about introducing problems with some documentclasses by removing the new.block parts in the bst-files. – Christian Jul 4 '16 at 15:33

## 1 Answer

In the standard classes \newblock is defined as

\newcommand\newblock{\hskip .11em\@plus.33em\@minus.07em}


so it makes a horizontal space, if you use the [openbib] document class option then it is redefined to be \par so force a paragraph break between "blocks" of each entry,

• That is very surprising because I cannot see a difference between the two versions using the article class. I added a MWE to the question. – Christian Jul 4 '16 at 16:54
• @user93559 compare your MWE (now I have fixed it:-) with \documentclass{article} and \documentclass[openbib]{article} – David Carlisle Jul 4 '16 at 22:31