I'm using a simple bibliography like this


and I would like to either replace the numbers ([1], [2], ...) in front of each reference with some other symbol (e.g. dots) or just remove them altogether.

Any ideas?

Edit: I am using the article class.

2 Answers 2


To change the label, you can redefine \@biblabel; for example, to use a bullet you can say in the preamble:


to suppress the label, use:


this, however, will preserve indentation. To remove this indentation you can redefine the thebibliography environment (which is basically a list); this redefinition depends on the document class used (and you didn't mention this in your question).

Here's an example of such a redefinition for the article document class:


      \@clubpenalty \clubpenalty
       {\@latex@warning{Empty `thebibliography' environment}}%



  • Both work like a charm! Thanks a lot! (I was indeed using article.) Nov 19, 2011 at 3:12
  • I am having the same issue but I am using a book document class. Could you help me by providing a working example of how to remove this indentation in this class? I am LATEX enthusiast but not very good at code writing. Regards Rod Jun 12, 2012 at 23:11
  • @RodrigoEsteves Welcome to TeX.sx! Your question won't be seen by many people here, so it would be best to repost it as a fresh question. Follow-up questions like this are more than welcome! Please use the "Ask Question" link for your new question; there you can link to this question to provide the background.
    – Caramdir
    Jun 12, 2012 at 23:13
  • @GonzaloMedina I noticed that the top two code blocks actually don't preserve indentation, I don't know why...
    – warship
    Aug 7, 2017 at 21:30

If you are using \usepackage[numbers]{natbib}, then you can remove the [numbers] part to remove numbering.

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