The problem:

How to fix bad boxes done by bibtex? Latex copy and paste bibtex formatted entries to the text, but these entries exceed the correct space.

Details: I using main.tex with this header:


with this content at the end of it:

\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Referências Bibliográficas}

I had too this bibtex entry:

  AUTHOR =       "J. Chen and R. J. Patton",
  TITLE =        "Robust model-based fault diagnosis for dynamic systems",
  PUBLISHER =    "Dordrecht:   Kluwer Academic Publishers",
  YEAR =         "1999"


and finally this phrase:

A literatura apresenta muitas classes de estratégias para tratar o problema de FDI \cite{chenpatton:99}.
Estas estratégias podem ser, em geral, classificadas em abordagens baseadas em modelos quantitativos ~\cite{VR:03I} ~\cite{VR:03III} e em modelos qualitativos \cite{VR:03II} \cite{VR:03III}. Esta classificação é ilustrada na Figura~\ref{benchmark_1}.

My problem is, after the compilation I have this badbox


and I don't know how to fix it.

See if I put a ~ before this cite looks like nothing happens and I have the same badbox. If I put a \\ I lose the justified text


How can I solve this?

  • The information is insufficient; how do you load natbib?
    – egreg
    Nov 7 '11 at 20:25
  • Are you talking about the packages \usepackage[round]{natbib} \usepackage{natbib} ? If yes, they're disabled in my document, need them?
    – GarouDan
    Nov 7 '11 at 20:27
  • I had enable these packages but it takes the brackets [] and I need them. My bibtex runs the following command: >bibtex 12.Referencias_Bibliograficas.bib
    – GarouDan
    Nov 7 '11 at 20:35
  • I have some other problems like these in the document so I think it's better solve it instead just change the text.
    – GarouDan
    Nov 7 '11 at 21:01
  • 3
    If you say \usepackage[square,authoryear]{natbib} and then use \citep instead of \cite, you get correct breaking.
    – egreg
    Nov 7 '11 at 21:09

We almost had a diplomatic crisis between Italy and Brazil, so per peer pressure, I'm writing down this answer. :)

egreg and I came to the same solution, so here it is.

  1. Use \usepackage[square, authoryear]{natbib} instead of \usepackage[round]{natbib}. The package options mean:

    • square: says that references are to be enclosed in square bracket rather than round parentheses.
    • authoryear: used for author–year citations.
  2. Use \citep instead of \cite. Please note that \citep is a natbib exclusive command. It is used for parenthetical citations.

Hopefully we get rid of the bad blocks that way. :)

  • Crisis? Lol...for me it's all ok =) You're welcome the see the World Cup here hehe
    – GarouDan
    Nov 7 '11 at 21:41

Insert \linebreak where the line should end. Unlike \\, \linebreak will keep the line justified.

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