I use Emacs's org-mode to draft papers. I also use the tufte-latex package.

Currently my .emacs looks like this:

(setq org-latex-to-pdf-process
     '("xelatex -interaction nonstopmode %f"
       "xelatex -interaction nonstopmode %f")
(require 'org-latex)
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda () (org-indent-mode 1)))
(unless (boundp 'org-export-latex-classes)
(setq org-export-latex-classes nil))

(add-to-list 'org-export-latex-classes
("\\section{%s}" . "\\section*{%s}")
     ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}")
     ("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}")
     ("\\subsubsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsubsection*{%s}")
     ("\\paragraph{%s}" . "\\paragraph*{%s}")
     ("\\subparagraph{%s}" . "\\subparagraph*{%s}")))

Now I am trying to export file called tnc.org. There is a tnc.bib file in the same directory. I include it in the .org file thus:


However, when I try to export using org-mode, I get the following warning:

No file tnc.bbl.
Package natbib Warning: There were undefined citations.

The paper renders otherwise ok, except there are no sidenotes or bibliography.

What do I do?

  • 1
    Are the entries in org-latex-to-pdf-process the commands that get run to convert your org or LaTeX file into a final PDF? If so, I don't see anything that would run BibTeX as part of the process. BibTeX's usage page uses four commands: one LaTeX run, one BibTeX run, and two more LaTeX runs. Oct 22, 2011 at 15:35
  • 1
    Indeed, Mike, I changed the export function to this: (setq org-latex-to-pdf-process '("xelatex %f && bibtex %f && xelatex %f && xelatex %f")) and it works. Thanks. However I have a newish problem: in the bibliography, the numbers corresponding to the citations do not show up. Why is this? Oct 22, 2011 at 15:39
  • @MikeRenfro Can you turn your comment into an answer? Maybe adding that numbers before references depend on the bibliographic style used.
    – egreg
    Nov 5, 2011 at 20:44
  • @egreg comment converted to answer. Nov 6, 2011 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


Rather than hard coding a build sequence you can let latexmk take care of the build process. This will make a more flexible solution that works for other document types than the one you specified. To have Org-mode export to pdf by latexmk you can add the following line to your .emacs:

(setq org-latex-to-pdf-process (list "latexmk -pdf %f"))
  • to generate bbl with latexmk, '-bibtex' option is needed, which means: (setq org-latex-to-pdf-process (list "latexmk -pdf -bibtex %f"))
    – squid
    Jun 11, 2015 at 8:30

Change your org-latex-to-pdf-process setting to

(setq org-latex-to-pdf-process '("xelatex %f && bibtex %f && xelatex %f && xelatex %f"))

or something similar. This sequence of commands is taken from the BibTeX usage page.

As to your bibliography numbers not appearing, this would depend on the \bibliographystyle you're using. A minimal working example in a separate question would help narrow down what's going wrong there.

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