The following MWE



author = {{Nvidia Corporation}},
key = {Nvidia Corporation},
title = {PhysX},
year = {2017},
url = {https://developer.nvidia.com/physx-sdk},
language = {eng},
version = {3.3},
organization = {Nvidia Corporation},
date = {2017},
month = {04},
urldate = {2017-04-30},

author = {Wald,Ingo},
title = {Realtime ray tracing and interactive global illumination},
school = {Universität des Saarlandes},
year = {2004},
address = {Postfach 151141, 66041 Saarbrücken},
language = {eng},
URL = {http://scidok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2004/319},


  backend=bibtex      % biber or bibtex
 ,style=alphabetic    % Alphabeticalsch
 ,sorting=anyt        % no sorting
 ,sortcites=true      % some other example options
 ,doi=true            % prints doi
 ,natbib=true         % if you need natbib functions

does sort the bibliography as

  • Wald
  • Nvidia

However, how can I sort them alphabetically as

  • Nvidia
  • Wald

When I change the backend for this MWE to biber instead of bibtex it sorts them correctly but I need to remove the address field as it can not process the adress field. Maybe because of the "ü" or because of the "," (Invalid argument)

As the template I have to use throws hundreds of errors when using biber I really would like to get this working with bibtex. I assume the reason is because of the {corporate name} author which are all sorted AFTER the personal authors.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.se, and thanks for including a good MWE. But this doesn't show any errors with the address field using biber, so I think you are addressing the wrong problem. You say you're using a template, but you don't say which one. I think the problem you need to solve is why the template gives you errors with biber, in which case your MWE should reproduce that problem. – Alan Munn May 28 '17 at 18:32
  • Isn't it possibly to solve this sorting problem with bibtex? In this case the MWE does show the problem: It produces a non-alphabetic ordering with corporate authors listed after personal authors. – Kevin Streicher May 29 '17 at 8:36
  • Yes, I understand that this example doesn't work with bibtex, but bibtex is really not recommended for use with biblatex, except as a last resort, and things are not guaranteed to work. Furthermore, the reason you gave for abandoning biber seems to relate to your template. So let's solve that problem. – Alan Munn May 29 '17 at 15:14

This was a bug in biblatex's sorting code for BibTeX. It has been resolved in biblatex v3.12. Please consider an update if you are having this problem.

With the Biber backend the issue did not occur, so the preferred way to deal with this issue us to use the preferred backend Biber. (BibTeX is considered a 'legacy backend' now and only supports a reduced set of biblatex's features.)

If you inspect the .bbl file you will find that the physx entry has \field{sortinit}{{N}}, so it is not sorted under N, it is sorted under {N}.

I have reported the issue at the bugtracker https://github.com/plk/biblatex/issues/601. Since BibTeX is only supported as a legacy backend and only Biber enables you to use the full set of features, it could however be that this is not on top of the list.

Interestingly neither sortname nor presort could be used to provide a workaround.

You should switch to Biber. Biber is the only fully supported backend and it does not have this problem. On my machine Biber worked just fine with your MWE, so the problem you seem to have must come from a different source than the code in the MWE.

  • Biber works with this MWE, biber does not work with the template I will use in the end and that is long list worth of multiple SE questions to fix that. So I hoped there is a workaround. Sadly it seems there isn't, and I fully agree bibtex really is only for legacy support and not worth the fixes. – Kevin Streicher May 30 '17 at 17:54

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